by Julie E. Washington/Plain Dealer Reporter

Tuesday December 30, 2008, 3:24 PM

Lionsgate FilmsThe Spirit,” in theaters now, uses special effects from a Crestline, Ohio, company, Precinct 13.

CRESTLINE — Superman’s got his cape, Batman rocks a cowl and the Spirit protects his secret identity with a mask. “The Spirit” director Frank Miller turned to an Ohio special-effects company, Precinct 13, to design the trademark mask for his film adaptation of the Will Eisner comic.

“Frank had very specific ideas about what he wanted,” said makeup-effects supervisor Al Tuskes, who lives in Lakewood. The mask had to hold its shape and mold exactly to actor Gabriel Macht‘s face, and it had to look like something that the Spirit made himself.

Working from a life mask of Macht’s face, Precinct 13 sculptor Gino Crognale designed the mask, and Tuskes replicated 80 masks by hand out of sculpted foam.

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