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Behind The Scenes of the Scariest Movie Ever Made

By Anthony Thurston on October 31st 2013

40 years ago moviegoers were treated to The Exorcist, a film that would go on to be what many say is one of – if not the – scariest movies of all time. The technology has changed a lot since then, cameras are smaller, lighting is better, effects are better, yet this movie still manages to hold its own against many of today’s newer horror films.

Being as today is all hallows eve, aka Halloween, lets take a look back at this iconic horror film and go behind the scenes. Who knows, maybe we can even learn some techniques used in the film and apply them to our photography or filmmaking in today’s world.

The very first thing that they talk about in the video above is the testing that they did to get the makeup and lighting right on Regan (Linda Blair). This was not just a “throw on some makeup” and we can mess with the lighting kind of test, these guys were there for hours upon hours for days trying to find the right balance of makeup and light to give regan that signature possessed look that the movie is known for.

exorcist 04 Exorcist08 makeupclose The-Exorcist-friedkin-blair-616x436

In this next behind the scenes video, which actually runs quite a while, we see a lot more of the technical and lighting side to the filming. We can see those huge panavision cameras and some giant scrims used to evenly light a room within the first few frames. Nothing groundbreaking in that regard, and probably nothing that you didn’t know.

[rewind: Horror Lighting Tutorial]



Its a far cry from what is used in film production these days. Heck I would venture to say that lots of indie groups have better technology available to them than this big budget did back int eh day. So next time you find yourself whining about what gear you have or don’t have just remember what these people made with inferior tech and get back to work.

Have a great Halloween everyone!

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting

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