Tech Breakthroughs in Film: From House of Wax to Gravity

Director Alfonso Cuarón used cutting edge technology for Gravity's visual effects. Here are TIME's other favorite film innovations

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Before Gravity, no one had attempted to make an entire movie in simulated microgravity. Among the 3-D thriller’s technological feats was a nine-foot cube for the actors, rigged with 1.8 million individually controllable LED bulbs.

While the actors remained upright, the lighting design replicated in stunningly realistic detail the motion of a person floating — or falling — in space.

But Gravity is just the latest in a long line of films that have pioneered new technology. Here are some of TIME’s favorite tech breakthroughs in cinema.

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