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Who Killed Batman?

Guerilla Tactics
Photo courtesy

The two employed guerilla filmmaking tactics and innumerable special effects tricks along the way. They shot the trailer exclusively on weekends and used whatever locations they could find, often without official clearance. For the scenes showing Batman's funeral, they shot at a public golf course, but were soon chased off the green and had to find a similar location. By the end of shooting for that sequence, they had been kicked out of several golf courses. They found a local Los Angeles library to be more accommodating. By sheer coincidence, on their shooting day, a feature film rented the space for use later in the day. Apparently, the librarian assumed they were part of the feature film shoot. Fiorella and Sabloff capitalized on the librarian's confusion and shot their scenes in the library without interruption.

Another scene called for a tracking shot of Robin running down a busy street at top speed, in his full superhero costume. To avoid the expense and complexity of blocking off a city street and hiring extras, the filmmaking pair sought out a crowded street in downtown Los Angeles one weekend. Sabloff positioned himself in a car and cued Fiorella (playing the role of Robin) to run down the sidewalk as if pursuing an evildoer. Other locations included a public beach, an alley, the 405 freeway, the interior of the filmmaker's apartment and an apartment complex pool.

Almost all of the special effects wizardry was carried off in the analog realm. According to Fiorella, only 4 digital effects were used in the entire trailer. To depict Robin blocking a hail of machine-gun bullets with a metal door, they strapped fireworks to the outside of the door and lit them in sequence. When the plot called for Superman lifting a heavily armored tank, they used the technique of forced perspective and positioned a tiny toy tank in the extreme foreground and Superman in the background.