One fun fact about technology is that Hollywood has been one of the biggest driving factors in technological innovation for the past 100 years. Below are eight fun technology facts about your favorite movies.
1. 300 Was 100 Percent Blue and Green Screen
Today, computer animation has become so realistic that a number of movies no longer require physical sets. 300 was an example of one smash hit that was shot with digitally rendered backgrounds. 90 percent of the film was shot using a blue screen, and he remaining 10 percent used green screen.
2. Frozen Was Shot Using Motion Capture and Real People
Computer animation is the biggest driver of family film ticket sales. While it may seem like all that animation is created on a computer, much of the realistic movement of those digitally animated characters is produced from the motion capture of human beings. Technology that is commonly used in movies like this include Mocap suits, which are used to track movement.
3. Star Wars Was the First Movie to Use 3D Computer Animation
As soon as computer animation was developed, it began being implemented into films. The first use of 3D computer animation in a long form movie was Star Wars. If you remember, the animation was shown to rebel pilots during a training sequence on how to attack the Death Star.
4. Mary Poppins Was the First Film to Feature Animatronics
As you can probably guess, Walt Disney innovated the use of animatronics. This included the animatronics used for early Disney theme park attractions like Jungle Cruise. It also included the first animatronic puppet used in a live-action film for a bird in Mary Poppins.
5. Inception Used Real Zero Gravity
The Christopher Nolan directed blockbuster, Inception, had actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt floating around hotel rooms without gravity. The director actually accomplished this by building a set inside a cargo plane that flew high enough to produce zero gravity weightlessness.
6. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Was the First Big Digitally Shot Film
George Lucas has always been on the cutting edge of implementing technology into films. This was also the case for the second Star Wars prequel, Attack of the Clones, which was the first big film shot completely on digital film.
7. NASA Consulted on Apollo 13
One of the reasons why Apollo 13 was one of the most accurate depictions of space travel ever on film was due to direct input from NASA itself. One NASA employee was so impressed by the realistic designs of the sets that he sometimes forgot he wasn’t on the clock at actual NASA facilities.
8. Avatar Was the First Big Stereoscopic 3D Movie
While there had been a few IMAX movies that used the filming technique first, Avatar was the first big budget movie to make good use of stereoscopic 3D cameras that can produce far more realistic three-dimensional images than what was seen in previous 3D movies
Overall, one of the biggest producers of technological innovations is the movies. Special effects will continue to become more realistic as technology continues to progress.