Movie magic. Hollywood illusion. Technical wizardry to bewilder, bamboozle and delight the audience. Special effects. Or VFX. Or just FX. Today, almost anything is possible as long as you have enough money, enough processing power and a talented enough individual pushing the mouse. You will believe a man can fly, a starship can swoop, an entire island can sink into the sea due to a volcanic explosion.

Yet it wasn’t always this way. Indeed, for those of us of a certain age, we remember a time before CGI. When VFX were created by models and miniatures, or painstaking layering of plates. By inserting animation, or by using scaled foreground paintings. The craft has come a long way and the digital revolution is not always for the better, to old farts like us.

Maybe, historically, this wasn’t such a great moment after all?

But over time, what was the best? What was the greatest achievement, in terms of the finished article, in the history of filmaking?

What is the greatest FX shot or sequence of all time?

What shot, or sequence, to this day still absolutely blows you away?

“It doesn’t even look like a real shark!”

Taking into account historical context, technical capability of the time and tools available to the artists, do any old school shots stand as greater achievements than more recent efforts? Where does the parting of the Red Sea sit in the pantheon of all time greatest spectacles?

“And lo, after being expelled from AICN, they did wander the internet for 40 days and 40 nights…”

Or is Superman’s first flight from 1979 still your go to joyful moment? The first sight of the dinosaur in Jurassic Park? The attack of the giant squid from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea? Or are you a Millennial who thinks the White House destruction in Independence Day will never be beaten?

So which is it? Have at it, glorious Outposters! Cry havoc, and unleash the dogs of good natured debate on the internet!


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