The San Francisco Opera goes behind the scenes into the prop shop with prop master Lori Harrison in this video. Find out how they make fake weapons and giant cotton candy, the hallmarks of any good opera.
For the Game of Thrones fans out there, here is a video with weapons master Tommy Dunne detailing the Dornish weaponry he created for season five. Also, if you’re really into the show, that video came from “Making Game of Thrones“, the official behind-the-scenes site for everything about the show.
Jay Duckworth has another cool fire effect in this month’s issue of Stage Directions. He creates a glowing bed of coals using… glass?
NPR had a cool radio story a few weeks ago on Melissa McSorley, a food stylist for Hollywood films. She’s done everything from making 800 Cubanos for Chef, to a foot-tall mound of caviar, to a cake that looks like Al Pacino.
Just down the road from me, Playmakers Rep is doing Enemy of the People. The costume shop needed to age one of their suits, but they didn’t want to ruin it for future use. So they turned to Schmere, which makes a line of products that stain and distress fabrics, but disappear when you wash or dry clean them. I bet you can find uses for this for soft goods and fabric props, or you can just tell your costume shop manager for some brownie points.
I have an article out in this month’s Stage Directions magazine, hot off the presses. For “Cabinet of Wonders“, I spoke with Marc André Roy, the lighting project manager on Kurios, the new show from Cirque du Soleil. Kurios has a lot of props with wireless lighting and motion effects, and we looked at how Cirque makes that happen. I also talked with James Smith at RC4 Wireless, where all the wireless dimmers that Cirque uses are made. You may remember my blog post on my trip to RC4 Wireless earlier this summer.
These photographs of the inventories of British Soldiers are endlessly fascinating and useful. Thom Atkinson has taken all the gear and paraphernalia that a British soldier was issued at various times in history over the past 1000 years, and laid it all out on the floor. If you wanted to know what an archer was carrying at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 (say, if you’re doing Henry V), this is where you should go.
The Examiner has a great interview and profile of Beth Hathaway, a master of building creatures for film. Hathaway has been a fabrication specialist at Stan Winston Studios and KNB EFX for decades, working on projects such as Edward Scissorhands, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Walking Dead.
Finally, check out this LA Times story on Nick Metropolis, the famed LA store filled with junk and jumble of all varieties.
Bill Doran of Punished Props has a new video up showing the build of a sniper rifle from the Mass Effect video game. He has a great process down, showing how to layer up materials to get all the different shapes, and approaching each layer with various tools to get the most precise result possible with the least amount of effort. Enjoy!
“The halbard may be derived from the German Halbe-Barthe; half battle-axe; or from Helm, casque, and Barthe, battle-axe; or from Alte Barthe, old battle-axe: in Germany and Scandinavia it dates from the earliest centuries of the present era, though it was not known in France until the Swiss introduced it in 1420.”
1, 2, and 3. Three kinds of halbards, somewhat like the ranseurs, eleventh century.
4. Swiss halbard, fourteenth century.
5, 6, 7, and 8. Four German halbards of the fourteenth century.
9. Swiss halbard, beginning of the fifteenth century.
10. Swiss halbard, end of the fifteenth century.
11. Swiss halbard with three-pronged hammer, end of the fifteenth century.
12. German halbard with three-pronged hammer, beginning of the sixteenth century.
13. Swiss halbard, middle of the sixteenth century.
14. German halbard, sixteenth century, engraved and gilt, a very handsome weapon.
15. German halbard, sixteenth century.
16. Venetian halbard, end of the sixteenth century.
The illustrations and descriptions have been taken from An Illustrated History of Arms and Armour: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, by Auguste Demmin, and translated by Charles Christopher Black. Published in 1894 by George Bell.
Though halberd is the preferred modern spelling, this article uses halbard, an accepted variant.