Presentation video (2:15)

Today, it is difficult to imagine what cinema would be like without special effects. Action, science fiction, animation or comedy:  the most popular and successful movies rely largely on special effects. However, do we really know what goes on behind the scenes? What is hiding behind the magic of these great movies?

The exhibition introduces visitors to the stages of conception and creation of special effects in cinema. At the entrance, visitors obtain a QR wristband, which allows them to record themselves as they move through the interactive displays. The exhibition consists of 5 parts:

The office

How are special effects brainstormed? From pre-production to storyboarding, the preparatory work.

The set

How are special effects created? Green-screen compositing, motion capture, make-up, staging, animation, and tricks…

The studio

What happens after shooting? Landscape, crowds, explosions, digital doubles, and invisible effects…The possibilities of modifying images are endless!

The movie theater

Do special effects change the way the audience watches cinema? What role do they play today? What is the future of cinema screenings?


Using their QR wristbands, visitors create their own trailers with recordings made during their visit.


Exhibition designed in co-production with the CNC 

  • Become a mummy, fly on a dragon thanks to motion capture technology

  • Immerse yourself with sharks on a gigantic 12 m-long green bottom

  • Perform Kiriki-style acrobatics using the vertical diving technique

  • Appear and disappear with Méliès-style tricks

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Press coverage

"Special Effects" invites, to discover all the steps involved in making a film, in a high-level interactive experience." L'Humanité, Oct 2017.

"The Cité des Sciences in Paris invites you to take a behind-the-scenes look at film trickery and special effects. A world in constant evolution. In the exhibition, you can believe you're there." Ouest France, Nov 2017

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