How’d They Do That?

How’d They Do That? is a monthly column in which Meg Shields unpacks moments of movie magic and celebrates the technical wizards who pulled them off.

If you’re new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these entries:

Explore the entire How’d They Do That? archive below

A Brief, Bloody History of How Gunshot Squibs Work

Small, but mighty: here's everything you've ever wanted to know about squibs. Read More

How They Shot the Plane Zip-Line Stunt in ‘Cliffhanger’

We've heard of tight flight connections but this is just ridiculous. Read More

How They Shot The Melting Effects in ‘The Devil’s Rain’

The weather's calling for a 100% chance of ... the Devil's Rain! Read More

In the Belly of the Beast: How They Shot ‘Das Boot’

"Mildew is good for you. It's the next best thing to fresh lettuce. Be thankful for what grows down here." Read More

How They Shot That Transformation Scene in ‘Sh! The Octopus’

From a harmless old woman to a gnarled, blotchy sea hag in the blink of an eye! Read More

From Painted Glass to Green Screens: The Jeopardy Shot Explained

Let's talk about the glass shot. (No, not the kind you pour tequila into). Read More