Inspiration comes from unlikely sources.
With the release and success of David Gordon Green's new entry in the Halloween franchise, we circle back to the most famous question surrounding one of Hollywood's great movie monsters. Art departments, especially on smaller projects like the original Halloween, need to look everywhere for inspiration. Crafting found objects or existing props into new and repurposed story elements is a common tactic.
A lot of times the effectiveness of this strategy depends on how creative the team can get, and how much they can see beyond the surface.
As to the question of the source behind Michael Myer's chilling visage?
The rumor is of course correct; The famed Michael Myers mask is William Shatner, a 'death mask' made for Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
Captain Kirk himself confirms it, and throws in a very "meta" personal anecdote about the whole thing:
Production designer Tommy Lee Wallace also breaks down the discovery and choice of the mask:
StarTrek.com got a great quote confirming, and explaining a little more detail, behind the story from Rick Sternbach (and illustrator and designer on multiple Star Trek projects), who reconfirmed the story when he was working on Halloween 2.
"There are a number of historical threads through various production people over the years that validate that; I've got one of those threads here (I've told this story once or twice before). I was hired as an illustrator on HALLOWEEN 2 in 1981, working for production designer J. Michael Riva. In a supply cabinet at Pumpkin Pie Productions, we had one mask left from the original HALLOWEEN, and no idea where to get any others for the sequel. It appeared that we'd need to go check out some of the toys stores and such, but I noticed that there was some wording molded into the neck area. There was a model number, and 'Don Post Studios.' I made a call, read off the model number, and the word came back 'It's our Captain Kirk mask.' I asked if we could buy a number of them, and was told 'We'll give you a box, just give us credit.'"
Inspiration comes from unlikely sources. What was intended for one purpose in one project was eventually repurposed and brought to new heights. From one very different icon to another.
Is this the crossover we need?