Tag Archives: Eddie Aiona

In Memoriam, 2015

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to remember some of the people who have passed away in 2015. These are either people who work in our industry or do work closely related to our own. If I have missed anyone, let me know.

Eddie Aiona, props master for Clint Eastwood, died at 83. Aiona first worked with Eastwood on Magnum Force (1973), and propped all his films until retiring after The Bridges of Madison County in 1995. He also propped films for directors like Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, John Carpenter and Robert Redford.

Blaine Gibson, sculptor of figures in Disney Parks, died at 97. Gibson sculpted hundreds of the figures used for Disney’s Audio-Animatronics, including the first one, Abraham Lincoln. His work also included characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World.

George Barris, Batmobile Creator, died at 89. Barris worked on some of the most iconic cars in Hollywood, including the aforementioned Batmobile from the 1960s Batman with Adam West . He also built the Munster’s Koach and worked on cars for Knight Rider, Mannix and North by Northwest.

Mark Gill, Macy’s Parade Studio, 32. Mark was a props carpenter at Julliard before leaving to work on the floats for the Macy’s Parade. His wife was in props as well, working as the props master at NYU while I was at the Public Theater (and just a few blocks over). Both of them attended the inaugural NYC Props Summit in 2009. His death was far too soon, and he will be missed greatly.

The attendees of the 2009 New York City Props Summit
The attendees of the 2009 New York City Props Summit

Friday Links

Priceonomics has an amazing story on Gregg Barbanell, one of the few remaining Foley artists in Hollywood. Barbabell uses hundreds of props, shoes and fabric to add sounds to a movie or show. It’s the kind of job that has resisted digitization and prerecorded audio, because so many variables go into recreating the sound of a character walking.

Eddie Aiona, prop master for Clint Eastwood, has died at 83. Aiona was part of the Clint’s backstage team which he employed on every film, starting with Magnum Force in 1973 until The Bridges of Madison County in 1995.

New York Dot Com has the 5 Essential Broadway Jobs You Never Knew About, and guess what? Props Master is one of them.

Check out this extensive build log of a Light Rifle from Halo 4. It is constructed entirely of steel and copper, and has a working trigger and lots of internal lighting effects.

Finally, this isn’t really props, but using a cloud tank to create practical effects is a pretty cool idea. Follow the link in the post for instructions to construct your own. And who knows, maybe some prop master out there will realize they can adapt a cloud tank to solve some props problem on stage.