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Special Effects Trivia Quiz

How knowledgeable is your special effects expertise? Try answering these questions. Each involves a scene shown in the IMAX film Special Effects, produced by NOVA/WGBH Boston.

1. What special effects technique allowed Moses to lead the Israelites through the parted waters of the Red Sea in the 1923 version of The Ten Commandments?

  1. Glass walls.
  2. Animation.
  3. A bisected slab of JELL-O
  4. All of the above.

2. In the 1933 version of King Kong, close- ups of the giant ape show rippling motions in his fur. What is the reason for this?

  1. The film was shot in a drafty studio.
  2. Special effects artists went to great pains to reproduce fine muscle movements.
  3. The ripples are caused by human fingerprints.
  4. Static electricity is responsible for the "hair-raising" effect.

3. In 1939 the Academy Awardsreg. established "Best Achievement in Visual Effects" as a regular category. Which of these nominees garnered the Oscar that year?

  1. Gone With the Wind, in which Atlanta goes up in flames.
  2. The Rains Came, a love story in India punctuated by a series of natural disasters.
  3. Union Pacific, about the building of the transcontinental railroad impeded by spectacular train wrecks.
  4. The Wizard of Oz, featuring a tornado, an emerald city, flying monkeys and a melting witch.

4. In The Wizard of Oz, what special effects technique was used to create the tornado that whisks Dorothy and Toto to the Land of Oz?

  1. Footage of an actual tornado projected onto a screen.
  2. A silk stocking twisted by a blowing fan.
  3. A 30-foot long burlap sack suspended from a truck running on an overhead track.
  4. All of the above.

5. What space movie includes a sneaker as a substitute for a rocket ship?

  1. Forbidden Planet.
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  3. Return of the Jedi.
  4. Apollo 13.

6. At the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-1000 cyborg is destroyed in a vat of molten steel. What technique was used to show this sizzling denouement?

  1. Robotics.
  2. Stop motion puppetry.
  3. Computer animation.
  4. All of the above.

7. What up-and-coming star gets 40 seconds of screen time in The Abyss, 6 1/2 minutes in Jurassic Park, 40 minutes in Casper and 77 minutes in Toy Story?

  1. Tom Hanks.
  2. Tim Allen.
  3. Tyrannosaurus rex.
  4. "CGI."


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