102 Wicked Things To Do is a cool blog with all sorts of tutorials on prop and costume craft-related projects. It took a bit of a break for a year or so, but it’s back now with some cool new projects on wire jewelry–making and papier mache wolf heads.
F Yeah Theatre Sets and Props is an interesting Tumblr site filled mostly with photographs of sets and scenography from productions around the world. But they are very pretty and inspirational photographs.
When I began my blog back in 2009, it felt like only a handful of sites for the prop maker were out there. Since then, the field has practically exploded and you can find information everywhere. I post links to sites regularly, but I wanted to make a list of the sites you should be checking out regularly. So I’ve collected and categorized what I consider to be the 100 best sites for a prop maker. Now, this is far from comprehensive, particularly if you are working on specific objects or using less-popular materials, but hopefully it will keep you busy for awhile. If you know of a site I’ve missed, drop a note in the comments or send me an email!
Forums remain a great way to find information about prop making, since much of what we do is so specific and unique. You can ask a question, search for answers to other questions, or just browse through and pick up tips on how other people work.
Replica Prop Forum – A very active and very informative forum filled with fans recreating their favorite props from films, television, video games and other media.
ControlBooth – A US forum for technical theatre, with a small section on props.
A number of sites may not be devoted entirely to teaching prop-making, but they still have regular tutorials, news and information relevant to the prop maker, or deal with comparable and related industries.
Prop Agenda – Now, I couldn’t omit my own blog. How-tos, news, videos and more from the props world.
Make Magazine – Blog companion to the magazine, this site regularly has posts on prop making and associated materials.
Tested – What began as site for testing consumer electronics has quickly grown to have regular features on props and prop making, particularly with Adam Savage as one of the regular hosts.
Propnomicon – A regularly-updated look at props built around the mythos of HP Lovecraft.
Stan Winston School – The new school run by the peerless studio responsible for the most famous practical film effects of the last thirty years runs a blog of related information. The school also has online video classes you can take for a paid subscription.
Sizes – A vast index with information about the sizes of practically everything. From definitions of units of measurements, to standard sizes of common furniture, to sheet metal gauges, and everything in between.
First up is this video about the future of CGI and motion capture in films. Michael Bay, Jon Favreau, Ray Liotta, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel talk about how new technologies are making sets and even props unnecessary for film; why would you use a gun to play a gun, when you can have an actor play a gun? It’s a really funny tongue-in-cheek look at the use of technology for technology’s sake.
I’ve already seen this being passed around quite a bit, but I thought I’d share it here: 25 special advantages a theatre major has. I guess some theatre majors get jobs that don’t involve doing theatre, which seems crazy to me.
Speaking of Make Magazine, this month their blog is featuring projects and tutorials dealing with natural materials. To kick it off, they’ve featured 10 great projects made from natural materials. Beetle shell ceiling, anyone?
Through some bizarre set of circumstances, we find ourselves here at the Public Theater in technical rehearsals for three different productions within the same week. I sometimes wish all the theatre that is made from September to November could be spread out over the entire year. Until then, we keep on moving and keep on working. And we keep on reading this blog, because I have some excellent links for you!
Yours truly has an article in this month’s issue of Stage Directions magazine, in which I detail our shop’s process for creating a break-away wall for The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. So head on over and read it, and maybe leave a comment.
This has to be seen to be believed. Gabriel Suranyi spent 19 years creating a scratch built model of the USS Enterprise naval aircraft carrier. The site has dozens of photographs showing off the astounding level of detail.
I’ve posted a new Instructable on making a stuffed kitten; that makes a whopping total of two since my wooden ratchet noisemaker last year. The cat wasn’t a prop for a show, but I thought I’d share it for two reasons. First, I made it out of materials from a previous show that would otherwise have ended up in the trash. Second, our prop shop had just gotten our first sewing machine. Before this, our artisans had to go to the costume shop to work on upholstery and making things out of fabric. I’m not much of a soft-goods person; in fact, the only actual item I’ve ever made out of fabric is probably a sweater in my seventh-grade home-ec class. I took this new acquisition as a chance to practice a must-needed prop skill; you’re never too old or awesome to start learning something new.