A day in the life of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s head of props – featuring swords, fake blood, and stage secrets – Alan Smith is the head of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Follow him for a day in his life at this iconic theater. This article has some lovely photographs that accompany it.
Russell Bobbitt – The Dash Podcast interviews Russell Bobbitt, who is in charge of the props for the entire Marvel Universe. I’ve posted plenty of articles about Russell on this blog before, but it’s great to hear him talk about his work in a much more relaxed setting.
Silk Flowers and Papier Mache Hearts – Speaking of podcasts, our very own podcast on props just published its sixth episode. Check out the interviews and episodes we already have up, and subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes!
The Practical FX of Pacific Rim: Uprising – Check out this in-depth look at various practical effects on the latest Pacific Rim film. They sculpt a giant kaiju brain among other things. The suits of armor are pretty boss also.
Yesterday, Ashley Flowers and I published the first episode of our new podcast. Both of us have been wanting to start a props podcast for awhile, and we got the ball rolling on Facebook a few weeks ago. “Silk Flowers and Papier Mache Hearts” (get it?) is all about props for the stage, screen, and beyond. We will be discussing all sorts of topics relevant for the props person in performing arts, as well as interviewing other props people.
Our first episode is now available, and you can subscribe to us through iTunes or Google Play, with more options coming in the future. We plan on releasing a new episode every two weeks.
You can also check us out on Twitter. If you have ideas or questions for future podcasts, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, a couple of upcoming deadlines. The deadline for the 2018 Grants for Early Career Prop Professionals is May 15. If you have an upcoming internship/apprenticeship in props, you are eligible to apply for one of two $1000 grants offered by the Society of Properties Artisan Managers.
If you are going to the Maker Faire Bay Area later this month, check out the The First Annual Maker Faire Prop Contest. The deadline is May 17th to have your prop judged by an all-star team of internet-famous props people.
Han Solo’s Episode VI blaster up for grabs (VIDEO) – Yes, it’s on a site called “guns.com”; sorry about that. But they do have a load of information about the original Star Wars prop, along with a few videos of various replicas being built.
Prop Master April Laird on “Hold the Drama” – The latest episode of the “Hold the Drama” podcast talks with April Laird, who has worked in the props department of shows like Dexter, Grey’s Anatomy, and New Girl.
Make a Marking Gauge for Curves – Chris Schwartz demonstrates how to build a quick marking gauge that allows you to follow a curve to mark an inset.
Building a Portable, Collapsible Workbench – Elisha from Pneumatic Addict shows us how she built a simple workbench that folds down to take up minimal space.
Behind the Scenes at Playhouse in the Park – Take a read through this wonderfully written and gorgeously photographed article on the scene and prop shops at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park. Their shop is built in an old skating rink; if you look at the photo of the props shop, you can see how the floor is made up of curved wood boards.
Lyceum Theatre Flamingo Puppets – The Prop Solve is back with a post about foam and fabric flamingo puppets she made for Alice in Wonderland. The flexible neck mechanism is particularly ingenious.
How to be a Prop Maker with “Evil” Ted Smith – The Pod Sequentialism podcast has a new episode where they talk with Evil Ted Smith, who has worked on a number of film and television projects. You may recognize his name from his numerous flexible foam tutorials found online. If you have an hour to kill, give it a listen.
Creating Molds for Handmade Porcelain Dolls – Bill Chellberg guides us through the steps to make a mold for porcelain dolls. You can adapt these techniques to make molds for anything, or you can create your own cute (or creepy) doll heads.
More Stranger Things! More Stranger Things! People are in love with the show and want to know more about the props. This week, we have two podcasts that talk with props master Lynda Reiss. First is a short 7:40 interview on CBC Radio. Second is an hour-long episode of Pop Culture Confidential with both Reiss and Shannon Purser, the actress who plays Barb.
Dorothy Thicket has put together this great reference chart for armor materials. It’s handy for all sorts of props, comparing the properties of materials like acrylic, EVA foam, Worbla, and more.
Eugene Lee recently received his 12th Emmy Nomination for Saturday Night Live, which he has been designing sets for since the first episode back in 1975. Crain’s talks with him about his career in TV and on stage.
Variety has a special feature on “Artisans So White”; while a lot of attention is paid to the diversity of directors, actors, and writers on films, the below-the-line craftspeople and technicians remain overwhelmingly white and male. Though this article deals with film, the same trends can be found in theatre. They even include a quote from Clint Ramos, a costume/set designer familiar to many in the theatrical world. It’s a thorny issue to deal with, and part of the problem is that so much hiring at companies is done informally, with jobs going to friends and acquaintances of people already working there.