Behind-The-Scenes Photos Of Famous Miniature Movie Sets
Movie magic has been captivating crowds over the decades and, of course, it has been a substantial part of our lives. Thousands of different worlds were on display in the big screen. Art Directors, Cinematographers, Carpenters, Set Designers, all working together to create a fantastic experience. Imagination has no limits.
For most of us who grew up going to the movies, seeing how those amazing sets actually looked behind the scenes is a bit of a let down, but still, something quite interesting to see.We invite you to go through this gallery and enjoy it. Some of the things we are showing here are mindblowing.
The Nostromo - Alien
Do you remember how amazing was to see that giant spaceship, property of Weyland Yutani Corporation? I still remember Sigourney Weaver running around that place escaping from the, then, unknown Alien.
The blown up White House
There was a movie about an alien invasion that ruled the 1990s, and that certainly was Independence Day. No one remembers much about ir, just the White House blowing up and Will Smith smacking an ET with his own fist.
Several models of the Titanic, lifeboats, and ships were created, along with a real size replica of the Ship of Dreams itself, to take that epic tragedy of 1912 to the big screen. And yes, Rose, THERE WERE ENOUGH ROOM for both of you on that floating door.
Ben - Hur
This is Albert Arnold "Buddy" Gillespie he was an American cinema special effects artist who won three Academy Awards (of thirteen nominations) along his very extensive career in MGM Studios. He worked with talents such as Victor Fleming and William Wyler.
Well, it seems you don´t have move your whole cast and crew to Siberia if you want to shoot a James Bond 007 Movie. Trust me, it is not necessary.
The Lord of The Rings
It took Frodo and Sam three entire movies to carry that damned ring across the Middle Earth. It doesn't look that big from this perspective. Perhaps it is still too big for a Hobbit.
From this angle that giant nuclear induced mutant lizard doesn't seem too terrifying. But, really, let's be honest, don´t you just die for a suit like that, I certainly do!
Another Monster Movie, just like Godzilla, Rodan started with a movie of her own in 1956, Then it was included in the Godzilla franchise. Where she had to beat the famous monster destroying half of the city.
The Lost World
In The Lost World, (not the Steven Spielberg one) a dinosaur attacked the city of London. Made in 1925 it was the first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam.
Made in 1927, Metropolis was the first ever long running sci fi movie. For many years, a great segment of this film was lost, until a complete copy was discovered in the vaults of a coleccionista in Buenos Aires.
In this picture we see a mini B52 bomber from World War I approaching a camera for his debut in a 1950s Hollywood Movie. Sadly, we are not sure which one. If you know the answer, please comment!
Here we can see a Barbie Doll sized Fancy Resort about to get hit by a tsunami for the 2012 disaster drama The Impossible, starring Tom Holland, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
Mighty Joe Young
Though Iñm sure you swear this is a behind the scenes shot of a King Kong movie, Iñmm sorry to tell you are mistaken. The man in the picture is Pete Peterson, Animator of Mighty Joe Young, a movie from 1952.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Yes, this is no other than Bill Murray taking a cat nap on the mini set of Fantastic Mr. Fox star studded 2009 stop motion animated movie. Other memnbers of the cast were Wes Anderson, George Clooney and Meryl Streep,
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Some may say that the Grand Budapest Hotel does not look that grand in real life. If you remember this crazy movie following the adventures of Gustave H, the concierge, you will find this image quite amusing.
Another magnificent stop motion animated movie, Coraline, based on a Neil Gaiman's novel. (creator of American Gods and the Sandman Saga) In the picture, Animator Chris Tootell is setting up a scene.
A new scene is about to be shot for the Star Trek Universe. Are there any Trekkers reading this? Can you name which planet surface is this? Please comment, we have no idea.
Though it was made in 1982, Blade Runner story takes place in 2019, we are almost there. Let's all pray the City of Los Angeles won't shrink that much in real life.
What a magnificent glimpse of gotham city! Even though we now see it was all a lie, it still looks fantastic. Add a young Michelle Pfeiffer on a rubber catsuit and you have a masterpiece.
Here is The Mighty One, George Lucas, setting up a Star Destroyer for a little movie called Star Wars. That was before CGI took over the saga, and we all have an opinion about that.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
When stop motion animated movies are made, amazing artists are involved. In Night Before Christmas, one of the most acclaimed pictures of this genre, Director Henry Selick assured himself to work with the greatest talents available.
Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom
Do you remember that awesome cart chase in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom? Now you see how it actually looked like in real life. Anyways, what a fantastic movie!
Return of the Jedi
Another remarkable Star Wars moment to share. I am sure we all remember this scene when that giant AT ST goes after our heroes through the woods. Ah, the good memories!
The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad
No, my friend, not everything Dragon related is Game of Thrones related. Back in 1958 dragons were all over The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad, the first of three movies about this fantasy sailor.
Back To The Future Part III
For the third entry in the Back To The Future Saga, we saw how our favorite heroes had to place the Delorean in front of a Steam locomotive to get her in the right speed to come back where? TO THE FUTURE, duh!
Have you ever wondered how it would be to get a visit Hogwarts? Well, thank Universal Studios for their themed parks, because the real thing would have been a little disappointing.
Harry Potter II
Another sight from the set of the Harry Potter movies (how many of them were? fifteen?) This one looks fantastic, it doesn't matter how big it is, there must be a spell to fit inside it.
Steven Spielberg got us all at the edge of our seats with the story of sweet Carol Anna being kidnapped by evil spirits from an Indian burial ground. Her house was built onto them, who would have thought?
Visually mind blowing, this crazy Christopher Nolan Sci Fi movie took advantage of tons of CGI. But for this scene, the Director requested his crew to build a scale model of the mountain hospital to blow up.
Yes, that is him, the lovely Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man walking through the streets of New York. This whole Central Park set was created for the long shots. It had several crazy features such as remote controlled miniature cars.
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Usually miniature sets are made to look like a real-world location, once you get them, you can blow them up, crash them or, in the case of this movie, create a post apocalypse view of Sydney, Australia.
Escape from New York
John Carpenter was not allowed to film his dark action flick in Manhattan, so he had to take Production to St. Louis and get his crew to build his own Big Apple.
King Kong was filmed in 1933 and the way its special effects look were a breakthrough for the time. Even now some scenes look genius. Most of the movie was shot from miniature sets.
The Lord of the Rings
Here´s a more detail picture of the miniature settings used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Though plenty of CGI was used to represent Middle Earth in the movies, amazing scale models were built.
We showed you Gotham City before but this one is the real deal. Tim Burton's first attempt to bring a cinematic Gotham was a huge success. He alternated from set studios to ridiculously detailed miniatures to bring Batman's neighbourhood to the screen.
Superman was filmed in 1978 and we had Christopher Reeve flying around Metropolis most of it. Several breakthrough special effects (like in the flying scenes where they had a camera rolling in high speed through this scale city) were achieved.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
In this picture we see director Steven Spielberg planning his next shot on the mini set of his first Indiana Jones movie already knowing how much of a huge hit it would become.
Paranorman is another (Yes, another) stop motion animated film we wanted to share with you in this article. A huge miniature neighbourhood was created from scratch to make this zombie tale come alive
The Lord of the Rings (again)
It gives me chills just to remember how awesomely terrifying the Tower of Sauron looked in the Lord of the Rings movies. Ah that giant eye of fire! From this perspective… not so much.
The Fifth Element
I remember being totally amazed by the visuals of this film. C´mon! We had Bruce Willis on a Die Hard attitude driving a flying taxi with Milla Jovovich on the right seat!
From 2006. This might have been one of the most forgettable superhero movies (don't get me started on the whole Dawn of Justice - Martha thing) but the sets were certainly beautiful.
The Dark Knight
This image broke my heart. That fantastic truck from The Dark Knight ended up being a toy truck, well not much of a toy truck but you know what I mean.
We have seen another Titanic photo on this article, but this particular one is of the model they built especially for the ship splitting scene, Isn't it great?
King Kong II
Another photo of the 1933 film King Kong. As we told you before, several miniatures sets were made for this movie, including the mountain cliff above and a few New York City landmarks.
I know, ANOTHER Titanic photo, but look how cute James Cameron and his dream team crew look posing in front of this Titanic replica. Visuals were so good in this film, it could fool anyome to think they actually had a real ship..
This fantastic set belongs to the first Alien Movie of the franchise. Those are the grounds of that mysterious planet where Ripley's crew end up landing on. You know from this point on, everything is going down.
The magnificent Enterprise, it had several models through the years but here in this photo you see the original one. We found this picture on the web and wept a little.
King Kong Versus Godzilla
When King Kong and Godzilla finally got their epic Monster to Monster moment in movie pictures, a whole city had to be built from scratch so they could destroy it.
In this picture we see actor Jack Nicholson in the set of The Shining, posing in front of the labyrinth replica they used to shot the snowy scenes for this Stanley Kubrick horror classic
Back to the Future III
That crazy Doc Emmett Brown´s flying locomotive on the final scene of the Back to the Future Trilogy got us daydreaming for decades. Here we see how she really looked like. Awesome!
St Peter's Basilica
Scale models in movies are usually build so the cinematographers could get amazing shots that were, until now, impossible to take (now we have drones technology and Imax cameras that could fly everywhere).