V for Vendetta, V Style Civilian Crowd Guy Fawkes Mask
original movie prop
A screen-used civilian crowd Guy Fawkes mask by an extra in the revolutionary finale of the film, where hundreds of civilians donned clothing similar to V’s hero costume in masks, hats, wigs, and cloaks.
Professional Swiss airbrush artist Miss Susi Montoro (https://www.montoro.de/auftragengl.html), who painted all of V’s 56 hero fiberglass masks, was commissioned again by the production to paint 500 manufactured masks made in London. For the finale scene, she had been assisted by six other artists to help hand paint with black acrylics the eyebrows, goatee, mustache, and do some of the mixed brown airbrushing in the curves and creases. The crowd masks, like the hero masks, are airbrushed with formulated colors. Depending on the light source, the base color can come off as a warm bright white or yellow, complete with the rosy cheeks and mouth. At 460 masks that were finished, the production told them this was sufficient. The 38 blank masks remaining (after 1 was used by Susi as a test for her painting assistants and another one taken home with permission and finished as a personal momento as shown on her website) were never finished and likely destroyed.
Over the course of the three-night shoot for the finale scene, a number of crowd sets went "missing", and after production, the majority were intentionally discarded. Presumably, anything that was capable of being taken or had remained was retrieved by crew members and subsequently dispersed into the public and collectors alike from there. Not many had survived because the film at the time wasn’t anticipated to be the massive cultural success it is today. It would be personally estimated than less than 100 masks still exist, and many less with their respective clothing accessories.
During the world-wide premieres of the film in 2006, a number of complete crowd sets were used by background extras for photographs with the cast, walk-way, and in the audiences with some used on display.
This mask is created from an approximately 1.5-1.75mm thick white plastic sheet vacuum-formed directly from V’s hero mask. The goatee of the mask, however, is a straight line, as a result of this process; whereas the hero masks have a goatee that extends as a separate sculpted tip. What can tend to happen with bending the mask is that the goatee area cracks since the cut is circular and quite low.
It has some drips of overspray base paint on the edges as well. It also has brush marks from the application of the black acrylics, giving the impression they were rushed quickly as all of the masks had to be finished within a week. It is finally clear-coated in a semi-gloss finish.
The back of the mask exposes the plastic's plain natural white color, lined with black foam padding as the base and a pair of tan squared foam cut-outs in the cheeks for comfort for the actor wearing it. The black elastic band is ~0.25" wide, is slightly longer in length than most, and held together on each end by a ~1" black tagging attachment clips. The eyes and mouth are punctured from a die machine, with the interior of the eyes roughly painted black similar to, but not perfectly like, the hero masks. The eye die puncture shapes are asymmetrical, smaller and slightly off, therefore altering the expression of the mask when compared to the hero masks. The nose has holes that are punctured out as well.
The mask exhibits significant wear but remains in good condition after 15 years with the most important details intact. It has multiple paint chips/wiping's, surface markings, paint scratching in the upper right eye brow, and a crack in the goatee. The paint chips expose the bare plastic underneath, in which these areas have yellowed over time.
Some crowd masks have their respective eyes and mouth cut by hand, resulting in an unaesthetic finish, as cutting plastic perfectly by hand is difficult.
The thickness of some of the crowd masks seems to vary. There were reports by other collectors that some of their masks were 1mm thick, similar to the flexible, thin plastic of the mass-produced Guy Fawkes masks that are commercially available.
While the crowd masks clearly retain fundamental detail from the hero masks, the thickness of the sheet as well as the natural process of vacuum-formation impacts any sharp details from the original and creates particular features such as the nose, cheeks, and facial hair to be slightly bigger, rounded off, or wider. Therefore, the hero masks are completely unique and quite superior.
It's important to note that any crowd mask that has been molded and subsequently reproduced as a replica will further diminish and alter these details some more, distancing itself farther away from the hero. An example of this is a series of masks reproduced from a crowd by "sskunky", that altered and lost a number of sensitive details, yet was advertised as being cast from the hero molds. This was held in belief by many buyers/collectors.
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