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.
Get Up Close With the Props of Dear Evan Hansen – Take a look backstage at the hit Broadway show to see how the props are stored. This series of photos is a great look at all the minute detail that goes into preparing seemingly ordinary props. Even the most mundane details have some story behind it, or some kind of trick rigged into it to make the show run smoothly and consistently.
Woman’s Day Magazine’s Star Wars Playset Designs (1978, 1980) – In two separate issues in 1978 and 1980, Woman’s Day Magazine published plans and instructions to construct Star Wars playsets for the popular action figures. These plans had you build them fully from scratch, using sheets of plywood, plastic, laminates, and other raw materials. This article includes links to the original plans as well, so grab them while you can!
The Secret Tools Magicians Use to Fool You – In another photo series, Louis De Belle has photographed devices used by magicians for his upcoming book, and shares a few of them with us here. He doesn’t actually give away how any of the tricks work, but it is a fun exercise to guess what each magical prop accomplishes.
National Theatre explores “exquisite miniature world” of stage set models – The National Theatre in London has an exhibition of some of the set design models for shows that have been produced there since the 1970s. The exhibition runs until March 2019, and was curated by Eleanor Margolies, author of Props (Readings in Theatre Practice).
Inside the One-ton, History-making King Kong Broadway Musical – Where does a 2000 pound gorilla puppet sit? Wherever he wants! Find out all the technical wizardry that went into creating one of the largest and most expressive puppets to ever grace Broadway.
Exclusive: Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna Talks ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald’ – The latest film in the wizard world of Harry Potter is coming out soon, so The Knockturnal sat down with the head prop maker, Pierre Bohanna. Pierre has worked on all the previous Harry Potter films as well, so this is old hat to him. Old sorting hat, that is!
Secrets of the Solo: a Star Wars Story Creature Shop – Despite its unimpressive cinema run, Solo was actually one of the most expensive Star Wars films made, and was packed to the gills with practical creature effects. Puppeteer Brian Herring talks about how they brought all those crazy aliens to life.
Need a giant glacier? An Eiffel Tower? Tampa prop master Tandova Ecenia is selling them off after 38 years – Tandova has been supplying the Tampa area of Florida with props for nearly four decades. Take a peek into her storage facility before it is all sold off and scattered to the wind.
Players Pen: Setting a scene on stage is as much about the props as it is about the actors – Take a look at how props designer Wendy Huber and prop shop manager Kristen Nuh brought the nerdy world of Salvage to life on this Green Bay stage.
Alabama man crafts props for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – Kenneth Spivey builds props for the Marvel movies in a warehouse in Alabama, just a few hours from Pinewood Atlanta Studios. His work includes repairs to the Infinity Gauntlet as well as Captain America’s Wakandan shields. So jealous.
Humble Book Bundle: Cosplay 2.0 – One of the latest Humble Bundles has a whole slew of cosplay-making books up for grabs. Here is how it works: you donate a certain amount and get a whole bunch of e-books for free. Donate larger amounts to get even more books. You only have until the end of May for this Bundle.
Celebrate Star Wars Day with These 12 Projects – Okay, this is kind of misleading since eight of these are yarncraft projects, but there are still a few prop projects here to keep you busy.
Best Chicago Prop House: Zap Props – SEE Chicago takes a video tour of Zap Props, one of the largest prop rental houses in the Midwest.
See How the Met Built ‘Tosca,’ Its Biggest Production of the Season – Lovely photographs accompany this article taking us inside the production shops at the Metropolitan Opera as they build the set, costumes, and props for their next iteration of Tosca.
Inside the Art Studio That Brings Broadway Shows to Life – Joe Forbes himself narrates this video that shows the scenic artists at work inside Scenic Art Studios. Forbes is one of Peter Feller’s “five heads” who started his own studio when Feller Scenery closed (the others being Nino Novellino with Costume Armour, Roger and Shelley Gray with Center Line Studios, and someone needs to help me remember the others).
May the 4th be with you: Elstree and Leavesden prop maker looks back on Star Wars – Though Star Wars Day was last week, I didn’t see this article until after I posted last week’s blog. Check out some of the early days of Star Wars when the props team were first creating some of the most iconic film props of our time.
The show must go on? Many theater performers, crew members don’t report head injuries – Props people, especially props run crew, are not immune to head injuries. A recent Ohio University study showed that theater professionals do not report head injuries at an alarming rate.
LAPD investigating disappearance of original Iron Man suit used in Marvel film – The iconic suit of armor from the first Iron Man film has recently gone missing from a Pacoima warehouse. It is hard to believe it has been ten years since that film came out!
And don’t forget that Ashley Flowers and I have started a new podcast called “Silk Flowers and Papier Mache Hearts.” Look for new episodes every Tuesday, and be sure to rate us on iTunes!