I have finished my 13-week contract at the Santa Fe Opera and head back to North Carolina starting tomorrow. In case you missed it, I’ve been keeping an (almost) daily record of what I have done over on Twitter:
Though I could not make it to the NYC Props Summit this year, I did follow what was happening via the Twitter. This was the fourth such event, and Jay Duckworth, the props master at the Public Theater, seems to have outdone himself in organizing it this year.
The NY Times had a great write-up of the event: “[A]bout 50 props people… gathered on Friday night at the Public Theater for an informal meeting that gave attendees a chance to network, watch demonstrations and exchange insider tips on the latest techniques in an area of theatrical design that often goes unnoticed and unheralded.” The article contains much more information and a great slideshow of photographs.
One of the main events was a talk and demonstration by the owners and employees of The Specialists (formerly known as “Weapons Specialists”), a prop rental and fabrication house just a few blocks from The Public Theater known for supplying guns, weapons and custom effects to many of the film and television shows that are produced in NYC.
#propsummit Nigel says always treat a gun as if it is loaded. Never put your finger near the trigger until your ready to fire.
The guys at the Specialists described weapons safety while demonstrating and presenting a variety of the weapons they offer. Everything from rubber guns to blood knives was on display here.
The informal meeting and greeting that happened throughout the night made up the bulk of the event. It was a chance for prop makers to meet prop masters, for prop directors from different theatres to meet each other and for everyone to catch up on what was happening within our community. Props can be a lonely career at times, and it is helpful to learn that others share your woes with demanding directors, absent designers and strange glares as you walk down the street with a bag full of questionable items.
#propsummit Lots of recent graduates meeting the old pros. Some of them didn't know in the early days we used Polaroids for props shopping.
Here is an (unfortunately, very brief) look at how the California Shakespeare Theater releases all the blood in Titus Andronicus.
Speaking of bloody, here’s a newspaper article on Autonomous F/X, a California company that makes realistic body parts and corpses for medical dramas and police procedural on television.
This site is pretty self-explanatory: Table Saw Accidents. It takes a comprehensive look at the statistics of all reported saw injuries and explains why table saws can be dangerous. Not surprisingly, most table saw injuries occur making common cuts rather than attempting things out of the ordinary.
For those of you who are hip with this whole internet thing, I am on Twitter. You can follow me if you want. It’s not as focused on props as this blog, but I’ll occasionally throw up a link to something of interest to the props community. These are some sites I’ve tweetered about in the past:
Vintage Printables – A fascinating (and organized) collection of public domain artwork and graphics suitable for printing (and making paper props).
Craft Rooms and Organizing – An ongoing series showcasing the spaces of crafters. It’s a great inspiration for setting up work and storage spaces in tight quarters.
Photos of my Models – A photo gallery of Michael Paul Smith’s incredibly detailed models of a mid-century American town.
75 years of Band-Aid – A brief history of Band-Aid with a great gallery of their bandage packages throughout the years.
Louvre database – A (still incomplete) database of all the artworks in the Louvre museum.
So if you can’t stand missing out on future links like this, as well as my unparalleled humor, go ahead and check out my Twitter.
Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies