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 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

How They Shot the No Parachute Skydiving Scene in ‘Point Break’

“Johnny, you’re about to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. How do you feel about that?”  Read More

How They Built the Battle Exosuits for ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Live, die...repeatedly strap yourself into a metal articulated exoskeleton that weighs 85 lbs. Read More

How They Shot the Stargate Sequence in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

My god, it's full of stars! And innovative slit-scan photography! Read More