13 Extreme Lengths That Filmmakers Have Gone To While Making Movies

Limits were meant to be pushed. From fires to extreme locations to mind-blowing scenery, there are many ways to push the boundaries when making a movie. And that’s exactly what IBM did when it moved atoms to make the world’s smallest movie.

1. Burning of old sets to create a real fire:

Everett Collection

For the burning of Atlanta Depot in Gone With the Wind, they torched scenery pieces from The Garden of Allah and King Kong. Telephone lines were clogged with people thinking that MGM was on unintentionally on fire.

2. Eating nothing but McDonalds for thirty days:

Samuel Goldwyn

Morgan Spurlock gained over 24 lbs for the filming of his documentary Super Size Me.

3. Animating with atoms:

For “A Boy And His Atom,” IBM moved atoms with a scanning tunneling microscope to make its actors, props, and scenes. The lead character is a single nanometer in size (one 25 millionth the size of an inch), and Guinness World Records has certified it as the world’s smallest stop-motion film.

4. Rotating hallways:

Legendary Pictures / Via bitterlylawyered.tumblr.com

To create the effect of a rotating hallway in Inception, they did exactly that.

5. Twenty-eight years of production:

Majestic Films / Via boston-ivy.tumblr.com

A meticulous and troubled production earned the animated film The Princess and the Cobbler this unwanted distinction.

6. Shooting from below:

This experimental short was shot entirely from underneath a clear table (with the help of a mirror).

7. Using an entire beach as your canvas:

By using 11,000 square feet of beach in South Wales, “Gulp” holds the world record for the largest stop motion set.

8. Changing costumes eighty-five times:

Buena Vista

Madonna earned this world record while filming Evita.

9. Filming in Antarctica for thirteen months:

Warner Independent Pictures / Via wolf-teeth.tumblr.com

The director and crew spent over a year filming these adorable creatures for March of the Penguins, sometimes only getting three hours to shoot because of the intense cold. Morgan Freeman only spent one day in a recording booth.

10. Diving 12 times to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean:

Paramount Pictures / Via lunaathelunatic.tumblr.com

James Cameron, the director of Titanic, went on so many dives to film the actual ship that he spent more time with it than its living passengers did.

11. Dealing with freakish storms and back injuries:

Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam’s attempt to film an epic Don Quixote movie was so disastrous that a documentary was made about the process (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has yet to be finished).

12. Underwater motion capture:

The upcoming sequels to Avatar utilize this new technology; it will allow for the actors to appear more natural while swimming underwater.

13. Making the longest stop motion to date:

The delightfully creepy Coraline has a running time of one hour and forty minutes and is the current record holder.

Inspired by the world's smallest stop motion movie:

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