The producers of the film recruited the Red Bull Skydiving Team for a particularly hairy sequence of the film where the flight crew of Air Force One fall from the plane in mid-flight and Ironman has to rescue them. Great sequence. There is a fun behind the scenes featurette on this on the Blu-Ray version of the movie. The filmmaker’s started calling this the “Barrel of Monkeys” sequence.
Those portraying the civilians jumped wearing business attire with parachutes beneath their costumes. “You meet them on Air Force One, and a couple of them even have dialog to establish the secondary characters and their faces,” explained Digital Domain’s VFX supervisor Erik Nash. “Then instead of stunt doubles, they are the people who you were introduced to onboard the plane.”
To shoot the sequence, the team — including the proxy for Iron Man, who wore a red and gold jumpsuit — jumped from about 12,000 feet (“about as high as they can jump without oxygen”) and did seven to eight jumps per day for six days, at different times of day and in different lighting conditions in North Carolina. The conclusion of the shot — as they slow down — was done on wires, again requiring meticulous work. “All 14 of the stunt people were hanging on wires, so the photography looked like a marionette show,” Nash said. “We had to get rid of the wires in post production via digital effects, and a lot of wires crossed over other performers. It was very time-consuming work.”
Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB page or Website):
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