Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Crow Mask

If you look down at my Short films post, you'll see one of my films, "Zombie Crow" has a character wearing a large crow mask. I am happy to say that I made that mask and I took pictures of its creation. Originally I had planned on making a living crow's mask, complete with black feathers. I decided against that. I was afraid that the small digital camera would not pick up on the details of the mask, making it look like a big black blob. A crow's skull allowed the features (eyes, beak, nose) to stand out more.

The mask is made of cardboard and paper maché, with some gaffer's tape and staples to keep it from falling apart. Here's a look at the underside of the mask. It sits on your head like a helmet.

The main cranial part of the mask was made first, then the top and bottom half of the beak. Rolled up newspaper was placed on the mask to raise specific spots. Once that was done, multiple layers of paper maché were used to smooth out the skull and to make it stronger.

The upper portion of the skull was painted an off white with dark brown added to areas that needed to be darker. The beak would be painted black. The top and bottom portions of the beak were painted the same. A little bit of pearlized blue was added to the black to give the beak a little shine in the light.

The lower beak was attached to the top of the skull using small metal fasteners, 2 on each side. When 1 fastener on either side is opened, the beak can move up and down. Some more painting and a glossy finish, and the mask was done.

Because the mask would not cover the face completely, a piece of black fabric was placed hanging from the inside, along with some black fishing net and some ribbon to tie the mask in place at the back of the head. With some of the extra cardboard and fabric I made some claws. Just cardboard, fabric, paint, and tape.

And here is the crow.

A quick and simple costume, but it ended up the way I had pictured.

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