The president of Marvel, Kevin Feige is always a pleasure to interview, and during the Ant-Man press conference he wasn’t even on our schedule. He loves the mommy bloggers so much that he decided to pop in when Director Peyton Reed came in, Kevin Feige popped in as well. These guys are so passionate, focused, and ready for a good laugh which is a must in the Marvel world. I have to start off with a fun fact here about Peyton Reed.
Peyton Reed was an ardent Marvel fanboy. When he was in high school, Reed made a pencil drawing of the punk band he was in, in which he depicted the band as a recreation of “The Avengers #1” cover, where each of the band members was a different Avenger. Perhaps it was a flash of precognition, but Reed drew himself as Ant-Man.
Q : So with Ant-Man being more humorous what was that like to film a Marvel superhero that was humorous?
Peyton: Well, I think that was one of the things that appealed to me about it in the first place was that, you know, particularly in the context of Marvel movies it was sort of a smaller, more intimate Marvel movie and it did kind of revolve around family. Scott Lang, his one goal in the movie is to when he gets out of prison is to “become a part of his daughter’s life.” That’s it, that’s all he wants. And it’s a really strong, relatable personal goal. You know, of course he has to go on a crazy journey and achieve a lot of crazy things to–– to become a part of her life but that’s it.
And I also liked that it was always a part of the movie that, you know, Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd’s characters, they both have daughters and they both have kind of strange relationships. They want to be closer to their daughter. Um, and I like that that’s sort of a bond that they have. They may not realize that that’s their bond at all, but it is. And with Hank Pym and Hope, um, it’s crucial to the success of pulling off this heist they have to repair that relationship. ‘Cause they’re never gonna achieve that goal unless they, you know, they find some peace with each other.
…….. And in particular when you have Paul Rudd at the center of it, um, you know, it’s gonna be funny.
Making this movie there were a LOT of special effects. There had to be to include an army of ants right? Well I really enjoyed learning about how that came about and Peyton shared his experiences.
Peyton: There are I think 1600 visual effects in the movie, it’s a big deal in that regard. But it really is what–– what Marvel does extremely well. I mean, we have Jake Morrison who’s our Visual Effects Supervisor. I spent a lot of time with him and sort of talking about the look of the movie and, um, and the realism that we wanted. We were gonna be doing what’s hopefully the definitive “shrinking movie” for 2015. And ……….it had to look as photorealistic as possible.
FUN FACT: 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.
PEYTON: And it really had to put the viewer down in that environment. When he shrinks down we were gonna be shrinking the audience down with him. And what would that look like and–– and feel and how are we gonna achieve that? ‘Cause I wanted, you know, if he’s running across a table I wanted to really feel like the texture of the table and all that. So, um, Marvel just happens to employ the top people in Hollywood for doing that and it was a huge education for me in that regard and I, but I–– I loved it. It was, it was, it’s amazing and the stuff that they are able to pull off is, it’s kind of mind-boggling.
FUN FACT: In the spirit of shooting everything in miniature, the macro photography team built a mini clapperboard, the device filmmakers use to help synchronize picture and sound. Originally made of wood and handwritten on with chalk, clapperboards now have digital features, but the one for the macro sets was of the old-fashioned variety.
When creating these films, how do you try to incorporate things to get the women a little more involved and excited about the film as well?
Kevin: Well, I think, I think, uh, all of our movies, have appeal to both. And I think people still feel, this is our 12th movie so I’m not sure why it still seems surprising but in test screenings oftentimes, the movies are rated higher by the women in the audience than by the men. So when people go, “Oh, you know, these, women don’t usually like these kind of movies,” I go, “Well, that’s not true.” I mean, there are men that don’t like them, there are women that, you know, but it’s, but it really is a huge portion of the fan base now. Uh, and I don’t know that we sit and go, “Okay how do we make the movie work for us, frankly.” We want to see, uh, the powerful women because we all have powerful women in our lives. That’s the way of the world. Um, so when it comes to Hope it was a big part of the development of the development of the movie, in particular when Peyton came on board and when Evangeline was about to come on board, um, of how to, you know, a lot, the big question was,
“Well, why isn’t she in the suit?” She could easily be in the suit. She is, she is clearly in the movie–– movie that we’ve made, uh, more capable than–– than, uh, Scott Lang is to be in the suit.
And that became the cruxt of her issues with her dad and her issues with–– with the way that–– that he, uh, the relationship they had growing up. Um, and why it becomes a big reveal in the movie. This is why I’m so adamant about it, um, leading up to the moment at the very end of the movie where he gets over those issues, uh, and she says, which I think is one of my favorite quotes of any of our films, “It’s about damn time.”
AND FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT QUOTE YOU HAVE TO GO SEE THE ENDING OF THE MOVIE OF ANTMANT.