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IRON MAN

Tony's Workshop
After the production completed its work at Edwards Air Force base, it returned to the Playa Vista Stages, where production designer Riva had built and designed spectacular sets to bring the lavish world of Tony Stark to life. First on the agenda for the production was shooting in Tony's workshop, which also served as a garage for his exotic car collection, as well as the place were he creates the Iron Man suit and tests out all of the different components that go into designing it.

"The workshop is where Tony secludes himself,” explains Favreau. "In the film, we suggest that all the innovations and inventions that come out of Tony's mind usually start here. Sure, he's got his office at Stark Industries, but the workshop is where most of his work happens at 4:00 in the morning.”

"Jon was very specific about Tony Stark's garage,” says Riva. "He didn't want it to be super high-tech, which is something of a contrast to the usual comic-book vernacular. Films like these usually go to that place where everything is super high-tech and computer generated. But we decided early on to make it a real guy garage, more of a grease monkey approach. French presses — no, that's not a coffee machine — and drill presses, metal benders from the '50s, forges, welders and plasma cutters. A little like monster garage, that kind of vibe. Later, inevitably some of the high-tech stuff started creeping into the set — some of the producers were getting lonely without their ‘toys.' Overall, it still maintains that hot rod garage feel.

"Jon's own vintage Ford Roadster is the centerpiece of the garage. It stands in for the car that a young Tony and his Dad worked on together when his dad was alive. Just before we were to begin construction I felt the space was shaped a bit too conventionally, so at the last minute I added this big curved axis to the one giant exterior wall overlooking the ocean. The effect is to have all this really hard-ass, high-testosterone equipment contrasted by this round, soft, elegant curve.”

"The workshop was always the most important set for me,” says Favreau. "Tony Stark is a bit of a gear head, and the workshop is the space that tells you he's a guy who likes working with his hands. I'm completely intrigued by people who can fabricate and build cars, and I love watching reality shows about car building. It was a way for me to include a hobby of mine into the character, as well as making it believable that he could make the Mark I in captivity. Michael Riva did an excellent job of creating a workshop, a mix of high tech and low-tech that would be any car builder's dream come true.”

In the film, the workshop houses an array of classic and state-of-the-art cars and bikes, including Tony Stark's vehicle of choice, a 2008 Audi A8, as well as a Saline super-car, a 1967 Shelby Cobra, a Tesla electric car and a 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster belonging to director Jon Favreau.

"I thought it would be cool to put my ‘32 Ford in the movie as the car Tony is always tinkering with,” laughs Favreau. "But then we shot a scene where he was working on the engine and the crew had to take it apart. There were parts everywhere and all I kept thinking was, ‘Why did I do this? They're never going to be able to put it back together correctly.'”

In the film, the workshop also serves as the spot where Tony Stark starts constructing what will eventually become Iron Man's Mark III armor. "Part of our approach to making ‘Iron Man' feel realistic was to show the elements of the suit coming together,” explains Feige. "After building the Mark I in captivity, Tony uses the same technology to develop a high-tech suit. The first step in the process is building a set of boots that have repulsor technology thrusters on the bottom that enable him to fly. Stan Winston and his team constructed a really coo

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