"Head Turn-Enabled" Batfleck Cowl Research Thread

Discussion in 'DC Costumes and Props' started by Kame, May 28, 2015.

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  1. Kame

    Kame Active Member

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    So it's been said by the costume designer that the new Batsuit should allow the actor to turn his head. As seen in recent photos, this indeed seems to be the case. If you have any ideas of methods on how this was accomplished (i.e. specific types of rubber/urethane), please post in this thread.

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  2. coofunkcurly

    coofunkcurly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's likely soft foam latex run with a special core.
     
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  3. Hamordude

    Hamordude New Member

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    @ coofunkcurly:
    What exactly do you mean by the term "Core?" I've been hearing some talk about this cowl from a few sources and this term has been mentioned more than once in regards to it's possible design. How does it work?

    Much Appreciated!
     
  4. harrisonp

    harrisonp Well-Known Member

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    I assume it means there is a hard "shell" in the face/head part of the cowl that conforms to the actors face, and that is then skinned in foam latex when they add the neck.
     
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  5. Hamordude

    Hamordude New Member

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    Ah.
    So, the hard core in the face would help it keep it's shape, while the neck being soft foam latex would allow it some flexibility in the neck to enable the wearer to turn their head?
     
  6. drftfan

    drftfan Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There are "bones" ran in the neck similar to a corset. The possibility of that being made into a fan made piece is minimal considering the cost difference in a movie suit vs fan made. $100,000 compared to $1000.
     
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  7. Hamordude

    Hamordude New Member

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    I'm starting to get an idea, but if anyone has pics or a rough mock-up of how this process works I'd love to see. it's amazing how far costume design has come in the last decade. Very impressive.

    Thanks guys.
     
  8. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    It's all in the fit, sculpt, and mold process...

    (I was incorrect, there is indeed a skull cap in there. A certain cowl I was shown didn't have it.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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  9. harrisonp

    harrisonp Well-Known Member

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    Do you know how it is done?
     
  10. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    I know how it wasn't done... ;)
     
  11. harrisonp

    harrisonp Well-Known Member

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    Haha hopefully you didn't see my coment as being rude, I was just genuinely curious.
     
  12. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    No worries.. didn't come across that way at all. :)

    People are honestly over thinking the cowl. When the details come out I expect a lot of people to have an "OH! How didn't I think of that" reaction much like I did.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
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  13. OneGoodScare

    OneGoodScare Active Member

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    Looks like it's tight everywhere but the neck, so the slack allows it to just sort of fold over
     
  14. Hamordude

    Hamordude New Member

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    @ Mr. Mold Maker:

    Thanks for the info, bud. I like simplicity.

    It will be interesting to see how it was done once the info surfaces. :thumbsup
     
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  15. OneGoodScare

    OneGoodScare Active Member

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    Im gonna go ahead and guess that it's something that some mask makers have been doing for years. Silicone masks at least, that move with your face and allow for the neck to turn
     
  16. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    Silicone has too many draw backs. It doesn't breath, so it would get incredibly hot underneath. This cowl is also very thin. Silicone would tear, and or lose it's shape. You have to remember the neck has to stretch all the way over the head, which is terrible for durability in silicone that thin. We're dealing with an "A-list" actor... it has to come of quickly between takes. (The cowl isn't glued down to Ben, but if they decided to glue it to a stunt actor, silicone is also harder to glue.)

    It was briefly considered due to the failures in the "turn" of previous incarnations of the bat cowl, but now that they have a method that has been proven to work? Silicone doesn't stand a chance.
     
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  17. mau5

    mau5 Active Member

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    Is this speculation or do you have some info on its construction?
     
  18. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    I do indeed know how it was constructed.

    Something I'd like to mention is these guys are under NDAs for years.. not just for one film, but as the leaked pics spoiled, they've worked on two. I can't give away all the secrets of the magic trick, out of respect for them, their contracts, and the production... but I'll certainly help and dispel incorrect "rumors" when I can. :)
     
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  19. TigerStoneFX

    TigerStoneFX Well-Known Member

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    This. Nice to see someone who knows what they're talking about haha I have a feeling the man behind this will give details if/when he can, he's a sharer in general. Watch out for future issues of Make Up Artist Magazine, people.
     
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  20. NOMAD202

    NOMAD202 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There are pics out there of the cowl and inside you can see something going on. The jawline appears to be somewhat separate from the rest of the cowl and some kind of material is in there.
     
  21. mau5

    mau5 Active Member

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    Material like fabric? That was my guess, something like Lycra skinned with a thin rubber texture like the Cape was made to look like leather.
     
  22. Hamordude

    Hamordude New Member

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    @ Nomad202:

    That's interesting. Any chance you have the pics, or know where to check them out?
     
  23. TigerStoneFX

    TigerStoneFX Well-Known Member

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    There's no separation at the jaw, it's just a very tight line, it's all one piece.
     
  24. NOMAD202

    NOMAD202 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
     
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  25. TigerStoneFX

    TigerStoneFX Well-Known Member

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    I thought the same but was told it's a one piece cowl, no slit anywhere. There is stuff going on inside the cowl, but no separation.
     
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  26. OneGoodScare

    OneGoodScare Active Member

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    It does look like a notch in there, as well as the outside. Like it's thin enough to sorta fold over there if ya get me
     
  27. fastman316

    fastman316 New Member

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    Random thought here, but could his ability to turn his head be two fold? First, the cowl has been made in such a way that there is more flexibility in the neck. Secondly, it almost looks as if the cowl is somehow fastened/anchored to his torso. There seems to be almost zero movement on the lower portion of the cowl where it meets his torso when he has his head turned. Could the orange cgi markers be hiding some soft of fasteners?
     
  28. TigerStoneFX

    TigerStoneFX Well-Known Member

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    The law line is definitely a thin area that allows the movement to happen which is why it's such a deep fold which does make it look like it could be separated there. Like I said, I thought the same initially but it's definitely one piece.

    The Keaton movies were glued to the cape and bolted to the torso at the emblem as were the Kilmer and Clooney suits, the begins suit had the cape clips and a ring of adhesive around the edge of the cowl to attach it to the torso as well. This one would need to be the same for sure or the whole cowl would move when the head moved. It's more than likely glued to the actors face around the mouth opening too.
     
  29. Bullitt

    Bullitt Active Member

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    I understood that there was no gluing involved. I don't think glue has ever been used to glue the mask to the face on a Batman movie, except for Dead End, but I might be mistaken. The orange markers are just that, for the CGI cape. It does look to me like the entire edge of the cowl is secured with velcro to the suit.
     
  30. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    Nope, no glue on Ben.... There may be some on the stunt actor, but the way they designed this thing to fit.. I'm sure it fits perfectly on his face as well.

    I'm not sure how many past Batman cowls were glued down.. The Niteowl cowl in Watchmen was definitely glued down though.
     
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  31. TigerStoneFX

    TigerStoneFX Well-Known Member

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    Previous cowls were all glued to the capes or had velcro at least. From looking at screen used pieces, one of Val's Panther cowls had glue around the face too but that may have been for a specific scene and just on that one cowl, but they were connected to capes with velcro and sometimes glue for sure, just to keep things together. You can actually see the white glue around the edge of the cowl in Herb Ritts' 89 Batman/Joker photos, guess they didn't wait for it to dry haha
     
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  32. dunfiusFett

    dunfiusFett New Member

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    Does anybody have any ideas for transforming a stiff batman cowl so that you are given at least some left and right, up and down movement? (I'm tall and it's unfortunate when I can't look down at a kid who wants a picture or even look to see anything I'm holding in my hands.

    I was playing with the idea of separating it into 2 separate pieces by stressfully cutting my expensive cowl. Cutting behind the ears and under the base of the skull and reconnecting them with a slight gap of 1/4" or so and reconnecting using something breathable like a black spandex or something like that. If any of you cowl masters have any ideas, I'm all ears!

    Thoughts??
     
  33. BATSNIKT

    BATSNIKT New Member

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    I wonder if the mask/cowl was cast in a material I've heard of known as "dragon skin"--a material that stretches up to 10 times its original molding. I guess it was used to fix the rubber corner areas of the T-Rex's mouth at the Universal ride because the other materials kept ripping.
     
  34. teragon

    teragon Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Somebody else might confirm this, or not, but I think it was Foam Latex actually. Combined with a particular casting method that Jose developed. Not an easy thing to replicate, otherwise the Justice League team would have done it as well instead of going back to the stiff urethane !
     
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  35. horrorfx

    horrorfx New Member

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    It's actually a plastic structure in the head with a tightening mechanism to lock in place, like a head band. There was also a structure in the neck that locked onto the suit. The foam itself had collapsable points and air pockets ( those massive muscles on the neck). Jose really cracked the code with this one.
     
  36. Mr Mold Maker

    Mr Mold Maker Sr Member

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    The man himself explains it here. Cats been out of the bag for a little while. https://youtu.be/1FkjEIKUgEw

    I'd give the whole episode a listen. The man is a legend, and if you have any interest in this stuff at all.. He's who you want to hear from.


    Don't be fooled either, it sounds super simple and straight forward. Everyone knows the theory. You look at it and think "of course!" However..It took a team full of masters to execute it. I don't think we'll be seeing anything like it from an Indy maker any time soon!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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