Prospect, the film we worked on in 2017 building and finishing props and sets, is now out on Netflix in the US! Prospect is a sci-fi western full of practical effects starring Pedro Pascal in a helmet. It is also available on Blu-ray if you want a physical copy! This 8-part series of posts does not contain any spoilers so you can check them all out without fear of ruining anything if you haven’t seen the film yet!
Cee’s Helmet was made by someone else, but it was my job to do some of the final finishing on the helmet to meet the director’s aesthetic. When I got the helmet, there were a lot of shiny “metal” parts that looked out-of-place in our far future, gritty frontier, and I was tasked to make them look more matte black and beat up. I relied on my trusty old friend, Plasti-Dip!
After masking everything off, I coated the metal looking parts in Plasti-Dip then careful scraped edges and bits to reveal the original metallic paint for scuffing and wear and tear.
I also added these cool screw heads onto the helmet so these pieces didn’t just look stuck on to the face plates. We took extra care to not use basic looking fasteners throughout all the costumes and props (there are no flat or philips screw heads anywhere!)
Because this was a hero helmet that would be worn a lot, the face shields were actually made in triplicate. This allowed for cleaning and easy swapping between takes and as emergency backups. However, for the sake of continuity, all the weathering had to match. It was a lot of fun ensuring that all three had identical wear and tear and dirt.
The final element of the helmets were lights. Almost all of the helmets in the film had removable flashlights/headlamps, and I was tasked with finishing and figuring out how to attach them. Cee, Damon, and Ezra all had this same style of light. For both Cee and Damon’s helmets they attached via magnet. Ezra’s helmet was a bit more difficult because of the big face shield and soft back, so I ended up making a custom clip for it to slide onto the frame of his facemask while looking like it wasn’t clipped on. (Sorry I didn’t manage to get a photo of that).
The technique here was very similar to the one used on the fusebox for the scratched, painted metal – make it as real as possible! Instead of painting silver/metallic over the paint where I wanted chipping, I actually painted the entire thing with metallic paint first, then the outside layers of paint, then very carefully scratched and chipped off paint where I wanted wear and tear. It gives a lot more realistic chipping and wear in my opinion. The dirt and grime were just a variety of acrylic paints.
The Prospect Collector’s Pack, available in limited quantities, includes, along with a bunch of other cool stuff, a really cool knolling poster of a bunch of props from the movie, including the Cee’s helmet!
If you’d like to help us continue making great stuff and content, you can support us by donating via our ko-fi or by shopping on our Amazon page where we list all of our favorite and most used tools and supplies! And as always, we are available to do set, prop, and costume design & fabrication.