How’d They Do That?

How’d They Do That? is a monthly column in which Meg Shields unpacks moments of movie magic and celebrates the technical wizards who pulled them off.

If you’re new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these entries:

Explore the entire How’d They Do That? archive below

How They Shot That Transformation Scene in ‘Sh! The Octopus’

From a harmless old woman to a gnarled, blotchy sea hag in the blink of an eye! Read More

From Painted Glass to Green Screens: The Jeopardy Shot Explained

Let's talk about the glass shot. (No, not the kind you pour tequila into). Read More

How They Made the Glowing Costumes in the Original ‘Tron’

As Flynn says, on the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy. Read More

How They Make Fake Snow for Movies

There’s snow business like show business. Read More

How They Shot the “Bullet-Time” Effect in ‘The Matrix’

Turns out to "dodge this" you need roughly 120 cameras. Read More

How They Shot the Carriage Drag Stunt in John Ford’s ‘Stagecoach’

Hay is for horses. Internal organs are for cowards. Read More

How They Shot the Bee Scenes in ‘Candyman’

Here's the story of how the filmmakers wrangled 200,000 very real honeybees. Read More

How They Filmed the Café Dolly Shot in ‘Wings’

No, there wasn't a buzzsaw attached to the camera. But that's a free idea if anyone wants it... Read More

How They Shot the Breathable Fluid Scenes in ‘The Abyss’

If you think it's CGI ... don't hold your breath. Or, wait, maybe do. Read More