The Society of Properties Artisan Managers Offers Some Advice – Here are 32 pieces of advice from veteran prop masters to burgeoning prop artisans.
For a Hollywood propmaster, it’s the little things that make ‘Big Little Lies’ a success – Jane Gulick’s job is to make sure the Monterey area in Big Little Lies looks like the real town. She uses a ton of local products to help flesh out the world.
An American Theatre Wing Working in Theatre Video: Specialty Props – Mary Creede, Zoë Morsette, and John Jerard create some of the most unusual and iconic props on Broadway. Check out this video to see the shops where they are tasked with creating all the things that don’t currently exist.
Broadway Design On Display At McNay Museum – If you are in San Antonio, TX, before June 30th, check out this exhibition of theatrical and film designs. The show features models and renderings from some of the 20th and 21st centurys’ most prolific designers.
Just a reminder that you have until May 15th to apply for one of the $1000 grants being offered by S*P*A*M. If you have a props internship or apprenticeship either now or in the near future, you are eligible, and it is super easy to apply for!
Slammin’ Ham! – FFFriday Guest Post from Victoria Ross – For one of our shows at Triad, my apprentice cast and painted this very hefty ham out of silicone rubber. The final scene in Two Trains Running is punctuated by a character slamming the ham on the diner counter, and this ham made that slam very dramatic.
Someone Has To Clean Up After Broadway’s Creative Destruction – True West features the near-total destruction of everything on stage by the end of the performance, and the current Broadway production delivers that. Find out how the show’s prop team accomplished not only that, but the clean-up and reset before every show as well.
How Disney uses more than 7,000 props to make Galaxy’s Edge look and feel like a ‘Star Wars’ movie – The new Star Wars theme park requires a ton of very custom set dressing. Find out how Eric Baker and his team are salvaging airplane parts and other pieces of junk to build this “final frontier.”
Behind the Scenes at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Props Warehouse – Chris Young, the props director at STC, explains how they accomplished all the blood effects in their recent production of The Oresteia.
Get Up Close With the Props of Dear Evan Hansen – Take a look backstage at the hit Broadway show to see how the props are stored. This series of photos is a great look at all the minute detail that goes into preparing seemingly ordinary props. Even the most mundane details have some story behind it, or some kind of trick rigged into it to make the show run smoothly and consistently.
Woman’s Day Magazine’s Star Wars Playset Designs (1978, 1980) – In two separate issues in 1978 and 1980, Woman’s Day Magazine published plans and instructions to construct Star Wars playsets for the popular action figures. These plans had you build them fully from scratch, using sheets of plywood, plastic, laminates, and other raw materials. This article includes links to the original plans as well, so grab them while you can!
The Secret Tools Magicians Use to Fool You – In another photo series, Louis De Belle has photographed devices used by magicians for his upcoming book, and shares a few of them with us here. He doesn’t actually give away how any of the tricks work, but it is a fun exercise to guess what each magical prop accomplishes.
National Theatre explores “exquisite miniature world” of stage set models – The National Theatre in London has an exhibition of some of the set design models for shows that have been produced there since the 1970s. The exhibition runs until March 2019, and was curated by Eleanor Margolies, author of Props (Readings in Theatre Practice).
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 of Harry Potter is coming out soon, so The Knockturnal sat down with the head prop maker, Pierre Bohanna. Pierre has worked on all the previous 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, Solo was actually one of the most expensive Star Wars films made, and was packed to the gills with practical creature effects. 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 and prop shop manager Kristen Nuh brought the nerdy world of 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:
Broadway’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! – 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!