How Iron Man 3's insane Air Force One was actually made.
The modern movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are synonymous with the use of CGI. It's not a problem when the CGI looks good, but with the overuse of computer-generated effects, we start to appreciate the practical effects more.
If you watched Iron Man 3, the first Marvel movie to be produced by Marvel Studios after it was bought by Disney, you may remember the jaw-dropping Air Force One rescue scene.
In the scene Iron Man swoops in to save 13 people falling from the sky. It's a scene that left audiences on the edge of their seats. But have you ever wondered how filmmakers pulled off such a realistic and thrilling sequence? Surprisingly, this scene was mostly created using practical effects.
What made the scene so gripping was the use of real skydivers. The sequence was shot practically by the 15-man Red Bull Skydiving Team.
Thirteen divers portrayed the falling passengers, one served as Iron Man's stand-in, and the last was the cameraman. This added a layer of authenticity that CGI could never replicate.
The scene involved a mix of practical effects and CGI. The filmmakers used a blend of real skydiving footage and CGI to create a seamless and believable experience.
According to Popular Mechanics, the scene isn't entirely far-fetched from a scientific standpoint. If Air Force One was cruising at a normal altitude of around 30,000 to 35,000 feet, passengers would reach Earth in about 3 minutes.
However, they'd face extreme cold and lack of oxygen, likely blacking out within seconds. The movie does take some liberties, like Tony Stark chatting away with passengers as if they're not deprived of oxygen or freezing cold.
Plus, the passengers grabbing onto each other at 120 miles per hour would likely not be able to see or hear anything due to the wind resistance.
Also, the idea of Tony Stark electrifying people's arms to make them hold onto each other is a bit of a stretch, considering the risks of electrocution. But hey, it's a superhero movie.