Tag Archives: Dexter

A Friday of Websites

A Friday of Websites

Not too much going on this week. Everyone seems to be transitioning from regular seasons/school to summer work. Still, there were some interesting things on the Internet in the past couple of days:

My latest article for Stage Directions Magazine is up. “Fast, Cheap and Under Control” takes a look at how you build a prop when that prop has never been built before. I interviewed several props people for their perspectives on this particularly perplexing problem; Tom Fiocchi, props instructor at Ohio University; Lori Harrison, props director at San Francisco Opera; and Seán McArdle, worldwide freelance prop maker.

Speaking of Stage Directions, I interviewed Kacie Hultgren in an earlier article about 3D printing for theatre. Make Magazine has revisited Kacie to see what she has been up to lately.

Joshua Meltzer, prop master on the show Dexter, shares 14 bloodthirsty secrets from the “Dexter” set. Some of the shocking secrets? They don’t actually cut the actors with knives.

Finally, do you know the proper way to chuck a drill bit?

3D Printed Furniture

All Props Day

My latest magazine article is out. In “Printing a Set“, I talked with several set designers who are using 3D printing technology as part of their process.

3D Printed Furniture
3D Printed Furniture

Here’s an interesting story. Some soldiers in Afghanistan were having trouble carrying and reloading ammo for the new guns they were issued. To improvise a solution, they were inspired by a prop which Jesse Ventura used in the film Predator, and set out to recreate it. It worked.

The title of this article says it all: Dexter’s Prop Master Tells How He Made the Show’s Most Gruesome Set Pieces. It is fairly gruesome, so I caution clicking through if you do not want to read about severed body parts and other macabre details.

Here is a local news article on Karl Luthin, the owner of KEL Equine Productions, an Illinois-based company which has provided historically-accurate equine props, horse wranglers and set dressing to the film industry for years. His latest work will be seen in the upcoming Lincoln film by Steven Spielberg. You have probably seen his props in films such as “Glory,” “The Patriot” or “The Last of the Mohicans“. Check out his webpage too, for photographs of many of the items he has.

You can find pictures of early variations of the game Monopoly (known as “Landlord’s Game”) as well as rules and other historical facts here. There are over a dozen variations spanning from 1903 to 1939.

Finally, I like this set of behind-the-scenes photographs from the original Alien film. It’s just a guy chilling in a monster costume, whatever.

Behind the scenes at Dexter

Over at the LA Times, Maria Elena Fernandez recently met with prop master Josh Meltzer and assistant in the prop department Dave Maguire. They show a lot of the props, body parts and blood used on Showtime’s Dexter.

We learn what a “gold room” is in television parlance, how they stab somebody, and many other nifty little tidbits. One surprise is that they use retractable knives for the stabbings; these have almost universally fallen out of favor with theatrical prop masters. Perhaps the repetition of performance in theatre makes it more likely for an accident to happen, as opposed to television, where it is used only once under the eye of the experienced prop master.

Also: thirty more days until Halloween!