It’s the middle of a hurricane here in North Carolina, as well as Opening Night for my first show of the season, but I still found some great stories and videos on props that you can check out:
Broadway’s Biggest Debut: King Kong – Ugh, this puppet is so amazing. It is controlled by 14 puppeteers and it contains a ton of animatronics as well. Be sure to see some of the videos of Kong in motion.
TAIT Take Over – Karla Ramsey – Scenic artists at TAIT Towers create the proscenium arch for the Elton John concert. It is a combination of foam carving and clay sculpting, with everything molded and cast for the final piece. A few of my friends and colleagues spent the summer up here working on this, and the results are spectacular.
Cosplay Shines At DragonCon – Make Magazine has a great round-up of cosplay photographs from the recent DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. Yes, there is a whole convention just for dragons.
Modeling and 3D-Printing Wonder Woman’s Tiara for Cosplay! – Darrell Maloney made this video to show us how he modeled a digital version of Wonder Woman’s tiara from the recent film. He then 3D printed it, and shows us how he finished and painted it as well.
Submit Your Role Call-ers! – American Theatre Magazine has a regular segment where they highlight theatre workers that more people should know about. This December, they will be profiling twenty folks that should be known outside their discipline. You can nominate people you think they should highlight; let’s see some props people up in there!
The Collaborator Party 2018 – This Sunday is the Tony Awards, which means it’s also the 4th annual Collaborator Party. Be sure to attend if you are in NYC or one of the satellite venues. One of the co-hosts this year is Jay Duckworth, props director at the Public Theater. Props people are finally getting their due!
Prop Master Russell Bobbitt Reveals Movie Secrets Behind Iconic Props – This short video is mostly an ad for Zippo lighters, but it is still great to hear Russell talk about how props are used in movies. Russell is the props master for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so he is responsible for such modern-day icons like Captain America’s shield, Thor’s hammer, and the Infinity Gauntlet.
How Peak TV and DVRs Raise the Stakes for Period Props – The Hollywood Reporter talks with Ross MacDonald, Hollywood’s “go-to” for graphics props.
Zer0 Sword Build – Casey Gartung writes a step-by-step guide to building this glowing sword from the Borderlands 2 video game.
Did You Know Lex Luthor and Obi-Wan Kenobi Shared a Prop? – Now you do. The trunk that Obi-Wan kept his lightsaber in is the same trunk that Lex Luthor used to store Kryptonite.
Metal 3D Printing Like Never Seen Before – 1st Century Roman Helmet Build – We’re all out of a job! Except that this took months of hand painting and finishing on top of the actual printing. Not to mention you still need to deal with 3D printing just like any other process, where you break your prop down into its simplest components and determine the best materials and methods to achieve those components. Still, this is an impressive looking helmet.
Inside Hollywood’s Prop Food Wonderland – Take a journey to LA’s Prop Heaven, one of the largest independently-owned prop houses in Burbank, California. Nearly a quarter of their stock is devoted to food and restaurant-themed furniture.
Fit For A King – A Nine Piece Rolling Throne – Jay Duckworth details his process of creating a rolling throne for the Public Theater’s mobile production of Henry V. Initially, the throne had to come out in nine pieces and be assembled by the actors onstage, before another actor jumped on the seat and rode around in it. Luckily, it was the only prop in the show!
Propmaster Annette Breazeale Brings WBTT Theater Sets to Life – Check out this lovely photo slideshow of the prop stock at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, where Annette Breazeale is the props master.
How Some Of The Best Cosplay On Earth Is Made – This video details one of the costume armor pieces created by Henchmen Studios, where over fifteen people spent five weeks fabricating every part.
The Wild Story Behind The ‘Stranger Things’ Upside Down Tunnel Drawings – The excruciating detail which Stranger Things property master Lynda Reiss put into the tunnel drawings in the most recent season is both mind-blowing and inspiring. Guess how many crayons they went through.
Prop Master Jonathan Drover: ‘One is None’ – The props master for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Agency recently answered questions on Twitter, and the BBC has collected the best responses in this article. Find out how he built some of the show’s crazier props and what medium he likes working in the best.
From the Rockie to Reign of Fire: How Dundee pupil Chrissie carved out a career in the movies – Though she dropped out of high school, Chrissie Overs has worked as a prop builder and special effects technician on films such as Aliens, Prometheus, and Reign of Fire.
Robby The Robot Is Now The Most Valuable Movie Prop Sold At Auction – He sold for $5,375,000. If I could sell a prop for that much, I might be able to come under budget for my show. Might.
How NOT to build a HUGE sword prop for cosplay – Cosplayer Otakitty points out all the many mistakes she made while building a giant sword. It’s an interesting twist to the standard tutorial, and a great way to show how prop building is about making choices, and the strength or weakness of those choices are often not apparent until you’re too deep into the project to start over.
Every Halloween, an Oakland Man Stages Spooky Marionette Shows in His Driveway – This man is living the dream. As the title says, Larry Schmidt has been putting on a Halloween marionette show in his Oakland, CA, neighborhood for the past 11 years.
8 Cosplayers Share Their Tips, Tools, and Ingenuity – Make Magazine showcases eight different cosplayers and their fantastic costumes. Many of their tips are useful for prop builders as well.
Hollywood’s Female Crewmembers Suffer Harassment Without the Platform of Stardom – While harassment of actresses has been in the news lately, the ongoing and pervasive harassment of female crew members is less visible. In theatre, the problem is even less acknowledged; as far as I’ve seen, none of the backstage publications have addressed the continuing problem of sexual harassment of women theatre technicians, designers, and students.
How to make a Shishkebab Prop from Fallout 4 – Zonbi brings us this video showing how she built this flaming sword weapon from the popular Fallout 4 video game. The materials are inexpensive, but the result is pretty hot.