Conan O'Brien Roasts Iconic Design Firm Ironhead Studio
The spotlight on the Van Nuys studio is just the latest pop culture turn for below-the-line industry crafts.
Thursday night on TBS' Conan, the floppy-haired host visited one of the superhero genre's most decorated costume and design firms, Ironhead Studio, makers of Batman cowls and Avenger body suits, among many other props.
In his romp around the workshop, Conan called out Ironhead's decidedly un-photogenic location.
"I'm standing in a particularly depressing part of Van Nuys, California, which was never repaired after the war," the host joked, standing by a dumpster. "But this is where Ironhead Studio makes many of the costumes for giant franchise superhero films, films that make billions and billions of dollars in profit."
The spotlight on Ironhead's Van Nuys studio is just the latest pop culture turn for below-the-line industry crafts. Channels featuring the work of art departments proliferate on YouTube and professional fabricators like former Mythbuster Adam Savage are reaching celebrity status.
"The world is changing, things are becoming more accessible," Ironhead founder Jose Fernandez told The Hollywood Reporter, speaking after the Conan segment aired. "Now every Petco's got a few different Chewbaccas in it. People are becoming more aware."
Despite the attention, Fernandez says he prefers being "the guy behind the guy."
"This is all a more recent thing," he says. "Most of the time, I'm the type who likes to go into a bubble for a few months and create something."
But the designers at Ironhead still know how to have a good time. They made a custom costume for Conan during his trip, accentuating his pecs. "Conan's visit was the most fun we've ever had transforming someone into a superhero," says Fernandez.