Full Sail Alumni Help Bring ‘Iron Man 3’ to Theaters

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Iron Man 3 kicks off the summer movie season today with the latest chapter in Tony Stark’s blockbuster screen journey. Following two successful Iron Man films and a supporting role in 2012’s The Avengers, this latest project revisits a battle-hardened superhero under the sharp guidance of writer/director Shane Black.

The film was primarily shot in Wilmington, North Carolina – the biggest production of its kind in the area – and employed a massive crew that included 22 alumni representing our Film and Computer Animation programs. Among this group were frequent collaborators Chrys Blackstone (electrician) and Jeff Wallace (set lighting technician) who worked together on the film’s lighting team.

We last spoke with Chrys and Jeff following their work on the first Hunger Games movie (also filmed in North Carolina), and caught up with them before Iron Man 3’s premiere to learn about the production of this summer’s first major release.

FS: How do you begin to describe what it’s like being on a project of this scale?

Chrys Blackstone: It was just massive, the biggest thing I’ve ever worked on. We shot in Wilmington at Screen Gems Studios. They have 10 stages there and they took up almost all of them with these giant set pieces. But the shoot itself was surprisingly easygoing, and one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone was so professional and on point, and it was the least stressful set I’ve ever been on. I was a comic book fan growing up, and I felt like a kid again walking in every day.

FS: Iron Man 3 features an impressive talent pool with actors Robert Downey Jr. and Ben Kingsley, then Shane Black as director – how was it being around that caliber of artists every day?

Jeff Wallace: It was obviously an amazing cast and crew. Shane Black’s a great guy and did a really good job with it. I’m a fan of his writing, and I think he brought something different. For me personally it was a big achievement to work such a great director of photography, John Toll, who has won two back-to-back Academy Awards in his career for Braveheart and Legends of the Fall. Just an amazing guy to work with, and something I never thought I’d be doing ten years ago when I graduated.

FS: The expectations for it are pretty high. Having been there on set how do you think the final film turned out?

JW: This Iron Man is pretty out of the box. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised about where his character goes. It’s definitely not ordinary for that series.

CB: Each one of the Marvel movies has something to live up to – they want each one to be better than the last – and just watching the scenes being filmed I think this is above and beyond. Fans aren’t going to be disappointed, and it’ll be a cool thing for me to look back on in my career, knowing that I was able to put my hand into the creation of the Marvel world.

The 22 Full Sail grads who worked on Iron Man 3 are:

  • Schuyler Anderson (Computer Animation, 2011; visual effects tracking artist)
  • Maxime Besner (Computer Animation, 2009; stereo compositor)
  • Chys Blackstone (Film, 2003; electrician)
  • Shane Bouthiller (Computer Animation, 2010; stereoscopic conversion)
  • Tasha Carlton (Computer Animation, 2011; stereoscopic artist)
  • Monica Castro (Computer Animation, 2011; stereoscopic artist)
  • Juan Colon (Computer Animation, 2009; matchmove artist)
  • Eric Collins (Film, 2005; grip)
  • Brent Christy (Film, 2009; second unit electric)
  • Christian Labarta (Film, 1999; key set production assistant: second unit)
  • Cody Lassiter (Film, 2012; assistant security manager)
  • Michael Murphy (Computer Animation 2010 stereoscopic conversion)
  • Lyndsey Pendley (Computer Animation, 2010; stereoscopic paint artist)
  • Vincent Rosas (Computer Animation, 2009; stereoscopic artist)
  • Rob Shelton (Film, 2013; confidentiality production assistant)
  • Emanuel Siu (Computer Animation, 2011; stereoscopic depth artist)
  • Donald Strubler, Jr. (Computer Animation, 2009; digital compositor)
  • Eric Timm (Film, 2010; stereoscopic artist)
  • John Trotter (Computer Animation, 2009: stereoscopic conversion)
  • Jeff Wallace (Film, 2003; set lighting technician)
  • Jeffrey Warnhoff (Computer Animation, 2011; stereoscopic conversion)
  • Alex Wolfe (Computer Animation, 2009; visual effects quality control)

Comments

  • Vincent Rosas

    Hey James, I’d like to add that there were more than 9 full sail grads that worked on this film, myself included. I’m not exactly sure how you guys get your information regarding who worked on what, but here is a few more to add to your list.

    a few names that were credited,

    Vincent Rosas (2009 – Stereoscopic artist – Stereo D)
    Tasha Carlton (2011 – stereoscopic artist – stereo D)
    Monica Castro (2011 – stereoscopic artist – stereo D)
    Juan Colon (2009 – matchmove artist – Mirada)
    Donald Strubler (2009 – Digital Compositor)

    • Hi Vincent, thanks so much for the update on you and the other grads who worked on Iron Man – I’ve added all of your names to the story. One of our best resources for news is having alumni check in with us and share what they’ve been working on. Awesome work on the film, looking forward to seeing it this weekend!

      • Hey Guys! Cool article, I just wanted to post that I know of another person who graduated from FS that was credited along with myself. Just figured I would let you know.

        Schuyler Anderson (2011- VFX Tracking artist – Stereo D)
        Alex Wolfe (not sure what year – VFX QC – Stereo D)

        • Hey Schuyler, that’s great news, congrats on the credit! I’ll get the post updated with yours and Alex’s info.

  • Tasha Carlson

    I would also like to add some more hard working graduates

    Jeffrey Warnhoff computer animation graduate: 2011 stereoscopic conversion

    Shane Bouthiller computer animation: 2009 stereoscopic conversion

    John Trotter computer animation: 2009 stereoscopic conversion

    Emanuel Siu computer animation: 2011 stereoscopic conversion

  • Tasha Carlson

    Schuyler Anderson computer animation :2011 3d tracking

    Michael Murphy computer animation 2010 sterescopic conversion

    Maxime Besner computer animation 2009 stereoscopic conversation

    • Thanks Tasha, another great batch of grads to add to the list. So proud to hear about all the alumni who contributed to the film – looks like opening weekend is already a huge success!

  • John Balauat

    Rui Miranda: 2007 REAS 2011 EBBS; Full Sail International Admission Rep

  • Nice article. Its nice to know a little about their experience in that movie. It’s very exciting to see so many graduates worked there; also, the credit they’ve received. I think this was an awesome movie and I cant wait to see it again.

    • eduardo gomez

      indeed, I enjoyed the first two and I would like to see this movie. They told me that it’s awesome and I wouldn’t expect less from a full sail student

    • Poom

      Yes, I argree with you. It is very nice article. I never heard that before.