A blast from the past with Ghostbusters

12 September 2022
A look at how the ghosts were brought to life in Ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the third film from the original Ghostbusters franchise. It takes place more than 30 years after the original movie and its sequel. The world of movies has evolved a lot in the past three decades, so let’s look at how they pulled off a few of those ghostly scenes all the way back in 1984 with the original movie.

The '80s had big hair, fast cars, and great music, but CGI was not what it is today. The visual effects crew made use of practical effects using puppets and animatronics for many of the ghost scenes. The ghosts had to be convincing. This was achieved with the innovative use of hair and make-up and by attaching cables to the ghosts to control movements.

Remember this ghostly librarian? She was made by taking a mold cast of the entire body of the actress playing the role and creating an animatronic double. The animatronic was then rigged with cables to control every set of movements.

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The beloved greedy ghost Slimer had one hell of an appetite for food and scares. He was a puppet made from foam latex and was controlled by puppeteer Mark Wilson. Wilson wore a black suit underneath the puppet and did the body movements for Slimer, and the facial expressions were controlled by strings.  

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The giant Marshmallow Man was also a huge puppet suit worn by another puppeteer, Billy Bryan. The suit was said to have cost around $30 000! The team used toy cars for the terrorising street scene to make Marshmallow Man look like an actual giant in comparison to the cars. Pretty cool hey!

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Of course, all these methods also relied on clever camera tricks and animations to finally put it all together. And as for the slime... it was real! It was made with a concoction of different fluids and the actors actually did get slimed in the scenes.

Something's strange in the neighborhood this Sunday! Watch as original cast members Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson return with Ghostbusters: Afterlife on M-Net 101.