Behind the scenes: designing the props for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Pierre Bohanna talks about some of the fantastic props he was tasked to create for JK Rowling’s latest foray into the Harry Potter universe. He also details some of the biggest challenges; surprisingly, recreating 1926 New York was more difficult than finding fantastic beasts.
Props: Fur, Foam & Focus – Zoë Morsette talks with Stage Directions magazine about her career and some of the favorite props she built. She discusses some great specifics about materials, techniques, and tools used on some recognizable props. She also gives helpful advice for the early career prop professional.
Floating Worlds: The Santa Fe Opera Scene Shop – This article brings us some beautiful photographs and in-depth interviews with Scott Schreck and Mike Ortiz, the technical director and associate technical director of the Santa Fe Opera. Find out how they build scenery for operas that travel all over the world.
Our Favorite Movie Props at Comic-Con 2018! – The Prop Store is getting ready for a big auction of rare and iconic movie props. They recently brought a bunch of them to San Diego Comic Con. This fifteen-minute video looks at their collection during this brief opportunity to see all these famous props in one location.
Faberge Caravan – The Prop Solve is back after a brief hiatus, but she returns with a fantastic post showing a Faberge egg she made in the style of a 1970s caravan trailer. There are lots of great tips and photos showing how she modeled tiny benches and appliances to fit the curves of an egg-shaped vehicle.
NFTS Model Making Course Leader Reveals What it Was Like Working as Prop Maker on Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Lee was a prop maker on the newest Star Wars film, and he talks with his alma mater about what it was like working on such a large-scale film.
EVA Foam – What it is and Where to Get It – A Prop Maker’s Guide – Bill Doran gives us a rundown of all the different types of flexible closed-cell foam which prop builders use.
Watch Colin Furze build a life-size TIE Silencer from Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Colin Furze and his team build one of the new spaceships from the recent Star Wars film. It certainly looks sturdy.
Building a Studio Scale Model of the Escape Pod from Star Wars: A New Hope – At the other end of the scale, David Goldberg builds a miniature replica of one of the first spaceships we see in the Star Wars franchise, forty years ago.
Wow, look at that; I managed to find one non-Star Wars related link to share this week!
How to be a theatre animal prop maker – The Stage talks with Paul Robbens, who makes animals for companies like Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House, and Shakespeare’s Globe. Also check out “How to be a costume prop maker for theatre” if you can make it past the paywall.
QUAKE 3 Railgun Replica Prop – BricoGeek shares a video of how he constructed a real-life version of a railgun from the Quake 3 video game. The body is mostly 3D printed. The electronics inside are impressive, with lights and sounds taken directly from the game. I also love how well-thought out the assembly process was, leaving all the electronics accessible.
How U.S. Counterfeit Laws Impact Hollywood Prop Money – Here is a good history of how movie money evolved to remain legal under counterfeit laws. These hold true for theater as well; make no mistake, the Secret Service has paid a visit to more than one theater in this country.
Use a Vinyl Cutter to Design Stencils for Spray Painting – Make Magazine presents tips and tricks for creating paint stencils on a vinyl cutter.
This Insane Dungeons & Dragons Model Is a Work of Art – Ryan Devoto has constructed a vast and intricate fantasy world for use with Dungeons and Dragons figurines. Though I’ve heard some nerd criticisms that this model is not actually playable, you can still spend hours just examining every detail.
8 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of the Pretty Little Liars’ Vengeful Board Game – We head to Cosmo this morning to learn about the elaborate board game created by props master Chris Vail. Unlike “Cones of Dunshire,” this game is actually played on screen over several episodes. The details are gorgeous and Vail explains how they built the various mechanisms we see in the show.
Paul Huston on Making Models and History for Star Wars: A New Hope – Star Wars turns 40 this year, so StarWars.com talks with Paul Huston, who has worked on all eight Star Wars films so far. It is amazing to look back and realize just how much movie-making technology was invented solely to create that film.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Scene Shop Skips the Fasteners – OSF needs to rep ten shows at the height of their season, so they are always looking for ways to make change-over go quicker. For the set of Shakespeare in Love, they have come up with a way to sleeve pieces together without requiring fasteners. Check out the video to see how they make custom 3D-printed hardware to pull this off.
Beowulf Boritt, Set Designer, Renovates His Home – It’s always great to see a theater person’s home, especially when they do a lot of the renovation themselves. Check out all the custom parts that have gone into Beowulf’s Sutton Place co-op. My favorite bit is the framed electrical outlet from Hand of God which an audience member famously tried to charge their phone from.
How to Fix a Split Seat – Finally, Chris Schwartz show his method for fixing a split seat, which can be used to fix any piece of split wood.
Over at HowlRound, Seth Tyler Black talks about career transitions from theatre to film. He interviews a few art directors and props people to see what skills are shared between the two fields, and what makes them different.
I loved this article and photographs about Syrian refugees building scale models of historical landmarks. As their homeland is destroyed by war, and ancient artifacts are being destroyed, these artists are coming together in their cramped camps to create a record of what is lost. They construct the models with whatever materials they can find, from rock, to MDF, to wooden kebab skewers.
Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney has been researching ancient methods of measurement, and has come up with the Rulers of the Ancient World. These wooden measuring devices come in several flavors: Ancient Egyptian, Japanese “Kanejaku”, and Ancient Roman. So if you’re sick of inches, but millimeters leave you cold, why not measure your next project in Pes and Uncia?
Bill Doran shows us how to make shiny metal prop finishes. The real trick he shares? Make your prop glossy before adding the metal spray paint.
Finally, Make Magazine has 11 tips for creating a good weld. Here’s a twelfth tip: welding is awesome.