Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes pulls back the curtain and lets you see how movies are made, from the initial script, the casting and how the jaw-dropping special effects come to life.


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Was the horse head in 'The Godfather' based on a real event?

Rumors have surrounded the shocking horse scene in "The Godfather" for years -- did author Mario Puzo make it up, or worse, was it based on a true incident? And where does Frank Sinatra fit in? Read on for the scoop.

Was ‘The Shining’ an apology for faking the moon landing?

Conspiracy theorists have been debunking the moon landing ever since Neil Armstrong took that first small step. But how (and why) does Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" fit in to this pervasive urban legend?

Does the 'Star Trek' theme really have lyrics?

Remember when you got the lyrics to the "Star Trek" theme stuck in your head? Oh, right. There are no lyrics to the "Star Trek" theme -- or are there?

Was 'The Conqueror' filmed on a nuclear test site?

It's obvious today that making a movie near a nuclear test site is a terrible idea. But in 1956, Howard Hughes filmed "The Conqueror," starring John Wayne, less than 150 miles from one. Bad move? You be the judge.

Why was 'The Day the Clown Cried' never released?

Nazis and clowns don't really make a good mix for a movie, so is that why the Jerry Lewis film "The Day the Clown Cried" never hit theaters? Movie buffs have been asking this question for years and myths still persist surrounding the real answer.

How the Movie Box Office Works

Perception is everything in Hollywood, which is why the industry keeps such tight control over box office numbers. But what do those numbers really mean, and what's the point of inflating them?

How Guerilla Filmmaking Works

The cost of permits to shoot in most public places can wreak serious havoc on independent filmmakers' budgets. That's why they often resort to guerilla tactics for their movies. How do they get away with it?

How RealD 3-D Works

Movies shown in 3-D can be polarizing — no pun intended. Some movie buffs embrace the third dimension, while others find it hard to watch. How does the RealD system optimize the experience?

How Rotoscoping Works

If you loved the glowing lightsabers in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, you can thank rotoscoping. Who invented this technology, and is it still useful?

How Film Restoration Works

Film doesn't last forever – particularly if it was used before 1950. What causes it to break down, and how do restorers put it back together?

How Audience Testing Works

Andie ended up with Duckie in "Pretty in Pink" and Alex committed suicide in "Fatal Attraction." Except that they didn't. These are just two of the many movies where the endings were changed thanks to audience testing.

What’s the difference between catering and craft services on a film set?

We take our food seriously. And if we were working a 16-hour day on a movie, we'd want to know exactly where and when we'd find nourishment. So who would we talk to: catering or the craft services folks?

How do movie productions shut off streets for filming?

If you live in a town where they shoot a lot of movies, chances are you've seen or read about a street closing due to a film shoot. With all the traffic inconvenience this can cause, how do movie companies get away with it?

Who decides whose names go in movie credits?

Even with 300 people working together on a motion picture, each and every one (understandably) wants credit for their part in the magic. Ranking their work can get a little sticky.

What does a best boy do?

So, who is this best boy whose title we see rolling down the film credits in tiny type? Is he the best-behaved kid on the set? Not a chance! He's not even a boy.

What does a dolly grip do?

Just in case you think there's a group of folks who get paid to wander movie sets while clutching dolls, let us set you straight. Dolly grip is one of the most demanding film jobs out there.

What does a gaffer do on a film set?

You would not know it from the word, but the gaffer is the head electrician on a film set. Where did the name come from and why is the job so important?

What does a greensman do on a film set?

Picture a soundstage with a concrete floor. Now, envision it covered in a jungle -- a jungle built from rented trees, vines, and flowers. Welcome to the greensman's world.

What does a key grip do?

A well-run crew of grips can make the difference between a movie production that comes in on schedule and under budget and one that doesn't. How do you make it to the top of the heap?

What does a stand-in do?

A movie star isn't going to spend hours on a set so the crew can adjust the lighting -- but someone's got to do it. That's what a stand-in is for. Find out how to pretend to be Jennifer Aniston for a day.

Who is Alan Smithee?

For more than 30 years, Alan Smithee directed some of the worst films on record, including one movie Roger Ebert called "spectacularly bad." And then in 2000, his name disappeared from credits. Whatever happened to Alan Smithee?

Why is scary music scary?

You know it when you hear it: shrieking noises, dissonant chords, unexpected high notes. It's the music that scares you. But is there something about our biology that makes us fearful of certain sounds?

10 Most Thankless Jobs in Film

You might have heard that Sandra Bullock got $77 million for "Gravity," but how much did the PA make? We've compiled a list of the most tedious, low-paying jobs in show business – that people still beg for.

How Jim Henson Worked

Sept. 24, 2011, would have the 75th birthday of Jim Henson, the gentle, quirky puppet master who charmed the world with his lovable puppet characters. What makes Jim Henson's creative work and life so memorable -- and inspiring?

Jim Henson Image Gallery

Jim Henson was a world-famous puppeteer, television producer and artist. He brought the world works of art that will carry on for centuries. Learn about Jim Henson's legacy with these fascinating images chronicling his life's work.