The Society of Properties Artisan Managers Offers Some Advice – Recently, S*P*A*M solicited advice from its members, which include hundreds of prop masters in most of the major US theaters. They narrowed the list down to 32 nuggets of advice for every new prop artisan.
Interview — DISCOVERY Prop Master Mario Moreira on the Red Angel Suit, Section 31 Phasers, and More – The newest iteration of Star Trek continues the tradition of having cool props. Take a peek into the workshop of Mario Moreira to see how all the custom sci-fi gadgets get made.
‘The Big Bang Theory’ Prop Master and Set Decorator Look Back on the Show’s 12 Seasons – Whether you enjoyed the show or not, a twelve-year run means lots of props and tons of detail in the set dressing. Find out about some of the behind-the-scenes secrets from prop master Scott London and set decorator Ann Shea.
How Gary Does the Dicks – Taylor Mac’s highly irreverent Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, now running on Broadway, needed dicks. A lot of them. The show features dozens of mannequins playing the part of dead Romans, and at various points, they come to life and dance with their members. Learn how specialty prop designer Craig Grigg brought them to life with animatronics.
Avengers: Endgame Film Décor – Check out these photos and descriptions of the miriad sets from this decade’s biggest film. Set Decorator Leslie Pope discusses what went into creating some of the major locations in this film, many of which had to match or reference previous locations in this sprawling 22 film franchise.
First things first, a lot of you have noticed that the original publication date for The Prop Effects Guidebook has come and gone, but you still cannot order it. It turns out there was some problems with the printers, so the book needs to be reprinted, meaning its release is postponed for the time being. So sorry! If you come to USITT, my publisher will have one copy at their booth you can look through, or you can hunt me down and I will tell you everything that is in the book.
‘Props’ go to Wheaton: Exhibitions celebrate stage, movie, TV artistry that usually goes unnoticed – Last week I was in Massachusetts for the opening of the “Props and Fine Art from Movies, Television and Theatre” exhibition I was a part of. Besides my props, it also features work from Jay Duckworth, Ross MacDonald, and Carl Sprague, who were all at the opening with me, as well as Randy Lutz, Buist Bickley, and Annie Atkins. The show runs through mid-April, so check it out if you’re in New England!
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Props Master Mario Moreira, Part 1 – This interview with the props master for the newest Star Trek series is a lot of fun, and it features some great drawings and prototypes of the props as they were developed. The second part of the interview is up as well.
The Goblet of Fire – I did not realize that the original Goblet of Fire from the Harry Potter films was carved from a solid piece of English Elm by the Head Propmaker. Many of the film’s actual props are on display in London at the WB Studio Tour. Unfortunately, this link does not go into too much detail into the Goblet’s construction, but it’s still pretty cool.
Sivir’s Chakram, League of Legends – Volpin Props is back on his blog, with a big write-up on the massive (but lightweight) Chakram he built. He mills many of the parts on a CNC machine with urethane tooling board, then molds and casts them. Lot of great pictures here.
Criminal Minds: Take a Tour of the Killer Prop Room – This TV Guide video takes us into the prop room of Al Eisenmann, who has been prop master on the show for the past 11 years.
The secrets of a horror movie effects maker – This interview with Mike Kelt, founder of the special effects firm Artem, takes us behind the scenes into the world of zombies and gore. Plus, he shares his fake blood recipe with us.
‘Star Trek: Beyond’ Prop Master on Paying Homage to the Original Series – Yahoo News brings us this video with Andy Siegel, prop master of Star Trek Beyond. He shows off a number of iconic props from the movie, and details how they relate to the props from the original series of the 1960s.
Star Trek just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Make Magazine has rounded up seven fun Star Trek–themed projects. Some are goofy (“spocks” are socks with Spock on them), while others are quite ambitious (an Enterprise Bridge playset for Star Trek action figures).
2StoryProps has started work on a replica of the spacesuit used in The Martian, and his first post is on recreating the astronaut’s helmet. The whole thing is built from scratch and is pretty cool.
Tane Williams is an illustrator who worked on the 2013 remake of Evil Dead. He has posted 15 illustrations from the Necronomicon used in that film over on his blog. Careful! Grossness ahead!
It’s not a tasty treat; Popular Woodworking shows us how “sandwich construction” can help make thick wooden panels using multiple layers of thinner plywood. I do this a lot when building prop furniture, and I’m sure others do as well, but I’ve never seen a write-up with illustrations showing the process.
Make Magazine tells us everything we need to know about lube. Ever wonder whether to grab oil, grease, or WD-40? This article breaks down all the different types of lubricants and describes when to use each one and when not to use each one.
This video is the coolest thing I’ve seen all week: Legacy Effects builds the Apatosaurus from Jurassic World. The film required a highly detailed animatronic head and neck of this dinosaur for a key scene. The video goes into great detail of how it was done. Check out the massive mixers they have running all at once for their foam rubber, not to mention the giant injectors they use to fill their molds. It’s an amazing inside look at the work they do.
Marty Marfin had an interesting challenge: how to mold and cast a spherical shape with a hollow interior. Find out how he did it in this comprehensive tutorial.
Over at Instructables, WardWorks has a fun guide to building a ghost trap from Ghostbusters. I’ve kind of always wanted one of these since I was a kid.
Finally, check out this plethora of images from the construction of a model of the Galileo Shuttlecraft from the original Star Trek television show. They take you from the blueprints all the way through the final painted piece.