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Miscellaneous > Ghostbusters Behind The Scenes

Here you will see pictures of the crew making the film, concept drawings of some of the scenes and characters, and much more - all to give you an insight as to how the film was made.

Production designer John DeCuir examines a foam core mockup of the firehall -- an existing structure to which he would be adding the enclosed office area at the rear as well as other modifications and refinements. Such mockups were invariably useful in establishing a three-dimensional feel for the sets -- before costly construction or renovation was initiated -- and often proved useful to Ivan Reitman for blocking action and determining camera angles.

The arms were worn as glove appliances by three puppeteers who positioned themselves beneath the chair or otherwise out of camera range. For a close-up as the chair pivots about prior to sliding into the kitchen, both camera and chair -- with arms removed for easier access by the puppeteers -- were mounted on a manually operated rotating platform. The shot, which showed the room whirling behind Dana, was ultimately cut in favor of an overhead view.

A ghostly sketch.

Sigourney Weaver meets her cinematic alter ego during a visit to Entertainment Effects Group.

A portion of Central Park West and the adjacent park was constructed in miniature. Cables operating the marshmallow man's facial expressions ran down through a slit in the elevated set to a trolley underneath -- manned by four puppeteers.  Cars were either radio-controlled or pulled on wires, and the footage was shot at three times normal speed to enhance the Stay-Puft man's apparent sense of mass.

Joe Day applies "ectoslime" to Bill Murray.  In reality, the gooey substance was derived from methylcellulose ether -- a powdered thickening agent used in pharmaceuticals and food products.

Bill Byant in the Stay-Puft suit, as stagehands prepare for a bluescreen traveling matte shot of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man's grand entrance.

Early brainstorming had the Stay-Puft marshmallow man as but an intermediate form which Gozer assumes on its way to becoming something truly monstrous, both in size and appearance. Berni Wrightson's exploration of this theme was both surreal and terrifying.

TOP: A Matthew Yuricich matte painting of the Firehouse.
BOTTOM: The matte painting as seen composited into the final film.
Notice the neighboring building with the Stay Puft Marshmallows billboard. In very small writing, it says "stays puft, even when toasted" - a catch phrase from one of Dan Aykroyd's earlier script drafts.

TOP: A Matthew Yuricich matte painting of the Shandor building.
BOTTOM: The matte painting as seen composited into the final film.


The Library Ghost

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Ruth Oliver's Scream Test -- Quiet!
(source: Criterion Collection laserdisc)

Last minute adjustments are made to the final version of the library ghost mechanical figure prior to its photography.

Actress Ruth Oliver in makeup as the library ghost in its initial quasi-human form. Since only a semi-transparent torso was required, her scenes were photographed on a stage at Richard Edlund's Entertainment Effects Group facility, then combined with live-action footage from the library.


The Dream Ghost

Kym Herrin as the dream ghost.




Early Logo Concepts

The Ghostbusters special effects have been discussed many times on many different programs. Here are clips from a few of them. If you've never seen the 1990 Movie Magic VHS, you can view the box art here.

Movie Magic (1990)
Movie Magic (1996)
Explosion (1996?)


Movie Magic - tv show (1996)
Movie Magic Home Video (1990)
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Movie Magic TV Show (1996)
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Get Slimed: The Making of the Classic Animatronic Character is a 15-minute interview with Steve Johnson, the original designer of Onionhead (later known as Slimer) for the film Ghostbusters, in which he talks about how the classic character came into being. It was recorded in early 2009 and the original 2009 cut was put onto a DVD included with the Slimer "collectible figurine" statue. The new 2010 cut of the interview was released onto DVD by EonEntertainment, and also includes over 200 photos and over 40 minutes of raw behind-the-scenes video pulled from Steve's archives. You can read my review of that DVD, and find links to where you can buy it, in this blog post. Below are some stills from the raw video footage, followed by some of the still photos. What is shown below is only a small sample of what can be found on the DVD.

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