10 Amazing Practical Movie Effects Shots Everybody Assumed Were CGI

9. The Underwater Apartment - The Shape Of Water

The House With A Clock In Its Walls Jack Black
Fox Searchlight

One of the most visually evocative scenes in Guillermo del Toro's Best Picture-winning The Shape of Water occurs in the film's opening title sequence, where protagonist Eliza (Sally Hawkins) dreams that her apartment is flooded, causing her and various pieces of furniture to float.

Given Del Toro's expert ability at executing complex, effects-heavy set-pieces, it was easy to assume this was a brilliantly convincing CGI effect, but alas, its base was in fact totally practical.

The scene was shot using an old-school filmmaking technique called "dry-for-wet," where Sally Hawkins and various props in the scene were actually suspended in the air by monofilament wires, with murky lighting used to replicate the ambiance of actual water.

Though VFX touch-ups were employed to make Hawkins' hair look wavy, add a watery texture to the scene, and include more floating props, the bulk of the scene was incredibly pulled off in-camera.

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