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VFX Supervisor Eric Leven Dishes On Sam's Cap Suit From The Falcon And The Winter Soldier - Exclusive

"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" is chock-full of cinematically brilliant VFX sequences. Whether it's Sam Wilson's (Anthony Mackie) breathtaking flight or massive battle sequences, the series lives up to the awe factor we've come to expect from blockbuster MCU live-action films. The difference is, the "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" team managed to recreate that intensity for the small screen — and it was no easy feat. 

Of course, we know that Sam Wilson isn't really flying when he takes to the skies as Falcon-Captain America — and obviously, Sebastian Stan doesn't actually have a vibranium arm like Bucky Barnes. When it comes to those out-of-this-world details, fans have to suspend disbelief a bit. Helping them do that is the stellar work done by the series' VFX crew, helmed by Eric Leven. "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" episode of "Marvel Studios: Assembled" gives fans a glimpse at some of the unexpected ways the VFX team helped shape the final product — including Sam's Captain America cowl.

Looper spoke to Leven for an exclusive interview, in which he dished on the creation of Cap's new suit and what exactly went into making it so super.

Physically creating the impossible for Falcon and Winter Soldier

"On this show, I don't think there are any other super suits that had that issue," Eric Leven said about what it was like to fix Sam Wilson's cowl on "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." "It's really just Cap's suit. I know that other Marvel shows, there are constantly things that need to be fixed, boots need to be touched up, whatever."

"And that's just the nature of them designing something that's not physically doable," Leven added. "For example, you have to have the scene, you have to have a way to put this on, but we don't want to see the scene. So, I mean, it was challenging. I mean, that's very detail-oriented work to make it look just right. Your brain knows when it's not right. But it is sort of once you get it, once you kind of know where to go." 

"And as far as how it ends up in the future, I don't know," Leven said. "It's a good question. I think that Michael Crow, the costume designer, he knew this was going to be an issue based on what they wanted versus what he was able to physically do."

A minor fix for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's VFX team

Given that Stark Industries isn't exactly real, and materials like vibranium don't actually exist, it was up to the "Falcon and the Winter Soldier" VFX crew and costume designer to work together to create an illusion of something outside the realm of possibility. VFX supervisor Eric Leven said costume designer Michael Crow "knew that we'd have [to] touch it. And whether they'll address that in the future, I'm not sure. I mean, you always see the costumes sort of evolving from show to show, so maybe he'll evolve them."

Now, fixing something so small and technical like Sam's cowl may seem tedious and annoying, but compared to the massive scale of the other VFX work Leven and his team pulled off, the cowl was a cakewalk. "I mean, it's funny because there's a whole team of people who were working on this at the VFX facility, and I basically see the before and then like, 'Oh, it's done. That looks fantastic,'" Leven added. "But compared to making a photo-realistic truck drive off the edge of a road, it seemed like it was a blessing." 

Fans can find all episodes of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" and "Assembled" streaming on Disney+.