Good news and great article: 20th Century Props is reopening. It was one of Hollywood’s largest prop houses when it closed down six years ago, but it’s back now thanks to booming business in LA.
Cassandra West talks with Greg Poljacik, inventor of Gravity & Momentum, which may be “the finest stage blood in the world.” I’ve heard from other prop masters that it truly is a remarkable fake blood, and washes out of nearly everything.
The MacGyver Project has a new interview with Pat O’Brien, the prop master on MacGyver (a show which often serves as a metaphor for a prop master’s job). It’s remarkable how much he remembers about the props on a show that aired thirty years ago.
Though you can find tons of information about building your own R2-D2 throughout the internet, I really like the photographs in 2StoryProp’s build log of this famous movie droid.
Finally, meet Björk’s mask maker. There is not a lot of information on James Merry, but you can see plenty of photographs of his beautiful hand-embroidered lace creations.
Happy Friday the 13th to everyone. Aren’t you “lucky” to have the time to read my blog today? Here are some interesting stories and videos I’ve come across in the last week:
First off is this fantastic and epic build of a Master Sword from the Legend of Zelda series. 2Story Props steps through the whole process, from the initial drafting to the final coat of paint, with tons of photographs showing every step along the way.
Bill Tull, the props master for TV’s Conan O’Brien, is back with some budget holiday tips for you. These are particularly funny.
I like this charming antique story of talking tools who argue over who is the most important when it comes to constructing a wooden box. Guess what? It only works when the tools work together and play their unique role.
Finally, production designer K.K. Barrett talks about creating the unique futuristic world of Her. The movie itself, a sci-fi romance film from Spike Jonze, looks fascinating. Though production design is somewhat removed from the world of props, it is always interesting to read how the various production departments on a film work together, and the interview deals a lot with how the physical objects and tactile qualities of the world relate to the story of the film, which is something props masters do deal with.
I just finished tech on my first show this year (with opening night tonight), so the links are a bit sparse this week. But all of them are great, so enjoy!
There is a fun article up this week about Jim Bussolati, prop master at Louisiana State University. It also has a wonderful video showing off their storage and shop.
Matt Munson has a great blog post up called Materials, Time and Creativity. He talks about why custom-made props cost so much money. It’s a worthwhile read, whether you are a freelancer or work in a shop.
2StoryProps has quite the extensive post up about building a “Deadmau5 Cheese Head” (a helmet used by a Canadian DJ). There are photographs and videos galore, so it will take some time to get through this one, but it is well worth it.
It is sad, but not too surprising: New York City Opera is liquidating their warehouses. Their collection of props, costumes, lighting and other equipment from over eighty productions are being sold through an online auction until January 30th (though the website isn’t quite ready yet).