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 ofÂ Harry Potter is coming out soon, so The Knockturnal sat down with the head prop maker, Pierre Bohanna. Pierre has worked on all the previousÂ 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,Â Solo was actually one of the most expensiveÂ Star Wars films made, and was packed to the gills with practical creature effects.Â 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 andÂ prop shop manager Kristen Nuh brought the nerdy world ofÂ Salvage to life on this Green Bay stage.
It’s the middle of a hurricane here in North Carolina, as well as Opening Night for my first show of the season, but I still found some great stories and videos on props that you can check out:
Broadwayâ€™s Biggest Debut: King Kong – Ugh, this puppet is so amazing. It is controlled by 14 puppeteers and it contains a ton of animatronics as well. Be sure to see some of the videos of Kong in motion.
TAIT Take Over – Karla Ramsey – Scenic artists at TAIT Towers create the proscenium arch for the Elton John concert. It is a combination of foam carving and clay sculpting, with everything molded and cast for the final piece. A few of my friends and colleagues spent the summer up here working on this, and the results are spectacular.
Cosplay Shines At DragonCon – Make Magazine has a great round-up of cosplay photographs from the recent DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. Yes, there is a whole convention just for dragons.
Modeling and 3D-Printing Wonder Woman’s Tiara for Cosplay! -Â Darrell Maloney made this video to show us how he modeled a digital version of Wonder Woman’s tiara from the recent film. He then 3D printed it, and shows us how he finished and painted it as well.
Submit Your Role Call-ers! – American Theatre Magazine has a regular segment where they highlight theatre workers that more people should know about. This December, they will be profiling twenty folks that should be known outside their discipline. You can nominate people you think they should highlight; let’s see some props people up in there!
How Sharp Objects Made Ammaâ€™s Creepy Dollhouse – Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the show yet, since it contains major spoilers for the season finale. But the exquisite detail (and six-figure budget) that went into this dollhouse is stunning, and really shows off the craftsmanship that the props team is capable of.
Cinefex Vault #14 â€“ Troy – Remember that movie,Â Troy? Wolfgang Petersen’s epic tale of Ancient Greece was filled with extremely accurate period detail, so when they needed boats, they built real boats.Â Marine coordinator Mike Turk’s business has been building ships in London since 1710 and supplying boats for film since 1938.
The Chair Maker: Lawrence Neal – Lawrence Neal is a fifth-generation chair maker. Watch him work his magic in this stunning short video.
When Damage Is Done – American Theatre recently covered the spate of harassment stories which have unfolded in several theaters over the past year. From Long Wharf, to the Guthrie, to the Alley, these otherwise-renowned institutions represent just the tip of the iceberg of bullying, harassment, and sexism that has long been brushed off in our industry.
Order Up! A Working Ziosk Prop – Jay Duckworth details how his shop built a working computer-ordering system for a booth at a Chili’s restaurant that appeared on stage. It took a combination of a cheap tablet, a 3D-printed housing, and some clever programming and graphic design to pull it off.
SYFY WIRE Fan Creators – The SYFY Channel has created a whole series of mini-documentaries about fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, who build things related to their fandom. It’s a mix of propmakers, cosplayers, artists, and even a baker.
In Memoriam: John C. Taccone, IATSE Stagehand – John Taccone was a stagehand in New York City and a member of the New Amsterdam Theatre props crew for 21 years. His untimely passing earlier this month was memorialized on the Broadway marquee of the New Amsterdam.
The House That Mr. Mayer Built: Inside the Union-Busting Birth of the Academy Awards – This is an oldie, but it was new for me. The Oscars were originally created as a way to prevent the unionization of actors, writers, and directors in Hollywood. It didn’t work. Still, it is a good reminder of how spectacle can often be used to mask some deeper purpose. If you want to know more about the history of unionization amongst the Hollywood technicians, I covered a bit of it in my “Brief History of IATSE” article from a few years back. It was outright war at times.
Behind the scenes: designing the props for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Pierre Bohanna talks about some of the fantastic props he was tasked to create for JK Rowlingâ€™s latest foray into the Harry Potter universe. He also details some of the biggest challenges; surprisingly, recreating 1926 New York was more difficult than finding fantastic beasts.
Props: Fur, Foam & Focus – ZoÃ« Morsette talks with Stage Directions magazine about her career and some of the favorite props she built. She discusses some great specifics about materials, techniques, and tools used on some recognizable props. She also gives helpful advice for the early career prop professional.
Floating Worlds: The Santa Fe Opera Scene Shop – This article brings us some beautiful photographs and in-depth interviews withÂ Scott Schreck andÂ Mike Ortiz, the technical director and associate technical director of the Santa Fe Opera. Find out how they build scenery for operas that travel all over the world.
Our Favorite Movie Props at Comic-Con 2018! – The Prop Store is getting ready for a big auction of rare and iconic movie props. They recently brought a bunch of them to San Diego Comic Con. This fifteen-minute video looks at their collection during this brief opportunity to see all these famous props in one location.
Faberge Caravan – The Prop Solve is back after a brief hiatus, but she returns with a fantastic post showing a Faberge egg she made in the style of a 1970s caravan trailer. There are lots of great tips and photos showing how she modeled tiny benches and appliances to fit the curves of an egg-shaped vehicle.