Friday Prop Roundup

The Most Ingeniously Cheapskate Props And Sets From Classic Movies – Io9 takes a look at some well-known movies and how they occasionally used very low-budget means to get the shot, like cardboard cutouts of castles.

4 Business Tips From One Of The World’s Best Cosplayers – Forbes talks with Bill Doran of Punished Props about the business end of building costumes and props for cosplay. I didn’t count four distinctive tips, but the overall knowledge in this video is pretty helpful.

How to Choose, Cut, and Bend Sheet Metal – I always want to do more sheet metal work, but rarely find the opportunity. But it’s always amazing what you can achieve with just a few hand tools and basic power tools.

Three Friends Battle to the Death With Even More Iconic Movie Weapons in ‘Prop Wars: Prop Harder’ – This video is a bit nonsensical, but it’s mostly fun to watch three guys use a whole bunch of iconic props to fight each other.

The Theatre Staff, part 2, 1866

Here is the continuation of the illustrations from backstage of a French theatre in 1866. Again, it’s all in French, but the scenes are recognizable to anyone working in theatre.

The staff, big and small things, a scenic study by Bertall (part 2)

Ooh, here we have people flying and disappearing down traps. And that guy really likes the leg on that chorus girl.

Flying, disappearing, and visiting the extras
Flying, disappearing, and visiting the extras

Uh oh, the prompter has fallen asleep!

Prompter and boats
Prompter and boats

This looks like one of those “and give up show biz?” moments.

Making waves
Making waves

And finally, some costume and wardrobe pictures.

Costumes
Costumes

Bertall. “L’envers Du Théatre.” L’illustration: Journal Universel, vol 48. 1866: 204.Google Books. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://books.google.com/books?id=-rRLAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA204#v=onepage&q&f=true>.

Friday Prop Talks

First off, I’ve already gotten nearly a hundred responses to my quick survey about my upcoming book, The Prop Effects Guidebook. I’ll probably close it down after this weekend, so if you still want to fill it out, it’s your last chance. I’m sure I’ll have more surveys on different topics over the next couple of months.

Wired talks with the props master on Stranger Things about some of the retro 80s props used on the show. The show is set in 1983, so props master Lynda Reiss had to track down several iconic pieces which are hard to find but recognizable to many. And if you haven’t seen the show yet, do yourself a favor and watch it as soon as possible.

As China becomes the next superpower, it only makes sense to check out some of the prop makers working in Shanghai. Global Times looks at three props people working in TV, film, and on a freelance basis.

Take a look at the set designs in this year’s Berkshire Theatre Festival. Though no mention is made of the props shop, it’s a nice behind-the-scenes look at how the scenery and effects come to life.

Finally, Adam Savage gave a TED Talk on his love of costuming and cosplay. You can watch the video or read the transcript which Tested has graciously provided.

The Theatre Staff, 1866

I came across the following wonderful illustrations of backstage theatre from 1866. It’s all in French. I thought I could try translating it on my own, but no luck, so here it is in its untranslated glory. If any of my readers know French and would love to take a crack at it, let me know!

The staff, big and small things, a scenic study by Bertall.

The Stage
The Stage

The next few illustrations show some manual sound effects and props.

Thunder and lightning
Thunder and lightning
Wind and rain
Wind and rain
Shooting
Shooting
Sound and food
Sound and food

Bertall. “L’envers Du Théatre.” L’illustration: Journal Universel, vol 48. 1866: 204.Google Books. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://books.google.com/books?id=-rRLAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA204#v=onepage&q&f=true>.

End of Week Prop Links

First up, Rolling Stone checks out the ghost fighting equipment in that new Ghostbusters movie everyone is raving about. Props master Kirk Corwin shows us all the proton packs, traps, and other sundry items used throughout the film.

Rosco shows off how to make a statue of David out of foam and FoamCoat. Though the emphasis is on the FoamCoat, the real interesting part is how they were able to export a 3D model of the statue to a CNC machine and build the sculpture out of many layers of regular insulation foam.

Back to Ghostbusters, Rick Lazzarini shows how his shop built an animatronic “Slimer” to use as a stand-in for the CGI effects in the film.

Back to foam carving, Make Magazine has some quick tips for sculpting Styrofoam. Though short and fairly basic, they have a few tips that you may not have tried yet.

Finally, Popular Woodworking dispels six myths about wood finishing. They aren’t fun myths about unicorns and bridge trolls, but myths about stains and grains.

Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies