Creating Lifesized Giant Props for the Birdman Premier
After already making 1,500 mini Birdman figures, we took on the challenge of creating five life-size Birdman figures for the promotion of the movie, Birdman.
Given only a little amount of time to make them, we sent away one of our mini figures to be scanned and cut in polystyrene, but we couldn’t just stop there. The detail had been scaled up to 20 times its size, so there was a lot of extra work to be done.
Lifesize Polystyrene Sculpture
Lifesize Polystyrene Sculpture
Remaking the Head
First Pour of Silicone
Creating a Mould of Birdman
Opening the Mould
Working on the Wings of Birdman
Birdman Super Hero Badge
Assembled Birdman Sculpture
On their Bases
Head Shot of the Completed Birdman Sculpture
All Five Sculptures
Birdman Figures and Sculptures
Birdman Sculpture being Placed
Finished Giant Birdman Prop
Lifesize Polystyrene SculptureThe first challenge we had was the lead time given to complete the work. we had very little time to make all 5 of the birdman figures so we had one of the 1500 mini birdman figures we had previously made, for promotion of the upcoming movie, sent away to be scanned and cut in polystyrene with a 5 axis CNC machine. As the detail had been scaled up 20 times its size there was a lot of extra work and we had to create a polystyrene sculpture.
Lifesize Polystyrene SculptureBecause the detail had been scaled up 20 times its size there was a lot of extra work we had to do to the polystyrene sculpture including the specific detailing of the head.
Remaking the HeadIn order to capture the detail in the face and head we had to completely re-make the head and sculpt a lot of detail back in to the polystyrene before we were able to mould it.
First Pour of SiliconeWe then pour silicone onto the newly sculpted head, which can then be used to create a cast fibreglass head.
Fibreglass HeadThe cast fibreglass head is then attached to the polystyrene body
Creating a Mould of BirdmanWe are then able to create a mould of Birdman
Opening the MouldOnce the mould is completed we are left with the completed cast.
Working on the Wings of BirdmanThe wings for each of the Birdman sculptures were made separately and were designed to bolt on to the body in situ.
Birdman Super Hero BadgeBirdmans super hero badge was separately sculted ready to be moulded and recast
Assembled Birdman SculptureAnd here he is ready to be painted. The fella holding him might look tiny but Birdman is huge
Being PrimedHere the Birdman sculptures are being primed ready for painting
On their BasesEach of the models is then added to its base to ensure it is free standing
Head Shot of the Completed Birdman SculptureBeautifully painted face and Bird helmet
All Five SculpturesAll five giant props painted and ready to fly.
Birdman Figures and SculpturesThe completed figures and sculptures side by side
Birdman Sculpture being PlacedBirdman sculpture being placed onto the cinema in Brighton
Finished Giant Birdman PropThe finished Birdman prop in situ
We needed to completely re-make each of the models’ heads and sculpt a lot of detail into the polystyrene to get them all up to superhero-standards. Then it was time to get them moulded.
Not only did we have to make sure they were a Birdman replica, we also needed to consider the weight of each of them. With the plan being for them to be placed on top of cinema roofs across London and the South of England, they needed to be lightweight but robust.
How we did it
With Birdman’s huge wings, this came as a challenge. Done wrong and the wings could easily catch the wind, and the next thing you know Birdman would be flying… then crashing to the ground. Luckily, with our great experience in moulding and casting our sculptures, we knew exactly how to get around this.
By using the correct thickness of fibreglass matting and the correct amount of resin, and building it around metal armatures we formed something that was strong and would stand against the high winds, without snapping in half.
It’s fair to say that our customer was incredibly happy with the outcome, as with the rest of the work we have done for them – including giant t-shirts, giant coat hangers and mini models of characters for movie promotions, counting our little Birdman figurines too!
We received a lot of great feedback, and even picked up a few new clients on the back of the project, which is fantastic, especially with the amount of fun we had doing it.
Take a look at some of the kind words our client said about our work:
We have worked with spur creative on numerous projects over the years and have always found them easy to deal with and utterly professional. Whenever we are asked to source something fantastic I always go to Spur first and will continue to do so because their work is impeccable, which inevitably reflects well on us when dealing with our own clients.