There are some who wince at VFX breakdowns, taking the popular practice for an unnecessary see-how-the-sausage-is-made curtain pull. Considering how inundated with behind-the-scenes information we’ve become in the Internet era, this is as understandable as it is reasonable. Sometimes, “movie magic” is nothing to futz with in any way. Still: even when speaking as one who’s forced to read through much of this material and, in turn, sometimes becomes dulled to the spectacle, yours truly is a fan of these videos, having often found my appreciation for already-loved films grow. For those on my side of the aisle, one YouTube user (via refocusedmedia) has a real treasure trove.

When pored over carefully, it becomes evident that this collection represents many sides of the VFX process. While there are some (The Lone Ranger, Gravity, Pacific Rim) that so obviously required digital effects — some pictures even sold on the amazing power of what had been accomplished — others (The Wolf of Wall Street, Only God Forgives) will surprise even the most attentive of viewers. For myself it, again, comes down to appreciation: some instances show how far animators came in constructing worlds; others display the skill it takes to enhance a real-world location for the most specific of means.

Check out all 190 videos in the playlist below:

What do you think of these breakdowns? How do they affect your opinion of the films?

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