The Dark Knight Rises

For The Dark Knight Rises, we tackled some of the most challenging props — including the infamous Bane mask.

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The Dark Knight Rises

Super Secret Awesomeness

We have a serious soft spot for super hero movies, so when we were asked to work on the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy — The Dark Knight Rises — we jumped at the chance. Every member of the Dark Knight team was sworn to secrecy, which was particularly hard for us because we were dying to share our work on the movie’s props and costumes with the world — or even just with close friends. From the iconic Bane mask to Batman’s cool vehicles, we designed and modeled several signature items that helped set the visual tone of the film.

The Villain’s Gear

As part of costume designer Lindy Hemming's team, we first tackled all the villain Bane’s costume gear, including his infamous mask. Once the concept and design was approved, we got to work engineering the mask — keeping all the aesthetic and physical requirements in mind. The biggest requirement was the sound quality: Nolan wanted natural interaction between all the actors, so Tom Hardy (Bane) had to deliver all his lines through the mask.

 

Other musts included the ability for Hardy to breathe through the mask at all times (perhaps more important than sound quality, depending on who you ask); the ability to get the mask on and off easily; and to make it lightweight and fully adjustable. It took a few iterations, but we quickly honed in on the final version — within budget, of course. Next, we created stunt versions of the mask that were flexible, even lighter in weight and contained no metal or exposed sharp edges — yet retained the same functionality, look and finish as the originals.

 

We also produced the mask for Catwoman, as well as her suit, boots and all the super hero gear that made her awesome. This was a slightly easier feat but no less fun. A little feminine but very high-tech, Catwoman’s mask needed to feel functional and practical — giving her the tools she needs to burgle, sleuth and generally be sexy. Our mask accomplished all this, and was perfectly fitted for Anne Hathaway so it stayed put during filming.

EVEN MORE SINISTER STUFF

For fun, we created 3D models and printed 3D miniatures of the Tumbler, the Bat Pod and the Bat Flyer.  They certainly weren’t big enough to drive, but with precise planning and exact specifications, they were the perfect foundation for the real things. We also added some serious attitude to the movie when we created the reactor core Bane stole and turned into a nuclear bomb. We loved working on the Dark Knight so much that we schemed ways to get ourselves into the movie. Alas, the best we could do was our blockbuster props.


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