They also took advantage of Jimmy Stewart's dandruff problem.
Prior to this groundbreaking discovery in soap-as-snow, the industry standard was painted cornflakes. The biggest problem was that corn flakes are kind of, you know, crunchy. They'd have to film the snow scenes, record dialogue separately, and dub it in later. As image quality improved and the falling cereal became easier to recognize for what it was, those using practical effects needed to move on to more convincing solutions. Now they've got scientists working on artificial snow, which we have to say is way less fun. Who wouldn't want to build a cornflakeman?
The Wizard Of Oz's Purple Horse Was Dyed With Jell-O
The Wizard Of Oz was a breakthrough in color film, and damned if they weren't going to milk this newfangled process for all it was worth. They also thought it'd be fun to use color to illustrate how starkly different Oz was from Kansas. The roads weren't dirt, they were made of yellow brick! This horse isn't brown or white, it's purple! This whole city is green, because fuck it, why not! They were mad with power.
Somewhere over the rainbow, You're all high
But how did they get the horse to look like that? They couldn't simply paint it (horse torture was only allowed on Ben-Hur adaptations, apparently). Feeding the horse nothing but beets for a month was also out of the question. So they dipped into the handbook of preteen girls in the early 21st century and figured out a way to make purple hair dye out of Jell-O powder. There was obviously a little trial and error -- imagine nobody telling you to bleach your hair before using that blue hair dye the summer after seventh grade, but on a horse -- but eventually they figured it out.
Once they got the horses the proper shade of purple, the only problem was that the animal actors started licking their delicious hair. It seems nobody told the horses that Jell-O is essentially the bones of other farm animals. Fortunately, they figured out a way to keep the horses apart before the licking escalated to a full-blown Jell-O-fueled equine orgy.
Day Of The Dead Made Actors Hang Out In Big Piles Of Rotting Pig Intestines
When the late great George Romero was going to make the zombie flick Day Of The Dead, he had to make sure everybody looked as dead as dead could be, because it's right there in the title. The movie isn't called Day Of The Badly Wounded But They'll Probably Make It. And what better way to do that than by stuffing all available body cavities with real dead meat?
The way this worked was that actors would lay down with a false floor above them, so that only their body from the shoulders up stuck out. Then they'd be attached to a body cavity that needed to look like it featured some real people guts. The closest thing was pig guts, which we're sure the actors found flattering.
Pig intestine is already a common sausage casing, so there was a lot of that (along with hollowed-out intestine) strewn about in the most murdered-y way possible. It looked absolutely great, but the problem was that for these extended shoots lasting hours upon hours at a time, actors had to basically sit directly below these piles of rotting meat. That shit got rancid, and fast. Hence the mask in this photo:
United Film Distribution Company
Honestly, it's a miracle they didn't end up accidentally creating a real zombie virus.
PAs were walking around Febreezing it as best they could, but this was still rotting meat they were dealing with. Then, when it came time to film, these actors had to play dead. That means no choking on the smell of the rank-ass meat rotting in front of them. When you're about to get sick while half of you is tucked inside of false floor and the other half is covered in pig entrails, it's not pretty. But hey, that's movie magic!
Isaac wanted to be in special effects as a kid but that was before CGI. He's on Twitter now instead.
Try to dye your own hair or just make a delicious mold with copious amounts of Jello. You'll probably get a bunch of Instagram posts, especially if you take the photos with a dope vintage camera. Double boo-yah!
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