Ant-Man was a solid addition to the Marvel cinematic universe. There was a great balance of action, comedy and more action. My son and I talked about the fight scenes the entire car ride home, describing how Ant-Man would go from big to small to big again while knocking the bad guys out. His favorite part was the use of the Thomas the tank engine as the backdrop for a big miniature fight.
If you ever wondered how the Ant-Man suit works, here’s the answer. The suit encapsulates the Pym Particle technology that allows a person to shrink down to the size of an ant. When the wearer wants to change size, he uses a button on the suit that regulates the Pym Particles, which run through the suit and helmet like an intricate system of veins. The particles are volatile and change the distance between atoms, so the suit and helmet serve as protection for the wearer. Although Ant-Man does not technically have super powers, when he shrinks down in the suit, he actually exceeds the strength of a normal person because energy and mass compacted create a more powerful force. •
Costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ and head suit designer Ivo Coveney, along with their talented team of artists, constructed 13 Ant-Man suits, 17 helmets, 17 belts, 8 pairs of gloves, 15 backpacks, 6 pairs of shoes, 15 balaclavas and 14 necklaces that go on the balaclava.
• The Ant-Man suit is made of leather and resembles a vintage motorcycle suit. It has a worn look and is battle-scarred to harken back to when Hank Pym was AntMan and wore the suit on missions.
• Each Ant-Man helmet has 54 different pieces to it as well as 10 LED lights. If you add in the nuts and bolts and the helmet lining, it’s over 60 individual components just for each helmet. • In each Ant-Man suit there are over 159 LED lights, which are controlled remotely. All the circuitry and batteries for the lights are in a very small backpack. The whole suit can light up, including the gloves and belt.
• In the movie, the villain’s heavily armored Yellowjacket suit can withstand bullets and has articulating arms that can shoot plasma rays, plus it incorporates sensors and infrared vision. Like the Ant-Man suit, the Yellowjacket suit has the shrinking technology built in.
• For the scaled-down Ant-Man sequences, the filmmakers used a combination of motion-picture macro photography, still macro photography, motion capture with the actors, motion capture with the stunt people, and for every set they built miniature sets, called macro sets. Macro photography is extreme close-up photography that produces photographs of small items larger than life-size.
When you watch Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” look closely at some of the set dressing in Hank Pym’s house. You’ll see a little chair or a tiny weapon or other miniature everyday items. There are items placed all around the house that hint at the adventures Pym had when he was Ant-Man and suggest the experiments that he made shrinking inorganic objects before he made the breakthrough to shrinking organic objects.
• The Basement set in the movie features a safe room where Pym conducts his experiments. It was built like a corrugated metal tube to resemble a bomb shelter and contains an old vault that secures the Ant-Man suit.
• The Basement set is also home to a vertical ant farm that the production design team created. It actually houses live ants that went happily about their daily tasks oblivious to the filming around them.
We can’t wait to see Ant-Man fighting in the future.
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