One of the biggest hurdles for Hollywood’s stunt actors is to make flight secure and convincing. Since George Reeves portrayed Superman in the 1950s, films and television shows have employed an innumerable array of pans, wires, and other rigs that raise actors to a height.
The most effective tools are based on the flying shown on screen. A breakthrough occurred in 1978’s “Superman” when an expert in visual effects found how to control the camera so that Christopher Reeve would appear to be flying, even when the actor was lying flat. Nowadays, similar tricks and wires remain in use. But digital doubles can allow even some of the riskiest flying maneuvers to be feasible, and flying maneuvers are programmable into a robotic arm like in “Black Widow.” Elizabeth Olsen’s stunt double CC Ice told us about the numerous ways Marvel’s “Avengers Infinity War” and “WandaVision” created Wanda Maximoff fly.