10 Genius Movie Tricks You Totally Take For Granted

These shots all employed secret filmmaking genius.

Inception trick
Warner Bros. Pictures

Arthur C. Clarke once famously said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and that's basically what filmmaking is at its highest level - a glorious fusion of science and artistry to create a perfect illusion for the audience to accept without question.

And while it's absolutely the dream of many filmmakers and craftsfolk for their hard work to be as "invisible" as possible, the flip-side of this is that all the blood, sweat, and tears can end up being taken completely for granted by viewers.

And that was evidently the case with these 10 movie shots, each of which only came to fruition courtesy of some truly next-level, genius-tier skill, and yet were largely subtle enough that your average moviegoer might not appreciate even a fraction of the effort involved.

But these images all represent Hollywood at its most fiendishly, brilliantly creative, the filmmakers using the resources at their disposal to execute an on-screen sleight of hand which still endures potentially many decades later.

While CGI can do many great things, most of these shots are a testament to the ingenuity of practical trickery above all else...

10. Kermit Being Puppeteered While Riding A Bike - The Muppet Movie

Inception trick
Associated Film Distribution

If you first saw The Muppet Movie as a kid, you probably never even stopped to consider how the hell the filmmakers managed to have Kermit (Jim Henson) ride a bicycle in a wide shot at the start of the movie with his full body visible yet no obvious puppetry in the shot.

You simply accepted the movie magic, right?

But with the critical mind of an adult, the shot is even more impressive, given how few "tells" there are for how the crew executed it.

In actual fact, the Kermit puppet was posed on the bike with its hands and feet attached to the pedals and handlebars, while it was controlled from above by a massive crane rig, with invisible wires connected from the bike to the crane.

Basically, the bike was "puppeteered" from above, but as a hilarious series of outtakes show, it was far from easy to achieve a convincing impression that Kermit was indeed riding the bike.

And beyond that, shooting had to be stopped periodically due to the sun, which cast harsh shadows of the crew on the ground.

Pay close attention to the completed sequence in the film and you'll notice that most of the wide shots of Kermit occur with overcast weather, despite the rest of the scene taking place in bright sunshine.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.