Inspired by this question which asks about Foley artists' sound production and techniques used in Star Trek.

Is this considered to be on-topic? Obviously including a wider scope such as special effects.

My personal opinion is that it is on topic, but I do worry that it could lead to lots of "These special effects are cool, how they do it?" questions.

I couldn't find any precedence for this. Is there any history of these questions?

  • @phantom42 After reading that question, while the title seems to be a duplicate idea, the ideas covered by that question in full are not covered here, where the question is chiefly 'are special effects "how did they do it" behind-the-scenes questions on-topic?'. In fact, special effects aren't mentioned at all in that question. Nor in the one answer given.
    – Zibbobz
    May 5, 2014 at 17:06
  • @Zibbobz In the question I linked? It was specifically about a question regarding how special effects were done for Iron Man.
    – phantom42
    May 5, 2014 at 17:08
  • @phantom42 Funny..I must've been focusing on the second half of the question and not the first half, or I would've noticed that right away. My apologies, you're completely correct. The problem is, the answer given doesn't address special effects, and neither does the question THAT question links to in its own answer, which leaves us stuck with no definitive answer to this question.
    – Zibbobz
    May 5, 2014 at 17:12
  • 1
    Actually, after looking at the COMMENTS of that question, I did actually find one question that directly addressed this here: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/619/…
    – Zibbobz
    May 5, 2014 at 17:14
  • 1
    @Zibbobz eh... Beofett starts off saying that the Iron Man question (which is about BTS special effects) is on topic. It has 7 upvotes, no downvotes and no expressed dissenting opinions of any sort. It's addressed as far as I'm concerned. YMMV, of course.
    – phantom42
    May 5, 2014 at 17:18
  • I asked what was used to generate the Jetson's flying car sound effect and it was immediately migrated over to Movies.SE May 5, 2014 at 19:26
  • 2
    @MajorStackings Ugh. You should have brought that to meta. I don't understand at all why that decision was made (apparently with zero community discussion).
    – Beofett
    May 5, 2014 at 19:50
  • Much like with the Iron Man question migration, movies.se may be a "better" venue (I don't know that I'd agree, but at least it's a valid discussion), but that doesn't make it off-topic here.
    – phantom42
    May 5, 2014 at 20:06
  • More on topic, as you can see from the other linked meta questions, we have had a few BTS "how did they do this" questions before, and it hasn't led to some huge rush of similar questions. I see no reason to expect that to suddenly change (aside from someone just wanting to prove me wrong).
    – phantom42
    May 5, 2014 at 20:08
  • @Beofett I was a relative nooby at the time. movies.stackexchange.com/questions/3758/… has several answers, but none of them are concrete. May 5, 2014 at 21:46
  • @MajorStackings I wonder how it would be taken if you asked again here... >_>
    – Izkata
    May 5, 2014 at 23:06
  • @Izkata I'm not sure that would be allowed, as it would be a double site post, unless an SE Mod reached out and pulled the question back to SF&F.SE from Movies.SE. May 7, 2014 at 0:20
  • @MajorStackings I'm pretty sure it can't be migrated back due to being so old, but cross-site questions are occasionally okay if there's actually a good reason for it. There's been one V for Vendetta and a few Once Upon a Time questions that exist on both these sites, too. Just don't copy it verbatim, and include some explanation, if you want to try
    – Izkata
    May 7, 2014 at 0:39
  • 1
    @Izkata I posted another Meta question. I'm hoping a Mod will show me the way.... May 7, 2014 at 0:43

1 Answer 1



These questions are on-topic!

"How they do that" when it comes to special effects, particularly science fiction special effects, are relevant, interesting, and can have some fascinating answers (at least in my opinion).

For example, "How did they make the effect for the transporters in Star Trek: TOS?" Answer:

The transporter special effect, before being done using computer animation, was created by turning a slow-motion camera upside down and photographing some backlit shiny grains of aluminium powder that were dropped between the camera and a black background Source: Wikipedia.

I see no reason why that would be off-topic, and it has been touched upon, if not directly addressed, in several other meta discussions:

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