Take a peek backstage with Props Supervisor Faye Armon-Troncoso – In this video, Faye brings us backstage (and onstage) to show off some of the props for Westport Country Playhouse’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
Adam Savage Explores the Props of Blade Runner 2049! – Everyone’s favorite prop aficionado meets with prop master Doug Harlocker in this video. They take a look at all the whiz-bang gizmos and gadgets in the newest Blade Runner film.
Sketch Your Way to Better Designs – Christopher Schwartz discusses why he carries a spiral-bound notebook with him at all times and how it helps him solve tricky fabrication and construction dilemmas.
Blakes7 Bracelet. Make your own – Take a step back to 1978 when Blue Peter, the famous BBC children’s program, demonstrated how to build a sci-fi prop from the Blake’s 7 series.
Summer at The Shop – The Triad Stage blog recently featured their production facilities, which is where I work. Check out my workshop, and get a sneak peek at some of the projects I’ve been working on, like some military radios for South Pacific.
Backstage at Signature: 100 Heads for Venus – Cassie Dorland had to make a hundred fake heads for the Signature Theatre’s production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus. This video shows how her and over a dozen prop builders as they mold, cast, and paint all these heads.
Quiz: Can you guess the Shakespeare play just from its most memorable props? – As the title suggests, it’s just a fun little game to test your prop knowledge.
Watch Adam Savage Make His Own Excalibur in One Day – Adam Savage recreates this iconic movie sword in aluminum using an enviable array of belt sanders. It’s a lengthy video, but filled with lots of little tips and tricks if you are interested in metal working.
Photo-Etching and Soldering Your Own Brass Model Parts – Make Magazine highlights David Damek’s techniques for creating detailed parts out of brass. He uses it for making models, but you can easily adapt these methods for adding decorative brass details to props like treasure chests and jewelry.
Gamora’s Godslayer – Guardians Of The Galaxy – I lost track of the “Man at Arms” show for awhile. It turns out they’ve rebooted it as “Man at Arms: Reforged.” The original show saw Tony Swatton use forging, blacksmithing, and metalworking techniques to build real metal versions of movie and video game weaponry. The new show is the same, just with a different shop. I have a lot of episodes to catch up on, but I definitely wanted to share this one where they make Gamora’s sword from Guardians of the Galaxy, since it is such a cool blade. You can pick up a lot of techniques by watching them work.
Twin Cities actor blows the whistle on ‘unsafe’ theater production – The production of “Medea” at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis is described as having a three-to-four thousand gallon pool with a 30 -foot long exposed electric circuit along the drip edge. I can’t quite picture that in my head, but it was scary enough to get the actors to call Equity and shut the production down.
The Creature and Special Effects of Alien: Covenant! – Adam Savage’s new life involves visiting every movie set and playing with their props. It’s not a bad gig. Plus, as a former model-maker/prop builder, he knows what kinds of questions to ask to make these videos more informed than your typical “behind-the-scenes” featurette that’s slapped together at the last minute.
Tips of the Week: Wire Splicing, Table Saw Router, and Flea Market Brainstorming – Make Magazine publishes a short list of tips and tricks every week, and I found this week’s collection particularly useful.
The Power of Gold – Propnomicon shares this great video from Brazen and Bold about painting an aged metal finish using spray paint, acrylics, and an airbrush.
Flashlight Museum – The next time someone questions the historical accuracy of the flashlight you put in the show, send them to this museum. They have over 3700 images of flashlights from the dawn of flashlight history to the present.
One of the Toughest (Silent) Jobs at the Met Opera – The New York Times looks into life as a spotlight operator at the Met. Sure, it’s not props, but it’s nice to see a major newspaper acknowledge one of our backstage companions. Plus, many of us have probably run spot at some point in our career.
Alien Covenant’s Armor, Weapons, and Blood Effects! – Adam Savage takes a look at all the cool props and practical effects in the upcoming Alien film.
Adam Savage Behind the Scenes of Alien: Covenant – Our favorite Mythbuster tours the set of the latest Alien movie as is being built, painted, and weathered. Sure, it’s a set, but it’s a very proppy set.
Work/Life Balance in Professional Theatre – American Theatre Magazine is running a survey to learn more about the work/life balance in theatre. If you work professionally, take a few moments to fill it out and help add to their data.
The Pen and the Trigger Finger: Examining Gun Violence Onstage – While this article does not deal with props per se, it does have a lot of interesting ideas about the use of guns on stage and even just the implication of gun violence. As a props master, you need to be aware that simply placing a gun on stage or in an actor’s hands carries a lot of weight and meaning to your audience.
Finishing Lies – Finally, Christopher Schwartz brings us this list of claims made on the packaging of wood finishes which typically do not end up being true.