GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
- Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super – Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969) and was created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan. The modern Guardians team is the second to be featured under the name, and first appeared in “Guardians of the Galaxy,(Vol. 2) Issue #1 (May 2008). Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning created the new team, whose initial Guardians were Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Groot.
- Director James Gunn created a stimulating atmosphere by playing the film’s score while filming. Gunn had composer Tyler Bates complete some of the tracks early on and playing them added to the uplifting and congenial atmosphere onset, as well as setting the tone for the scenes. Along with tracks from the film’s original score, Gunn also had the sound department pump out the ’70s tunes that Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt, plays on his old cassette player.
- Finding the perfect cassette player to use in the film was a challenge that fell to prop master Barry Gibbs. Despite searching all over the Internet for four months, Gibbs’ team was able to find only 16 cassette players in various states of repair that were suitable to use in the film.
- Production designer Charles Wood and his team designed and built several large – scale sets for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the Kyln, the space prison where the Guardians meet, was the largest build of all. A 360-degree set, the Kyln was a feat of engineering, comprising 350-thousand pounds of steel across three levels, extended in post-production by a further two-hundred feet.
- The design of the Milano, Peter Quill’s spaceship, was inspired by the Bell Aircraft X – 1 rocket plane piloted by Chuck Yeager. Constructed a s a double-level composite set, with an upper flight deck and lower living quarters, it was a 14-week build involving several trades. Charles Wood and his team followed director James Gunn’s instructions that Quill’s environment be reminiscent of Earth and have a tangible quality — mechanical with chrome and leather and a muscle-car look.
- The production design team also crafted the Dark Aster, the villain Ronan’s spaceship. Suggestive of a flying mausoleum, the design is minimal and brutal. It is a stark, gray, colorless world devoid of any set dressing whatsoever that relies purely on its heavy concrete-like architecture to convey its tone and function.
- Former WWE champ Dave Bautista plays Drax the Destroyer. Drax’s life story is told by his full body tattoos/scarification, a prosthetics make-up process that saw Bautista endure a 4-hour daily session in the chair, or rather on foot, as he could not sit during the process. It took a team of five makeup artists to complete Bautista’s makeup application, which consisted of 18 pieces for the body and face. By the end of shoot, Dave Bautista had totaled about seven entire days in make-up.
- Over the course of shooting the film, the special make-up effects department had done approximately 1,250 prosthetic make-up applications. There were 50 makeup artists in all, working in teams on each character.
- There are many alien extras in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” requiring 2,000 humanoid alien molds to be run, with all the pieces pre-colored to each race — yellow, blue or pink.
- David White, special effects makeup designer, was charged with making 3D life-sized versions of Rocket and a bust of Groot, which were used on set not only to give the filmmakers references for visual effects and lighting, but also to see how the characters could actually function.
- Creation of the orb featured in the film was a job for prop master Barry Gibbs and his team. They sculpted the exterior shell in aluminum and had a jeweler etch and pierce it before sending the beautiful piece off to be silver-plated.
- Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, hair/makeup designer, had her hands full developing makeup for all the different races of aliens, whose skin color varied according to their race. Coming up with a product that would not ruin the costumes, but would last through water and dirt, was a challenge. After many trial and error tests, her team was successful in developing a spray-on makeup that worked on everyone.
- Karen Gillan had her long hair cut off and head shaved for the role of Nebula.
- Benicio Del Toro allowed his dark hair and eyebrows to be bleached white for his role as The Collector.
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Disclosure: Disney invited me on this press trip and paid for all of my expenses (except travel). All opinions are always 100% my own and honest.