Ever wonder how some of those silent films from the early 1900s achieved some of their special effects? If so, then look no further than this segment by movie blogger Pedro Cinemaxunga, who has compiled numerous of these segments and broke them down. First up, we have “Safety Last! (1923)”, in which the image of Harold Lloyd clutching the hands of a large clock as he dangles from the outside of a skyscraper above moving traffic is the most well known. Read more for the video and additional information.
These films did not have computers or green screen sets at their disposal, so they had to get creative with the camera itself, along with a few custom sets. The clock set you see in “Safety Last!” was built atop the 9-story building at 908 S. Broadway, straight across from the Blackstone Building. As you can see, Harold was in no danger at all during the filming of the scene, thanks to creative camera angles and a custom set.
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How some cool silent film effects were done. In Silent movies, effects had to be done in camera. Enjoy these amazing feats of engineering,” said Pedro.