THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)

by Jim Boulden

"The Dark Knight" won 2 Oscars (Heath Ledger in a supporting role, Sound editing).  The film featured Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, Heath Ledger as the Joker, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Gordon.

Oscar nominations:

  1. Best Achievement in Cinematography
  2. Best Achievement in Film Editing
  3. Best Achievement in Art Direction (My supervisor: Nathan Crowley)
  4. Best Achievement in MakeUp (John Caglione)
  5. Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
  6. Best Achievement in Visual Effects 

Batman fan? Remember the rottweiler attack sequences in "The Dark Knight"? 

First appearing in the parking garage, then at Joker's lair. We named our lead, animatronic bat "Alfred" after the butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Kaine). This was a fun project! Attack puppets!? What a crazy business...

The Animal Makers' crew included Jim Boulden (Lead) and Aida Caefer (figure finisher).

Several versions of the rottweilers were created.  There was the fully animatronic version (as shown below), a less animated version with head and mouth movements only, and there was a full body "stuffy" for throwing about.

No animals were harmed during filming (Chicago and London).

This is a breakdown of the puppet's movements

This is the head core, with lip lift mechanism starting to come together.

STUNT BODY - ROTTWEILER (Inside framework and mold works)