Creating the perfect illusion takes imagination, creativity, and an understanding of the science of perception. Special Effects shows the pyrotechnics and digital dazzle of special effects, and reveals the perceptual sleight-of-hand of cinematic spectacles.
The movie follows the filmmakers of Industrial Light & Magic at work on Lucasfilm Ltd.’s Special Edition of Star Wars and TriStar Pictures’ fantasy adventure Jumanji. Other highlights include special effects from these two movies that are re-created for the IMAX cameras, as well as an inside look at Twentieth Century Fox’s sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day.
Length: 40:00

Film Details

  • Year Released: 1996
  • Date Released:
    July 1996
  • Alternate Titles: Special Effects: Anything Can Happen
  • Status: Inactive
  • 3D: No
  • Run Time: 31-50
  • Formats: 8/70, 15/70
  • Distributor:

    IMAX Corporation

  • Produced By:
  • Executive Producer: Paula Apsell
  • Producer: Laurel Ladevich (co-producer), Susanne Simpson
  • Director:  Ben Burtt
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer:  Ben Burtt, Tom Friedman, Susanne Simpson
  • Cinematography: Reed Smoot, Jack Tankard
  • Sound Editor: 
  • Visual Effects: Industrial Light and Magic
  • Music/Score:  Christopher Stone
  • Editor: Ben Burtt
  • Narrator: John Lithgow
  • Other Credits:
  • Sponsors:


  • Documentary
  • Technology



  • Nominated for Best Documentary–Short Subject Academy Award, 1996.

Film Facts