Just a reminder that you have until May 15th to apply for one of the $1000 grants being offered by S*P*A*M. If you have a props internship or apprenticeship either now or in the near future, you are eligible, and it is super easy to apply for!
Slammin’ Ham! – FFFriday Guest Post from Victoria Ross – For one of our shows at Triad, my apprentice cast and painted this very hefty ham out of silicone rubber. The final scene in Two Trains Running is punctuated by a character slamming the ham on the diner counter, and this ham made that slam very dramatic.
Someone Has To Clean Up After Broadway’s Creative Destruction – True West features the near-total destruction of everything on stage by the end of the performance, and the current Broadway production delivers that. Find out how the show’s prop team accomplished not only that, but the clean-up and reset before every show as well.
How Disney uses more than 7,000 props to make Galaxy’s Edge look and feel like a ‘Star Wars’ movie – The new Star Wars theme park requires a ton of very custom set dressing. Find out how Eric Baker and his team are salvaging airplane parts and other pieces of junk to build this “final frontier.”
Behind the Scenes at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Props Warehouse – Chris Young, the props director at STC, explains how they accomplished all the blood effects in their recent production of The Oresteia.
Disney Dream Job: Walt Disney Imagineer Prop Master – In this video segment, 11-year-old Adam spends a day learning about how to become a Walt Disney Theme Park Prop Master. He visits with the people who design the attractions, tours the shops where the props are fabricated, and browses the warehouse where pieces are stored. It’s not only a great look behind-the-scenes at the park, but it’s also refreshing to see a young kid like Adam who is so passionate about props.
Creative Lives — Prop maker, set stylist and textile homeware designer Mariel Osborn on the joys of physical making – “Lecture in Progress” sits down with Mariel Osborn, a freelance prop maker and set stylist in Manchester, England. They talk about her work, her daily routine, and how she wound up with such a fascinating career.
“Danger, Will Robinson!” See How the Artists at Spectral Motion Built the Incredible Robot for the New Netflix Series, ‘Lost in Space.’ – Like the title says, you can discover how the iconic robot was reinvented for the new television show. The entire suit was sculpted and crafted by hand because the team did not have enough time to use 3D printing. The show uses the practical suit about 85% of the time, with digital effects being used mostly to enhance the scenes.
Light Up Leather Arm Braces – Make Magazine has this great project that marries the old-school techniques of working with leather with the state-of-the-art techniques of blinking lights.
10 Famous Props And The Actors Who Stole Them – I question the authenticity of some of these stories; the iconic props for major franchises are tracked and cataloged so carefully, that I really doubt Chris Hemsworth just ‘walked off’ the set with a Thor hammer. These antics are usually allowed to happen to generate further publicity for a film. That being said, I definitely believe that Hugh Bonneville walked off with a letter from the set of Downton Abbey.
The costume department at UNC Chapel Hill is building replica costumes from sci-fi films for the Museum of Science Fiction. Check out this short video of their envious task as faculty, staff and students reconstruct a flight attendant uniform from 2001, including 3D-printing a Pan-Am badge.
If you have not yet “liked” the Society of Properties Artisan Managers page on Facebook, now’s a good time. They’ve been featuring photos and descriptions of the prop shops from theatres across the US. It’s great to see the differences and similarities of how we all set up our spaces to do our jobs.
Blaine Gibson, a sculptor of figures at Disney Parks, passed away recently. Gibson was responsible for many of the Parks’ iconic figures, such as the pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean, the ghosts of the Haunted Mansion, and those children from It’s a Small World.
Finally, this is from nearly a month ago, but Volpin Props has the beginning of a great step-by-step write-up for a Garuda’s Spine bow from Final Fantasy. This massive weapon has tons of detail, and it is great to see all the photos of it coming together.
Gothamist has behind-the-scenes photos from Shakespeare in the Park, as well as how they make blood for Shakespeare in the Park. Both links feature the Public Theater’s costume master Luke McDonough, as well as my old boss, props master Jay Duckworth.
Harrison Krix is back with another great project, a life-sized shark gun from League of Legends. I don’t do the video games, so I don’t really know what that is, but it looks cool and lights up and opens its mouth.
Ars Technica has a fascinating article on how Disney built and programmed an animatronic President. D23 has a similar article; though theirs has far less of the technical information, they have many more pictures of the other animatronics used at Disney parks.
Finally, here is an interesting piece called “Practical Effects Can’t Make a Comeback Because They Never Went Away“. While the article itself raises some good points, it also contains a fair amount of videos giving behind-the-scenes looks at the practical effects in various films from throughout the years.