San Francisco Opera’s esteemed costume department appears in the Batkid documentary which screened recently at cinema at One Embarcadero Center, telling the true story of San Francisco’s Batkid, a five year old boy named Miles Scott. Christopher Verdosci appears in the costume department working on the Bat costumes for Batkid and Batman.
The monocle from ‘La Traviata’
San Francisco Opera’s costume department helped with the Batkid and Batman costumes, which originally came from Amazon. The finishing touch would have to be lending the Penguin a monocle. The monocle comes from a production of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’. The opera gave the documentarians a taped scene from the opera. The scene shows the grand opera choristers in full formal dress, black tuxedos. One recognizes veteran chorister Siggy immediately, front and center among the tiers of choristers singing at a ball, the drinking song.
Meanwhile Miles Scott lives quietly in Tulelake, a farming town in California. Miles’ parents grew up together in Tulelake, Nick the Dad being a fourth generation farmer. Miles and his young parents never dreamed their son would not only go into remission from leukemia but get to be his hero Batman for a day, let alone in Francisco.
Thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation, San Franciscans who heard about the Batkid via social media turned out by the thousands upon thousands to cheer Batkid. Thanks to Patricia Wilson and her big thinking, the snowballing day began with Mike Jutan at Lucas in the Presidio. Jutan designed a wearable projector with messages from the police chief. Batman wore the projector on his wrist and showed the skypesque messages from Police Chief Greg Suhr against a car or ceiling. Jutan put out on Facebook the call for volunteers at each location of the day. Before long Chris Taylor at Mashable posted the headline that ten thousand strangers had signed up. Somebody from Norway was flying in. NPR reported San Francisco needed a flash mob.
Batkid rescued the City from the clutches of the arch enemies including the Penguin. His first deed, after the Chief Suhr called for help in a news announcement, was to rescue a damsel in distress who had been tied to the cable car rails. Sue Jonston played the damsel who braved the on-coming car at Hyde & Green. Jonston in real life is the wife of EJ, a former stunt man and the man who played Batman for the day. EJ took Batkid to the Circus Center for Batkid training. Miles amid other superheroes in costume learned how to tumble with agility to win the battle of good versus evil. Costumes on Haight contributed.
Batkid went on to grapple with the Riddler at the Bank of Italy even before lunch. He took a break at Burger Bar high above Union Square, which got reservations for about seven thousand that day. Seriously. Batkid had little time to digest it all before being called to duty again. Lou Seal had been mascot-napped and Batkid had to follow in hot pursuit in the Batmobile to AT&T Park. There, a message appeared on the Jumbotron. ABC7 News previewed the story as related by Ana Dietz.
It’s a fantastic feel good experience to relive. Even better, it’s an uplifting story for those of us who regrettably did not make it into San Francisco in person that day. Plot spoiler, Mayor Ed Lee presents Batkid with the key to the City and Miles gets to eat the one made of Tcho Chocolate. This colorful film will go down in San Francisco history.
The film not only does the opera and the choristers proud but the City of San Francisco and even America. The film begins with an aerial view over the Golden Gate Bridge. The giant Oracle catamaran from the America’s Cup sails by. The real news casters talk about how San Francisco will turn into Gotham City for a day. The music starts out low energy and so with poignancy though, albeit the lyrics are ‘we can be heroes’ and eventually the music goes surfer. Hans Zimmer, the composer for the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, contributed.
The grand scenes from the start should be projected with a rousing soundtrack of triumph and energy if not the Bat theme itself. The rest of the film is funny and upbeat. It’s a triumph in itself as well as a tribute to the human spirit. The documentary makes a person feel patriotic about the Bay as well as arousing a great sense of one’s own childhood fantasies and heroes coming to life before one’s eyes. The film has a great touch of incorporating comic book illustrations. At the end of the day the audience sees how Audrey Cooper at the San Francisco Chronicle printed a front page story above the fold for Batkid.
Dana Nachman directed. Nachman co-produced the documentary with Liza Meak. Nachman co-wrote with Kurt Kuenne. Ian Reinhard and John Crane served as executive producers. Don Hardy and Naomi Ture directed photography. Kurt Kuenne edited. Dave Tweedie and Helen Jane Long composed the music. Rob Simmons animated. New Line Cinema presents a KTF Films Production, a Dana Nachman film, “Batkid Begins.” The film was distributed in limited release on June 26. Distribution continues nationwide throughout July. Distributors are Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
For more information, check out the Batkid Begins website.