g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Folklore and Mythology
Women's Fashion
Holiday/Seasonal Cooking
Hiking & Backpacking
New Age
Weight Loss

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Classic Film Site

BellaOnline's Classic Film Editor


Epic Special Effects

Guest Author - Amber Grey

In 1923, Demille made a silent adaptation of "The Ten Commandments" which like its successor, Demille's silent was epic for its age. It starred legendary actors and actresses of the silent eras as well as boasted special effects techniques that dazzled the film industry.

As if Demille couldn't outperform his first film, he did with his 1956 adaptation. Cecil B. Demille's epic adaptation "The Ten Commandments" (1956) has become one of the staple films in the celebration of Easter. Starring Charlton Heston as Moses, along with a cast that includes Anne Baxter, Yvonne De Carlo, and Yul Brynner, "The Ten Commandments" tells the life story of the famous biblical figure Moses.

One of the most iconic scenes in the film as well as in film history is when Moses parts the Red Seas. Keeping in mind that this sequence was made before CGI existed and looks real if not more real than if it was done by a computer.

The grand illusion of the Red Seas parting in the film was created by filming the dumping of 300,000 gallons of water into a tank. Then the film was played in reverse and added to the background of the action in the sequence like a moving matte painting. However, the walls of water that showed the Egyptian soldiers being swallowed by the sea, was created by constantly dumping water into basins. The foaming of the water was manipulated and used sideways in post-production. Like Demille's 1923 silent in which he used jello to part the Red Seas, a gelatin was added to the water in order to give a "sea green" color. The "catch basin" used in the film reportedly still exists on the Paramount lot and is still used for water scenes.

According to Heston, it may have just been God's will speaking through him to part the Red Seas, as he made in this tongue-in-cheek statement, "Whenever people talk about The Ten Commandments, they go on and on about the impressive "special effects." So let me take this opportunity to set the record straight: I performed all my own miracles in that picture, so if you're going to praise someone, it should be me."

When the film was released with a budget of $13 million, it grossed over $65 million domestically. It was also not surprising when the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, all technical awards including "Best Cinematography" and "Best Film Editing." The film won its nomination for "Best Special Effects." Unfortunately, "The Ten Commandments" would be Demille's last film.

Today, beyond breaking box office records, winning an Oscar and other prestigous titles, "The Ten Commandments" (1956) enveloped everything that Demille's work was as a cinematic visionary who will never be forgotten.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Epic+Special+Effects to Twitter Add Epic+Special+Effects to Facebook Add Epic+Special+Effects to MySpace Add Epic+Special+Effects to Del.icio.us Digg Epic+Special+Effects Add Epic+Special+Effects to Yahoo My Web Add Epic+Special+Effects to Google Bookmarks Add Epic+Special+Effects to Stumbleupon Add Epic+Special+Effects to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Classic Film Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Amber Grey. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Amber Grey. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor