It may surprise some (though not our fans, for sure!) to find out that one of the most iconic masks in horror movie history actually started out as a Captain Kirk halloween mask. When the crew for the original 1978 Halloween movie were choosing a mask for Michael Myers to wear throughout the film they came up with a choice of 2 Don Post halloween masks. The first was an Emmett Kelly smiling clown mask, the other was a William Shatner mask, which the crew purchased for a dollar. They wanted something eerie and emotionless so the removed the side burns, painted the entire latex mask white and opened the eyes up wider. The final result is the iconic Michael Myers mask!
The original mask was not uncommon in the 1970’s, these days they have become a rare find and we were thrilled to be able to help preserve this one for years to come. The focus on this mask was to conserve the fragile latex, and try to restore its original shape as much as we could. Over the years a lack of proper internal support can allow the material to flex or sag and this can misshape the mask. Some of this can be reversed but sometimes it can’t which is why preventative measures are always the best plan for your masks, costumes and props.
The owner of this rare mask tasked us with doing conservation rather than an over-the-top restoration. He wanted to get the mask closer to its original shape but not to redo any paint or make drastic changes. Veteran TSD restoration artist Patrick Louie was the lead artist in this conservation project. Using several techniques, he carefully reformed the stiffening latex in areas like his chin and nose to get a shape closer to the original one. Once the mask was as reshaped as the fragile material would allow, we carefully reinforced any of the more at-risk areas like the neck and bridge of nose, by way of internal patches to help support the cracking latex. There were a few small areas which were missing material, patching these areas helped with the look of the piece and provided additional stability.
Once this classic Don Post 75 Shatner mask was reinforced and more stable, we customized a foam display head to better match the inside of the mask. This form would support the prop mask over time and, in conjunction with the careful patching and internal backing, help keep gravity at bay.
Do you have an original movie or television prop that is in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!