If Always was the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie set, Captain America: The First Avenger comes in a very close second. When the production team at Marvel commits to a project, they give the filmmaker everything he or she needs to make the best version of the story.
We spent over six months in pre-production in Manhattan Beach, where artists and designers under Rick Heinrichs generated gorgeous concept art and amazing designs for Hydra’s advanced weapons of war. I got to work with some of my old favorite artists like Rodolfo Damaggio and James Hegedus, and meet some incredible new ones like Daniel Simon, Ryan Meinerding and Nathan Schroeder among many others.
Check out Daniel Simon’s Cosmic Motors (www.danielsimon.com) and Rodolfo’s Damaggio’s website (www.damaggio.com). Incredible stuff! I feel privileged to work with both of these excellent artists.
In April of 2010 we moved to Shepperton Studios outside London, where Rick Heinrichs began building some jaw-dropping sets… the crypt where the tesseract is hidden, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Rebirth Lab, the underground war room headquarters, sub-orbital bomber interiors and many others. The craftsmanship of the English construction crews is second to none and Rick made full use of their amazing talents.
I rented a house right on the Thames, in Twickenham across the river from Richmond. I bought a well-maintained 1936 Peugeot 302 to get around in. The summer was unusually glorious that year, or so the locals told me. If I missed a pub in Richmond or Twickenham it was closed for repairs.
Marvel doesn’t stint when it comes to casting, either. If they want someone they go after them, but a lot of actors, even the ones with household names, want to be in Marvel films, because they know the production will be top quality and the film will get the best marketing money can buy. With Disney now owning Marvel, that trend will only continue.
If all this makes it sound like Captain America: The First Avenger was a walk in the park… Well, it wasn’t. Like all gigantic productions there were daily group headaches and seemingly unsolvable problems. Producing a film like this is like running an army. As a director, I don’t want to know about most of those problems, especially how much something is costing. I don’t want it to influence my creative decisions. Besides, it leaves me free to do what I enjoy the most, playing with the actors. I had an absolutely wonderful time making Captain America, and I think most of the cast and crew enjoyed themselves. I’d like to think that the joy that went into making this film shows up on the screen.
Click the photos below to see available Captain America: The First Avenger items!