What Does a Prop Master Do? A Conversation with Elisa Malona – Elisa Malona is the head of props for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In this great interview, she talks about how she got started in props, how her career led her to The Tonight Show, and some of her greatest successes and fails in churning out crazy props on a daily basis. You can’t see it on any of the photos, but my book is sitting on her bookshelf.
Glossary: Dunsels, Nurnies, Greebles, Gundans, and Fuidgets – Christopher Noessel goes into the history of these terms, used to describe various decorative details on models, sets, and computer screens in sci-fi films. If you delve deeper into the history of design and art, you can see these are all just modern forms of diapering, which is the use of decorative patterns to break up a plain surface.
Stranger Things VFX Supervisor on Making Monster Mayhem – This interview with Marc Kolbe, supervisor of the visual effects team, delves into the bizarre and unique world of Stranger Things. As with many visual effects teams these days, Marc is in charge of both the practical and digital effects, which allows him to use both to their full advantage and have them play off each other.
My Career as a Freelance Prop Maker – Melanie Wing has been a freelance prop maker in the UK for the past 12 years. In this interview, she talks about her training and how her career began.
Jay Duckworth gave a keynote speech at the 2017 USITT Conference in St. Louis. Jay is the props master at the Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park. In his address to the over 6,000 people in attendance, he talks about the “artist’s bug-out-bag”, filled with everything you need to head out for a career in the arts.
Over at HowlRound, Seth Tyler Black talks about career transitions from theatre to film. He interviews a few art directors and props people to see what skills are shared between the two fields, and what makes them different.
I loved this article and photographs about Syrian refugees building scale models of historical landmarks. As their homeland is destroyed by war, and ancient artifacts are being destroyed, these artists are coming together in their cramped camps to create a record of what is lost. They construct the models with whatever materials they can find, from rock, to MDF, to wooden kebab skewers.
Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney has been researching ancient methods of measurement, and has come up with the Rulers of the Ancient World. These wooden measuring devices come in several flavors: Ancient Egyptian, Japanese “Kanejaku”, and Ancient Roman. So if you’re sick of inches, but millimeters leave you cold, why not measure your next project in Pes and Uncia?