Team Edwards goes Hollywood

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class William O'Brien
  • 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Scenes from the upcoming movie Ironman II were filmed here May 11 through 13, with the support of about 60 members of Team Edwards taking part as extras and technical advisors.

Parts of the first Ironman as well as numerous movies and television shows have also taken advantage of Edwards for filming in the past.

"Edwards has a long association with Hollywood," said Col. William Thornton, 412th Test Wing commander. "We have just about every aircraft in the Air Force's current fleet, 360 days of good weather per year, which is great for filming, and a dessert terrain and landscape perfect for any scene of a deployment."

The director, Jon Favreau said he was excited to return to Edwards for the sequel for the landscape, but not for the way it looks but for the history it possesses and the professional Airmen and Marines here.

"All these real military assets make the movie more authentic and the topography and the beauty of the Desert and flightline open the movie up," he said. "But it's the rich history of the location and the deep roots it has with flight that gives Tony Stark and his father a pedigree in the aerospace industry."

Team Edwards worked closely with the production crew of Ironman II and had a good working relationship with them, said Colonel Thornton.

"It has been a pleasure working with this crew," he said. "They're amenable to any suggestions we may have and they're humble about asking for things. They're a great group of professionals who really know what they're doing.

He added that to accomplish this, Team Edwards had to reciprocate the kindness and have an effective two-way relationship.

"We want to be responsive and be flexible for them." said the 412th TW commander. "If they don't feel the aircraft look right once they begin rolling we can move them for them and we we're able to get numerous Airmen involved in the shooting as extras without impacting the mission."

"More so than the landscape or aircraft, are the people." said Denis Stewart, Ironman II producer. "It's almost impossible to have background performers who are actors emulate real military personnel. The way they conduct themselves, wear the uniform and talk adds as much authenticity to the film as the aircraft."

Not only did they add to the scenes, added Mr. Stewart, they contributed to the whole process and smooth production of the overall operation.

"Both Airmen and Marines have been supportive and that extends past those who were extras," he added. "That extends all the way down to the Airmen patrolling the flightline while we were out there. Every one of the Airmen has been incredibly helpful to us with getting this done."

"I really love the hospitality we've gotten here," added Mr. Favreau. "I'm grateful they've let us shoot here and when I saw the assets they've let us shoot and how cooperative they've been it makes me satisfied because they enjoyed the experience last time and they feel we've depicted them fairly."

The cast and crew didn't just shoot on Edwards for their own gain. The knowledge they obtained from the participants and the rich flight test history they added to their film, which will portray to the American public the professionalism of military servicemembers, much like the first one Mr. Favreau said.

"When you make a movie you don't know how it's going to be taken or how people will react," he said. "But clearly based on how warmly we've been embraced Edwards has enjoyed the collaboration in the past and looked forward to being a part of this one, that makes me really satisfied because that means that they see that we get it and we're portraying them as the truly are."