Empire Design Birdman Mini Sculptures

Birdman Mini Sculptures

The brief

We made 1500 sculptures for the Oscar-nominated film “Birdman”. Released in late 2014, the film received much critical acclaim and was something of a come-back role for Michael Keaton. The brief was that these were to be a very limited edition and they were not to look like they had been factory produced.

We have worked with spur creative on numerous projects over the years and have always found them easy to deal with and utterly professional!

Kate Galer – Empire Design

Prop process images

  1. Mini birman sculpture being hand painted.
  2. Birdman mini sculptures boxed in a row.

The Process

We sculpted the original, before moulding and casting all the other sculptures by hand; finally we hand painted each one of the 1500 here in our studio. Our model Birdman stands on a plinth which, when a button is pressed, makes the figure say any one of 5 lines from the movie. For this effect, Michael Keaton’s voice was recorded and sent to us in a WAV file. Every single Birdman was then labelled on the underside, written by hand “1 of 1500, 2 of 1500 and so on up to 1500 of 1500, made in London”

Project Image

Completed mini birdman figure sculpture.

The Result

We worked on prototypes about a year before the film’s general release and they were sent to the states for the film director, producers etc to see. The last one was sent to Mr Keaton himself who was the one to give the go ahead if he liked it – in fact he liked it so much he kept it. The sculptures were handed out at the Venice Film Festival. They were mentioned in a number of blog and news articles and even received their own double page spread in Empire magazine.