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The Hardest Effect I Have Ever Pulled Off

December 13, 2018, 10:15 AM

For nearly as long as we’ve had motion pictures, we’ve had illusions to put in them — and they’ve never come easy. The year 1893 saw the first public viewing of a kinetoscope film, Blacksmith Scene, and just two years later, early filmmaker Alfred Clark executed what is commonly regarded as the first special effect. In a gruesome short about the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots, Clark stopped the film just as the blade was about to chop off Mary’s head, instructed the actors to freeze...

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