On March 7, 1990, Production Designer Anton Furst gave a lecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles.
He spoke about his career leading up to work on Batman, ending the talk with a description of the thinking and ideas behind his Batmobile design.
You can watch the full video here:
Thanks Nick for the heads up on this video.
What follows here is a word for word transcript of the Batmobile part of the talk. He may have been bit drunk, which the transcript reflects, but the concepts are all there.
ANTON FURST ON DESIGNING THE BATMOBILE
(Transcription starting at 1:30 or so.)
And … . .
(Picture of Batmobile)
That’s my new car.
Uh . .
What I wanted to do with the car here is to, um,
I wanted it, and I, …
I wasn’t very interested in looking at cars,
You know, to, to try to come up with designing it,
Cause what I thought was
It’s like an extension of his armour,
It’s an extension of him.
Every time you know you came up with a concept car …
A few, you just …
It’s the sex is the shit!
I wanted to . . just … .
I mean I thought if,
If you don’t make it rude you’ve really … failed.
So … .
Then I thought … thought that,
You’ve got to have this knight in armour feel.
With a sort of visor look to it.
And, every …
Anything to make it very an agressive war machine.
And paid very little attention to any designed … cars
Apart from looking at what had had generally over the years,
Looking back to the sort of … .
… the 40s um …
Utah Salt Flats,
Through to the,
Muscle cars of the 60s.
Through to … .
And then putting a bloody great rocket engine down the middle!
You know, I … . .
It just really is a war machine.
I didn’t …
I must say, in terms of the … producers or the production if you like of this, um …
John Peters … animal, you know, that, he is …
He blew out six million dollars from General Motors,
They wanted to do the car,
And they came up with various designs,
They said, ‘We think we can improve upon this design’,
And John just said, “Are you going to do that design or not?”
And they said “No,” and he said, “Well, let’s just shake hands, it’s very nice of you to suggest it, see you later.”
An … and uh … that’s strong producing, I mean, that’s certainly support,
That is, uh …
(Slide changes to a picture of the rear of the Batmobile.)
… And the back.
So, he … blew out six million dollars, uh … just to …
Maintain the original design.
… his … . .
And we built it.
Uh, which was a magnificent job by the way by Johnny Evans, uh …
Who … had done ‘Full Metal Jacket’ with me,
He, he, uh … this, uh … if you imagine building a functioning car that does … has a …
… and, uh … is gonna run for months and months and months with a …
Seven point seven liter engine …
in it, with uh …
Guns . .
Thing we didn’t like … we didn’t like high tech stuff … very much,
Laser guns and all that, doesn’t fit with Batman.
You know all the sort of mechanical elements and all of that sort of thing …
So even when, he comes out and zaps something … you know la-ser gun? …
It’s a dirty old gattling gun!
You know, how it comes out,
Always try never to position the thing in time.
You know …
it’s the 40s or the now, whenever …
Uh, but it … worked magnificently, it never went wrong,
We built two, one of them’s under wraps at Pinewood,
And the other one’s in John Peter’s garage in Hollywood,
And that’s it.
For this and other Batmobile posts (including my DIY Batmobile building adventures), check out ‘The Batmobile Show’ at: