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Pump up the Crowd: Hollywood's Inflatable Extras

The next time you’re watching that sports-themed comedy or epic Roman war picture and you notice some of the crowd members don’t seem nearly as excited as the others, it’s probably not that they’re bad actors. They’re probably just plastic inflatable people with creepy human-ish masks on.

The producers of The King’s Speech, Iron Man 2, Frost/Nixon, Blades of Glory and Million Dollar Baby (among many others) have discovered a way around the logistical nightmares that come with filming crowd scenes. The solution is called The Inflatable Crowd Company, and it’s just what it sounds like:

The Inflatable Crowd Company was created for SEABISCUIT in 2002. Since then, our Inflatable Crowds have been seen (but not noticed) in over 80 feature films & many TV shows & commercials.

Essentially, someone has created a successful business around the idea that they own a whole lot of blowup dolls. Only in America.

Most of the time, this level of vacant expression takes thousands of dollars in Botox to create:

As you can see, the actor's waiting area is a lot easier to maintain:

Ah, the magic of Hollywood.

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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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