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.
This week, famed illustrator and designer HR Giger passed away. Perhaps best known for his work designing the creatures in Alien, his aesthetic has found its way into numerous sci-fi and horror films, and even theatrical productions. BFI has a great post showing behind-the-scenes photos of Giger working on Alien, while Creative Review has a good round-up of his conceptual and illustration work.
BBC Culture shares a viewpoint that filmmakers are returning to old-school special effects and real miniatures. While CGI can accomplish things that are impossible in reality, real sets, props and models still give more authenticity to a film, and in some cases, can be cheaper and easier to incorporate. So keep on proppin’!
The previous article stems from the announcement that Disney will be incorporating more practical effects and less CGI in their upcoming round of Star Wars films. Esquire also had an interview with Roger Christian, the set decorator on the original trilogy. He talks about how he took scrap metal from airplanes to make the halls of the Millennium Falcon, and other interesting tidbits.
Sticking with the Star Wars theme of today, Tested has the tale of how obsessive fans built a better Han Solo blaster. Several fans spent countless hours reverse-engineering the prop weapon used in the original film to come up with a replica that was as screen-accurate as possible. It’s like a detective story and a prop-making story all wrapped into one.
Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday and are ready for the new year. You may have noticed this site has a brand new look. I am still working out all the bugs and kinks, but all of the articles and information are still there. So feel free to check it all out, and check out the following links as well:
If you are a fan of the show Parks and Recreation, you may enjoy this oral history of the “Cones of Dunshire” board game which appeared a few episodes ago. The prop department worked with the game makers of “Settlers of Catan” to come up with this delightfully-complex (but unfortunately fictional) game.
Do you like the movie Alien? Here is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage from Alien compiled from dozens of bits of home movies. This isn’t the slick and sterile footage intended for a DVD featurette; this is just raw footage shot for personal use and which hasn’t really been seen until today.
Stephen Magazine recently did an article on the Theatre Calgary props warehouse. They talked with props master Lillian Messer who showed off their well-stocked inventory and explained where they find their pieces.
Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde makes delightful hand-drawn floor plans of apartments from television shows and films. See the furniture arrangement in Monica’s apartment from Friends, or how the rooms are connected in Frasier’s grand apartment. Even the smallest TV apartment is far more spacious than any I have ever lived in.
I’m light on words this week because we are in the middle of tech for my first show at Triad Stage, but enjoy these links:
Set decorator Stephenie McMillan passed away this week. She got her start working on films in 1984, with her most notable credit as the set decorator on all eight Harry Potter films. Check out this interview with McMillan from last year to learn more about her work and her process.
If all the glues and adhesives out there are confusing to you, Design Sponge has an “adhesives 101” for you. It does a good job breaking down the major types of glues available and what they are useful for. Of course, you should always test the specific glue you want to use first, but this guide is helpful to give you a place to start.
Check out this massive behind-the-scenes photo gallery of the first Alien movie. The models and miniatures used on that film are incredible.
Kamui Cosplay has a detailed look at how she created some fantasy armor from World of Warcraft using Wonderflex, Worbla, Friendly Plastic, PVC and EVA foam.