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Utah man played role in creating ‘Iron Man'


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SALT LAKE CITY -- The first potential blockbuster of the summer movie season, "Iron Man 2" opened Friday in theaters. Rave reviews are already coming in. The sequel to the surprise hit two years ago once again features Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.

Die-hard fans who went to the midnight showing aren't the only ones who are impressed. Critics have, for the most part, given it good reviews.

Many of those fans probably have no idea a Utah man contributed to the visual effects of the movie.

Doug & The Movies:

Visual effects director Clark Schaffer was called about a year ago to help with one particular scene of "Iron Man 2." Owner of Schaffer Studios, he spent about a month in Hollywood making one of Iron Man's suits.

"One of the suits needed some attention, so they invited me to come down and do the design and fabrication of the interior of one of the silver suits," Schaffer said.

If you go see the movie, pay attention to the scene where the government dissects one of Iron Man's suits.

"So all the goodies and things inside that makes the Iron Man tick are the things I was able to help design and build," he said.

This is the 40th feature film Schaffer has worked on. He moved into his Salt Lake studio almost 10 years ago but has been in the business more than 20 years.

"Age 21 I went to Hollywood with all my dreams, showed my work around in the early ‘90s, and I've been doing it ever since," he said.

You could have probably guessed "Star Wars" is his favorite movie and what inspired him when he was a kid. And just like when he was young, he's still playing with spaceships. His latest movie he's working on is about a robot.

"He's going to be our main character," Schaffer said.

Science fiction movies are his favorite.

"Every day is something new," he said. "I get to create magical worlds and populate them with magical characters."

But Schaffer didn't have time to tell us much about the new movie -- he was in a bit of a hurry to go watch "Iron Man 2." After all, it's part of his job.

"If you have to go to work, it's not a bad job," Schaffer said.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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