Tag Archives: effects

Links for a Long Weekend

Do you need a feather quill pen for a show? Lexey Jost has an Instructable showing how to make one that actually writes. Now you can keep your production of 1776 under budget.

Buzzfeed(?) has a collection of diagrams to help you decorate your home. They have everything from antique chair back styles, to common furniture sizes, to the names of lampshade fittings. Most of us prop masters have a collection of diagrams like this to help in decorating a set, so here’s a chance to grab a few more.

Many of us already saw this last week, but in case you missed it, that insane Mad Max flame-throwing guitar was no CGI trick. Find out how and why they constructed such a crazy practical effect.

Volpin Props has another great build log up. This time he made the Cael Hammer from the video game, Bastion. It’s a mix of EVA foam, vacuum formed plastic and PVC. He’s got a lot of great little tips and tricks for shaping and painting these various materials.

“Do not let artisans discourage you from learning this or that trade because they have not made a success of it. They may tell you that a certain trade is overcrowded. Investigate a little and you will find that only the botch workman and chronic kickers are out of work. The cheerful, enthusiastic workman is idle only when misfortune overtakes the whole country.” Read more from this 1888 article on workmen over at the Lost Art Press Blog.

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.

Links for the End of June

Gothamist has behind-the-scenes photos from Shakespeare in the Park, as well as how they make blood for Shakespeare in the Park. Both links feature the Public Theater’s costume master Luke McDonough, as well as my old boss, props master Jay Duckworth.

Harrison Krix is back with another great project, a life-sized shark gun from League of Legends. I don’t do the video games, so I don’t really know what that is, but it looks cool and lights up and opens its mouth.

Ars Technica has a fascinating article on how Disney built and programmed an animatronic President.  D23 has a similar article; though theirs has far less of the technical information, they have many more pictures of the other animatronics used at Disney parks.

Finally, here is an interesting piece called “Practical Effects Can’t Make a Comeback Because They Never Went Away“. While the article itself raises some good points, it also contains a fair amount of videos giving behind-the-scenes looks at the practical effects in various films from throughout the years.