Clip du jour: Very special effects

Look, I know movies and TV shows are pretend, but the level of green-screening here is mind-boggling.

Ugly Betty doesn’t even use real bus stops?! Congratulations, demo reel from visual effects company Stargate Studios, now I don’t have anything to believe in.

What was the most surprising shot for you, PopWatchers?

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
  • Jenn G.

    The most depressing ones for me are the ones shot on the steps of D.C. monuments. I truly want to believe that the actors derived something from being in that setting. If I have to start re-thinking The West Wing, I am going to cry.

    • Liesmith

      Sorry, the actors were on a set in Vancouver for those monument shots. =)

  • paige

    wow i feel really stupid for thinking that alot of minor stuff was actually real. Seriously why did they need to green screen those 2 Ugly betty shots??? I was hoping they actually filmed in Jackson Heights but i guess i was wrong :-(

    • Ceballos

      I agree.

      I mean, wasn’t it kind of a big deal when the show moved production from L.A. to New York a few seasons ago? What’s the point if they’re going to use greenscreen for relatively minor shots like that? (They could’ve greenscreeened that shot in L.A.!)

      I mean, I know “Lost” used greenscreen extensively because it films pretty much exclusively in Hawaii, but has settings all across the world. I didn’t realize so many other shows used greenscreen as much.

      Overall though, it’s impressive to see that special effects don’t always have to be super obvious to be effective.

    • yogi

      I believe most of the use of green screen stuff for being able to control the ambient noise.

    • e4ia

      The producers have to take in to consideration the natural lighting limitations and weather (remember, Ugly Betty does most of their NY shooting in the late fall and winter) that they would be dependent on to get the shot. Also, they usually do multiple takes and if it is done in a studio, they can take all the time they need to get the right take without any external distractions.

  • Wow

    That’s really impressive. In a way, it’s disappointing. I liked film making better when it took some effort, location shots required coordination, special effects required innovation and explosives.

    But if you had no idea until now, what does it matter?

    • Awwww

      Good Point. Where is fancy bread?

  • Kaybar

    OK, we all know about green screens, but, to THIS extent?? I think you guys just spoiled my fantasy world. What’s left to believe in?

  • RubyBaby

    The loveliest integrated shot was the one of people walking through Red Square in Moscow; the most surprising was Betty leaving the Meade building…what does it take to actually use a proper building frontage?! Surely it’s cheaper than paying an effects company? On the other hand, great to know that TV actors have to work to play “pretend” alot more than we thought they already did! (Though with you Jenn G on The West Wing thing…I thought they went to DC for those in-the-moment exteriors as did ER on occasion to Chicago!)

  • Raven_Moon

    It’s pretty cool that they can do that, but I feel like they are too dependent on green screen. I guess it’s cheaper. Still, shooting on location, or at the very least a proper set, is so much more authentic.

  • JOhn Cecilian

    Actually, when i first saw this I thought it was a reverse green screen meaning that they were actually real scenes and then the company that created the video stuck in the green screens to fool everyone to think that everything was fake…just my thoughts

  • Tnoz

    The Monk ones seemed the most shocking to me. No Ugly Betty ones because I just don’t like the show.

  • stan

    what about all the extras out of work for background. so disappointing

  • Paul

    Awwww.. even the famous Yata! scene from Heroes. :(

  • Ricardo

    great job
    i was completely amazed how much tv uses green screens. The ugly betty 1 is just great…

  • Sara

    Next thing you know we’re going to find out that the Amazing Race is filmed in Bertram Van Munster’s backyard.

  • shazbazzar

    Now you’ve gotta ask yourself…
    How much of the stuff they show on the news is real and how much is green-screened?

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