Chemistry is everywhere, even in the movies. Look behind the scenes with the resources below to see how science rather than “magic” produces spectacular effects.
- Celebrating Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with Chemistry (English)
Celebrating Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with Chemistry (Spanish)
It’s glass. Or is it? Make it, shatter it, and decide for yourself, plus other activities.
- Visual Effects: Seeing Is Believing
Watch scenes, then analyze their special effects.
- Movie Special Effects
Jump to the Chapter Challenge. Whip up a script for a single scene, then decide how to connect your chemistry.
- Timeline of Special Effects Achievements
Travel through time and see how special effects have changed over the years.
- Shakespearean Special Effects
How did theaters awe their audiences with special effects hundreds of years ago?
- Special Effects Technology
Movie makeup artists. The changing lenses of 3-D glasses. A recycled scream. Learn the how and why.
- Smoke and Fog
Get it straight from people who use the effects to create their vision, with this article from a publication for cinematographers.
- Science Behind Hollywood’s Spooky Special Effects
Movie effects can do double duty—put them to work for Halloween.
- Special Effects Artist
Combine chemistry with many other areas to make a career out of effects and illusions.
- Movie Magician
The work of these special effects masters appears magical, but has its roots in science.
- How Smoke Machines Work
Want to add a misty haze to your scene? You’ve got options.
- Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
Scientists take a stand against inaccurate science in the movies.
- Five Things You Didn’t Know About Movie Pyrotechnics
These special effects are a blast!
- 10 Films Every Special Effects Makeup Artist Should See
From classics to prosthetics to straight-up gore, these movies showcase an artist’s art.
- The Tin Man’s Toxic Metal Makeup
A chemical choice made a Wizard of Oz actor dangerously sick.
- 5 Most Explosive Moments in 'Breaking Bad,' Explained
Sample science highlights from a book that examines Walter White’s fictional work.
(all sites accessed September 2021)