The Wild Story Behind The ‘Stranger Things’ Upside Down Tunnel Drawings – The excruciating detail which Stranger Things property master Lynda Reiss put into the tunnel drawings in the most recent season is both mind-blowing and inspiring. Guess how many crayons they went through.
Prop Master Jonathan Drover: ‘One is None’ – The props master for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Agency recently answered questions on Twitter, and the BBC has collected the best responses in this article. Find out how he built some of the show’s crazier props and what medium he likes working in the best.
From the Rockie to Reign of Fire: How Dundee pupil Chrissie carved out a career in the movies – Though she dropped out of high school, Chrissie Overs has worked as a prop builder and special effects technician on films such as Aliens, Prometheus, and Reign of Fire.
Robby The Robot Is Now The Most Valuable Movie Prop Sold At Auction – He sold for $5,375,000. If I could sell a prop for that much, I might be able to come under budget for my show. Might.
How NOT to build a HUGE sword prop for cosplay – Cosplayer Otakitty points out all the many mistakes she made while building a giant sword. It’s an interesting twist to the standard tutorial, and a great way to show how prop building is about making choices, and the strength or weakness of those choices are often not apparent until you’re too deep into the project to start over.
Ever wonder who dresses each and every set at The Rep? – Milwaukee Repertory Theater brings us this video of Jim Guy, their props director. He talks about what props are and takes us on a tour of the prop storage areas deep in the heart of the Rep. It’s pretty basic stuff, but it is always nice when a theater recognizes the people of the production department.
King’s Fine Woodworking builds Thor’s Hammer – This video shows the making of Mjolnir, Thor’s famed hammer from the Marvel movies, out of a giant block of silver maple, along with some walnut for the handle. It’s a cool twist to the standard replica prop build.
5 Things Wrong With the Arcade in ‘Stranger Things 2’ – GeekDad dives deep into the details of the set dressing for the 1980s arcade in the new season of Stranger Things. They lovingly point out where the decor deviates from history, but in most cases, they make a guess as to why the production department chose those changes.
Design Curves for Irregular Shapes – If you’ve never studied hand drafting, you may not know how to use a French curve (and some folks don’t even know that French curves exist). Chris Schwartz gives a quick tutorial for this tool that will help you draw smoother curves.
What are you looking for in a portfolio? – In this video, Laura Pates, Assistant Technical Director at Playmakers Rep, tells NCTC what kinds of things should go in a design/technical portfolio. Bonus points for being filmed in the lobby of Triad Stage, where I work!
From bloodied volleyballs to memory loss neuralyzers: designers’ favourite film props – A number of designers in the graphics, architecture, and advertising world talk about their favorite prop from a movie. It’s an interesting look at the design of iconic props from the perspective of those in design fields outside of film and performing arts.
Stranger Things VFX Supervisor on Making Monster Mayhem – This interview with Marc Kolbe, supervisor of the visual effects team, delves into the bizarre and unique world of Stranger Things. As with many visual effects teams these days, Marc is in charge of both the practical and digital effects, which allows him to use both to their full advantage and have them play off each other.
My Career as a Freelance Prop Maker – Melanie Wing has been a freelance prop maker in the UK for the past 12 years. In this interview, she talks about her training and how her career began.
Replica ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ car stolen from theater supply company – A TO Z Theatrical Supply and Service in Kansas City built a replica of this iconic vehicle to rent out to high schools and community theatres who perform this show. It was stolen from their warehouse last week. So if you see this car flying through the air, let them know.
The store bought items used as sci-fi movie props – In theatre, even the lowest-budget show will demand actual antiques and designer furniture. In film, apparently, you can just talk into a lady’s razor and call it a communicator.
Carpenter makes on-stage magic for actors, and cross stitches horror scenes – Mike Gerlach, props carpenter for Syracuse Stage, talks about the various things he’s had to build over the years.
“It’s a tool to tell the story…” Bernadine Cockey: Props Master! – The Idaho Shakespeare Festival props master discusses her job and shows off photographs of some of her work.
Stranger Things Product Placement: The Definitive Guide – The Dieline looks at all the vintage packaging found in this amazing show, both real and imaginary. As a bonus, many of the boxes and labels are flattened out, so you can print your own!
Finally, it must have been artisan week on the internet. We have a bunch of articles dealing with other theatre craftspeople outside of props. You can Meet the People Behind the Santa Fe Opera’s Amazing Hats, discover Broadway’s Dirty Secret: How an Artisan Turns Costumes From Riches to Rags, and learn The Many Secrets and Sequins of William Ivey Long, Broadway’s Costume King.
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.