"They also created 8mm and 35mm versions, the first of which was capable of speeds up to 18,000fps"
I find the claim that it is possible to capture many thousands of images in one second to be incredible, but whatever the actual frame rate is, the fact is that high speed film has existed for a long time and this is a key element needed in order to craft believable Hollywood style illusions.
Late 20th Century Film Effects:
High-Speed Photography "Fastax-tion" circa 1965 3M; Super Slow-motion Cameras source: Jeff Quitney
High Speed Film in The Mid 1960s
"Back in 1948, The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers defined high-speed photography as any 3 frames or more captured at a rate at or above 128 frames per second, but even back then high-speed cameras performed well past that mark.
The public domain video above gives us a short peek at how far high-speed photography tech had advanced by the mid-1960s, when Wollensak’s Fastax models were some of the foremost high-speed cameras on the market, capturing action at speeds of up to 18,000fps.
The original Fastax camera was developed by Bell Labs and maxed out at 5,000fps. Bell wanted something faster than the popular Kodak model at the time — which could only pull 1,000fps — and when Kodak refused to develop it, Bell made it themselves."
"Eventually the Fastax design was sold to Wester Electric, who then sold it to Wollensak Optical Company, who finally saw fit to improve the design and speed up the camera further. They took the 16mm version from 5,000fps to 10,000fps.
They also created 8mm and 35mm versions, the first of which was capable of speeds up to 18,000fps — it’s no wonder NASA took so long to give digital a try.
Check out the video at the top to learn more. In addition to seeing the Fastax models used in several different applications, you also get to see some Fastax footage of the inside of a Fastax (imagine that), which shows how the rotating prism design made these sorts of high-speed film cameras possible."
High Speed Photography & Miniature Effects
"A miniature effect is a special effect created for motion pictures and television programs using scale models. Scale models are often combined with high speed photography or matte shots to make gravitational and other effects appear convincing to the viewer. The use of miniatures has largely been superseded by computer-generated imagery in the contemporary cinema.
Where a miniature appears in the foreground of a shot, this is often very close to the camera lens — for example when matte painted backgrounds are used. Since the exposure is set to the object being filmed so the actors appear well lit, the miniature must be over-lit in order to balance the exposure and eliminate any depth of field differences that would otherwise be visible. This foreground miniature usage is referred to as forced perspective. Another form of miniature effect uses stop motion animation.
Use of scale models in the creation of visual effects by the entertainment industry dates back to the earliest days of cinema. Models and miniatures are copies of people, animals, buildings, settings and objects. Miniatures or models are used to represent things that do not really exist, or that are too expensive or difficult to film in reality, such as explosions, floods or fires."
20th Century Pre Digital Technology:
Film is of a higher resolution than the older NTSC and PAL based VHS broadcast signal which when actually broadcast was of a much lower quality than the people in the studio would have seen on their professional broadcast monitors. There's no magic involved in transferring film to video. Newly developed high quality film will be dust free and scratch free. Any film grain and other noise would be "erased" when the image was transferred from the higher quality film to the lower quality video.