Tag Archives: film

Friday Fun Prop Links

Adam Savage Behind the Scenes of Alien: Covenant – Our favorite Mythbuster tours the set of the latest Alien movie as is being built, painted, and weathered. Sure, it’s a set, but it’s a very proppy set.

Work/Life Balance in Professional Theatre – American Theatre Magazine is running a survey to learn more about the work/life balance in theatre. If you work professionally, take a few moments to fill it out and help add to their data.

The Pen and the Trigger Finger: Examining Gun Violence Onstage – While this article does not deal with props per se, it does have a lot of interesting ideas about the use of guns on stage and even just the implication of gun violence. As a props master, you need to be aware that simply placing a gun on stage or in an actor’s hands carries a lot of weight and meaning to your audience.

Finishing Lies – Finally, Christopher Schwartz brings us this list of claims made on the packaging of wood finishes which typically do not end up being true.

Friday Night in Props

Building a Sci-Fi Cyber Octopus for 80’s Style Practical Effects – Make Magazine talks with Nicola Piovesan, creator of an indie film called Attack of the Cyber Octopuses. He is 3D printing the titular cyber cephalopods to use as practical effects in the film. Cool stuff.

Sombra Gun Replica – Part 1 – Eva Foam Build – Kamui Cosplay is currently shooting a series of videos as she replicates a video game weapon out of flexible foam sheets. The first part on fabricating the gun is here, and you can find the next video on painting as well.

The Rise and Fall of the Everyman Tycoon – Or the 3d printing revolution that wasn’t. This article is more about the rise and fall of the Makerbot company; you can still find plenty of cheap, tiny 3D printers on the market. But the hype seems to be dying down. A few props people are experimenting with them, but many have discovered their limitations. The machines which are actually affordable print items that are too small for stage use, and the time it takes to draft and print an item can actually be longer than ordering and overnighting an actual item.

A Trick to Sawing Compound Angles & Odd Shapes – Christopher Schwartz has a great technique for cutting a compound angle on an odd shaped piece. For the one-two punch, follow this up with Get Four Feet Flat on the Floor to make sure all your chair or table legs are even.

The Staging of the Picture, 1909

The following is a very early “advertorial” from an antique shop extolling the benefits of historical accuracy in the props in films:

It is astonishing to note how rarely the moving picture is accurately staged; by staging we mean correctness as regards details of scenery, dress, furniture, etc. Only the other day we saw a great picture, the scene of which was laid in a distant foreign country; and yet the furniture in an interior scene belonged to American colonial days. Now this, as we have repeatedly pointed out in these pages, is an example of what is known as a glaring anachronism. How rarely the pictures are correctly produced, correctly lighted, etc.! These reflections were suggested to our mind by an interview with Mr. S. M. Jacobi, the art director of the Genuine Antique Shop, 34 East 30th street, New York city. The Genuine Antique Shop has retained Mr. Jacobi’s services in a new capacity, which, we think, should be of great value to moving picture film makers.

Mr. Jacobi, a trained artist and authority on artistic matters generally, has had wide experience in theatrical producing, and also in supplying the furniture, dresses, costumes and accessories for notable productions. The Genuine Antique Store possesses a unique collection of very beautiful paintings, furniture, costumes and refined accessories, which it is willing to let out on hire to moving picture makers who are anxious to have their historical and other productions accurate in respect of accessories and costumes. This is a very important point, as everybody who has the smallest regard for the welfare of the moving picture must realize. At the Genuine Antique Store you see relics of the Colonial period, paneling from old chateaux in France, and even the very finest of furniture from Fraunce’s Tavern, where George Washington met his officers, so that there is a good collection from which to choose. Mr. Jacobi has given attention to the moving picture for a great many years, both in Paris and New York. Besides being an artist, he is a trained photographer, and his services are to be available for the designing of studios for moving picture work and generally in the production of the picture with regard to its accurate presentation, photographic lighting, grouping, etc. We advice all to get in touch with the Genuine Antique Shop at the address given, either by mail or, better still, by a personal visit. We feel convinced that they will come away as we did; namely, with a feeling of envy for the treasures it contains—treasures that will look good in a moving picture.

“The Staging of the Picture.” Moving Picture World Vol 4, Num 26. 26 June 1909: 18. Print.

Props for the Weekend

Center Theatre Group highlights their prop master, Andrew Thiels, in one of their latest blog posts. He talks about his favorite props from his 14-year career and what his job entails.

Shreveport has their very own movie prop maker with Jim Hayes, owner of LA House of Props. He has built props for films such as True Blood, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Armageddon, and so many more. It’s worth fighting the popup ads to view the massive photo gallery of his work.

With the Harry Potter movies turning 15 this year, the Evening Standard sits down with the films’ prop maker, Pierre Bohanna. He talks about how the designs of all the fictional objects evolved from the pages of the book to the screen.

Finally, Bloomberg News takes us on a video tour of Creature Technology, the Australian animatronic company building life-size moving dinosaurs for live performance. There’s nothing really to say here, except “can I get a job there?” and “can you move your shop to Burlington, North Carolina?”.

The Blog of Eternal Prop Links

Hollywood is Running Out of Tombstones, according to this article from Bloomberg, featuring the world’s worst stock photo. So much film and television is being produced these days that prop rental companies are running out of stock, studio spaces are booked to the max, and production crew is impossible to find. If you wanted to work in props, this article makes it seem like all you have to do is move to Atlanta or Los Angeles. Do any of my readers have any first-hand knowledge to back that up? I’d love to hear about it.

Food styling for photography is always interesting, and Tienlon Ho wrote an article about how it is changing. Gone are the days of mashed potatoes for ice cream. Ho talks with master food stylist Delores Custer about the tricks of the trade and how they are evolving.

Playmakers Rep’s production of Sweeney Todd features some interesting paper masks during the masquerade scene. Rachel Pollack details how the costume crafts shop brought them to life for designer Bill Brewer.

Popular Woodworking has a list of the 16 dumbest woodworking mistakes, along with a link to their magazine article where they go into more detail. Let’s see… yep, I’ve done all of these.

The House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe sounds like an amazing experience. Owned by George RR Martin and run by artist collective Meow Wolf, it’s a massive Victorian house that may have just slipped into another dimension. Reminiscent of Sleep No More, with some elements of Escape Games, the house is designed for visitors to freely roam, explore, and interact with all the props and furniture. It’s a prop builder’s paradise.