10 Movie Scenes With Hidden Tricks You Totally Missed

Movie magic you never noticed!

The Matrix
Warner bros.

A magician never reveals their tricks! So it's a good thing that "movie magic" doesn't count then.

If you've clicked here it's probably because you've a curiosity for how things are put together in movies, be that on the set itself or in post-production. Practical effects, digital effects and whatever else: sometimes, if it's done well enough, you might not even know something was done at all.

But that in itself is something to boast about and something for us movie fans to celebrate.

We want to know the crazy stories and the impressive feats of filmmaking wonder that brought our favourite films and their greatest scenes to life! Whether it's something that is obviously impressive from the outset or something so subtle that it passed us by, if we're lost in the moment we won't question it. It's only afterwards that our brains start wiring and you need to know:

"How did they manage to do that?"

The movie scenes on this list used all kinds of clever tricky to get the right effect across and most of us didn't even realise it at the time.

10. Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark - The Ark’s Shadow

The Matrix

There’s a gag in an episode of The Simpsons about painting horses to look like cows because they look more like cows on film than actual cows do. It’s a great joke that gets even funnier when you hear about behind the scenes stories that kind of agree with this philosophy.

Steven Spielberg’s directing and Douglas Slowcombe’s cinematography work on Indiana Jones make use of a lot of silhouettes and shadows to incredibly memorable effect. This includes lighting locations, characters and props. One particularly well-shot sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark is when Indy and Sallah locate The Ark and, hoping to get away with it before they're discovered by the Nazis, carefully attempt to move it out of its temple.

Instead of using the intricately designed prop itself, in order to better retain its silhouette, actors Harrison Ford and John Rhys-Davies instead moved… a cardboard cut-out. And, because they were professionals, they acted like the thing was heavy even though they were just moving paper by holding onto cardboard struts.

It helped to show and frame the shape of The Ark, providing a much clearer silhouette for the camera and thus the audience as opposed to the big, bulky chest itself.


Painting pictures with words and writing articles with wax crayons. Resident Evil obsessed. They/them.