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Tesla coils in movies

Tesla coils has been used as a special effect in several movies and my thought was to make a more or less complete list of in which films they have appeared and who has been responsible for the effects.
I will update this page as I find new information. It's a constant work in progress.

  • The Sorcerers Apprentice
    Dave has his own little high voltage lab and in this we can see four Tesla coils. They appear in action two times. First when Dave listens to his would-be-girlfriends radio show. And later on he invites her and they listen to "the song" standing in a Faraday cage being struck by sparks from the coils. The coils are just props and the sparks are digitally composed (and synced with the music).
    Tesla effects by: ATTI(appliedteslatech.com)[information verified!]

  • The Prestige
    You can see Tesla coils in several scenes and also a lot of sparks. The coils themselves look quite cool and different but are only props. However the sparks are real but "sampled" from a real coil and photo composited into the movie using the program Discreet Logic.
    Tesla effects by: kVA Effects(teslacoil.com)[information verified!]

  • xXx
    In the disco scene sparks are emitting from several coil-like constructions. These constructions are also only props. The sparks are "motion captured" from a real coil(kVA modell SG10-TC) and digitally composited into the movie.
    Tesla effects by: kVA Effects(teslacoil.com)[information verified!]

  • Star Trek:The Movie
    All sparks seen around V'ger and the Enterprise crew are generated by a coil.
    Tesla effects by: Unknown...

  • The Entity
    In two places in the film you can see sparks created by a real coil. The first is where sparks are emanating from the fingers of one of the actors and the second scene is in the bedroom where sparks can be seen emanating from the ceiling. Yes! sparks are actually coming out of the fingers on the actor(and also his head which I think was not really intended). He is standing on a metal platform which is connected to a Tesla coil. If you look carefully you can see metal thimbles on the actors fingers. More information can be found on TTR's homepage.
    Tesla effects by: Bill Wysock(teslatechnologyresearch.com)[information verified!]

  • Terminator 2
    In the beginning of the film when T-800(Arnold) arrives from the future, sparks can be seen jumping from and around the trucks.
    Tesla effects by: The Artificial Lighting Company(Ed Angell/Mark Barton)

  • Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
    In the fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort sparks are coming from a little bit of everywhere. These sparks are also digitally composited into the movie from a real coil. Shot against a black cyclorama with duplicate wands.
    Tesla effects by: HVFX(hvfx.co.uk)[information verified!]

  • Sound Of Noise
    In the scene where a guy is playing his drums in a room a Tesla coil sparks in sync with what he's playing.
    Tesla effects by: SweFX(swefx.se/tesla.nu)[information verified!]

  • Die Another Day(James Bond)
    In the torture scene the sparks emanating from the electrodes are digitally compsited from a real coil.
    Tesla effects by: HVFX(hvfx.co.uk)[information verified!]

  • I Am Weasel, S3E12 - "I R Good Dog"
    As this is a cartoon it's a little bit beyond what I was planning with this list but it's so hilarious that I just have to have it here. Anyway, Weasel builds a Tesla coil out of the available materials in a park, some wood, some scrap metal and....a squirrel as a power source!!

  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
    John Lithgow connects some kind of electrical apparatus to his tongue in one scene. This is most likely digitally created sparks and not a Tesla coil. There are however a scene that pretty much looks like a mad scientists laboratory in which several Jacob's Ladders can be seen.

  • Coffee and Cigarettes
    Jack is having a discussion with Meg about his coil and Nikola Tesla. At the end of the scene he fires up the coil.
    Tesla effects by: Peter Kunz Co.(peterkunzeffects.com)[information verified!]

  • Frankenweenie
    We can see sparks emanating from the lid of a trash can hitting two light bulbs. A clever little trick here, using the lid as topload for the coil. Just my guess but it's definitely possible to do. The rest of the trash can must have been made of some non conducting material. I suspect that the lightning hitting the antenna on the roof is generated by a Tesla coil too, judging from the behaviour of the lightning.
    Tesla effects by: Peter Kunz Co.(peterkunzeffects.com)[information verified!]



1996-2017 SweFX,Matthias Andersson