Spend twenty minutes to watch this fantastic mini-documentary on the life of a prop master. The American Theatre Wing follows Buist Bickley, Kathy Fabian and FayeÂ Armon-Troncoso as they navigate New York City to prop their shows.
Gabrielle Donathan has a very useful articleÂ called “The Cost of Custom Cosplay: Where Does the Money Go?” In it, she takes three complete costumes she has constructed, and breaksÂ down every component and task in the process to show their individual costs. The total is basically what she charges her clients. If you think custom work is expensive, this shows why. And if you do your own work, this is a great primer on how to break down a project and account for all the expenses before you come up with a price quote.
How did they build all those vehicles inÂ Mad Max: Fury Road? Credits has an articleÂ on the whole devilish process. They talk with production designerÂ Colin Gibson and show off some of the CAD drawings they used to weld two Cadillacs together and build custom suspension and frames, among other things.
You may have run across the cheap version of silicone mold-making, where you mix corn starch with hardware store silicone caulk. Make Your Mark has a quick little video showing how it’s done. Whether or not you already know about this technique, this is a great tutorial for it.
Frank Ippolito and Tested show us how to make a realistic horror skull prop. This half-hour video goes in-depth through all the steps and really digs deep into a number of techniques. The painting portion is especially helpful.
Wired has an epic oral history on Industrial Light and Magic, which just celebrated its 40th year in business. It’s interesting to note that the company which pioneered the use of computer effects in the ninetiesÂ is the same one currently pushing the envelope of practical effects.
Here is a very cool video showing howÂ Frank IppolitoÂ made a life-sized dragon. Capcom wanted the front portion of one of their video game monsters for their booth at the E3 gaming conference, so they turned to sculptor and special effects artist Ippolito to make it happen. Tested shot thisÂ video, which shows all the stages of the build, from planning to creating the structure, and from sculpting the foam to coating it with a hard shell. If you ever wanted to create your own life-size dragon, this video is a good place to start.
Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies