Empire Design Birdman Giant Props

Birdman Giant Props

The brief

After already making 1,500 mini Birdman figures, we took on the challenge of creating five life-size Birdman props for the promotion of the movie, Birdman. The life-size giant props were to be scattered across cinemas in London and the South of England.

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!

 Kat Galer – Empire Design

Prop process images

  1. Four birdman props complete in workshop.
  2. Giant birdman prop being set up to crane before being put into position.
  3. Birman giant prop on top of cinema entrance.
  4. Close up of Birdman giant prop on roof of cinema.

The Process

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. We sent the mini Birdman to be 5-axis CNC cut and, because the detail was so fine, the CNC poly figure wasn’t that good, so we had to fine finish the poly sculpt of the body but completely remake the head in clay, then mould in silicone and cast in fibreglass. Once the cast fibreglass head was made it was attached to the polystyrene body. Then it was time to make a fibreglass mould of the whole figure.

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.

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.

Project Image

Birman giant prop on top of cinema entrance.

The Result

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.