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.

Learn More / Page 2

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?

By Alison Cooper

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.

By Alison Cooper

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.

By Alison Cooper

Advertisement

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?

By Melissa Phipps

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?

By Alia Hoyt

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?

By Nathan Chandler

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?

By Bernadette Johnson

Advertisement

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?

By Chris Opfer

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.

By Alia Hoyt

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?

By Alison Cooper

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?

By Alison Cooper

Advertisement

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.

By Alison Cooper

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.

By Alison Cooper

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.

By Alison Cooper

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?

By Alison Cooper

Advertisement

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.

By Alison Cooper

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?

By Alison Cooper

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.

By Alison Cooper

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?

By Alison Cooper

Advertisement

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?

By Alison Cooper

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.

By Alia Hoyt

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?

By Shanna Freeman

It may not seem like much to film on a boat, but it can actually be quite dangerous. What kind of gear would you need to keep yourself upright on a boat shoot -- and what camera equipment would you need to make your footage pop?

By Ed Grabianowski

Advertisement

Flying a helicopter over water is more dangerous than it looks; rough weather could make a shoot downright deadly. So how do those who shoot in choppy waters all the time -- say, people who film crab boats -- keep themselves safe up there?

By Ed Grabianowski

Along with motion pictures, Hollywood has a knack for creating other things: controversy and scandal. So which scandals are the juiciest -- and why?

By Charles W. Bryant & Allison Wachtel