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32TEN Studios Contributes Special Effects to Make A Wish Come True for Five-Year-Old BatKid


32TEN Studios contributed special effects to help Miles Scott become “BatKid” for a day.

San Rafael, Calif.-based 32TEN Studios contributed several practical special effects for Make-A-Wish Foundation’s hugely successful “BatKid” event, held across the city of San Francisco on Nov. 15.

32TEN’s special effects supervisor Geoff Heron and fabrication supervisor Sean House created special effects to help “make a wish come true” for Miles Scott, a five-year-old child afflicted with leukemia. Thanks to the Bay Area’s Make-A-Wish Foundation, Miles got his chance to fulfill his dream of being Batman for a day. He was transformed into “BatKid” as the foundation transformed a number of San Francisco neighborhoods into Gotham City, with over 12,000 volunteers playing along.

Heron and House produced three special effects moments using various forms of pyro and smoke effects during the event. These moments included: a smoke haze from which two Batmobiles appeared; an explosion, as BatKid thwarts the Riddler during a bank heist, and a smoke bomb going off as arch enemy the Penguin unsuccessfully tried to escape capture by BatKid.

Photo courtesy of John Crane Films.
Photo courtesy of John Crane Films.

“It’s not everyday one gets a chance to help a five-year-old boy literally fulfill his wish of becoming Batman,” said Heron. “It was a pleasure to play a role in this wonderful event.”

On the morning of the event, Miles, along with a grownup Batman sidekick, got a phone call from the police chief and jumped into his own Batmobile to defend the city against some of his fiercest foes – including the Riddler and the Penguin. After rescuing a damsel in distress from the cable car tracks in Nob Hill, and capturing the Riddler in the act of robbing a downtown vault, Batman ate his lunch at the Burger Bar in San Francisco, directly above Union Square. He then went on to rescue San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal from the Penguin, and was ultimately given the keys to the city by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

The event garnered worldwide media coverage and even elicited responses from President Obama and the First Lady.

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