Tag Archives: game

A Gift of Prop Links

8 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of the Pretty Little Liars’ Vengeful Board Game – We head to Cosmo this morning to learn about the elaborate board game created by props master Chris Vail. Unlike “Cones of Dunshire,” this game is actually played on screen over several episodes. The details are gorgeous and Vail explains how they built the various mechanisms we see in the show.

Paul Huston on Making Models and History for Star Wars: A New Hope – Star Wars turns 40 this year, so StarWars.com talks with Paul Huston, who has worked on all eight Star Wars films so far. It is amazing to look back and realize just how much movie-making technology was invented solely to create that film.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Scene Shop Skips the Fasteners – OSF needs to rep ten shows at the height of their season, so they are always looking for ways to make change-over go quicker. For the set of Shakespeare in Love, they have come up with a way to sleeve pieces together without requiring fasteners. Check out the video to see how they make custom 3D-printed hardware to pull this off.

Beowulf Boritt, Set Designer, Renovates His Home – It’s always great to see a theater person’s home, especially when they do a lot of the renovation themselves. Check out all the custom parts that have gone into Beowulf’s Sutton Place co-op. My favorite bit is the framed electrical outlet from Hand of God which an audience member famously tried to charge their phone from.

How to Fix a Split Seat – Finally, Chris Schwartz show his method for fixing a split seat, which can be used to fix any piece of split wood.

First Links of 2014

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday and are ready for the new year. You may have noticed this site has a brand new look. I am still working out all the bugs and kinks, but all of the articles and information are still there. So feel free to check it all out, and check out the following links as well:

If you are a fan of the show Parks and Recreation, you may enjoy this oral history of the “Cones of Dunshire” board game which appeared a few episodes ago. The prop department worked with the game makers of “Settlers of Catan” to come up with this delightfully-complex (but unfortunately fictional) game.

Do you like the movie Alien? Here is a collection of behind-the-scenes footage from Alien compiled from dozens of bits of home movies. This isn’t the slick and sterile footage intended for a DVD featurette; this is just raw footage shot for personal use and which hasn’t really been seen until today.

Stephen Magazine recently did an article on the Theatre Calgary props warehouse.  They talked with props master Lillian Messer who showed off their well-stocked inventory and explained where they find their pieces.

Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde makes delightful hand-drawn floor plans of apartments from television shows and films. See the furniture arrangement in Monica’s apartment from Friends, or how the rooms are connected in Frasier’s grand apartment. Even the smallest TV apartment is far more spacious than any I have ever lived in.

Friday Links

Only 11 more days to enter the world’s greatest Prop Building Guidebook Contest! Don’t wait until the last minute! More importantly, starting this Monday (April 22), your friends, family and colleagues can vote for your entry. The prop with the most votes on April 30th will win $100 worth of Focal Press books. You can vote once a day, so be sure your friends know to vote early, and vote often. Now, onto the links:

Harrison Krix (of Volpin Props fame) has an article up at Tested.Com detailing the making of a mask from the video game Bioshock. It’s a great example of using “slices” to help make a precise carving, and the cracked paint treatment is an interesting technique as well.

Another replica prop maker, Bill Doran (of Punished Props fame) is doing a live Google Hangout tomorrow (Saturday, April 23rd, at 3:00pm EST) where he answers your prop-making questions. With a Google Hangout, you can watch live from your computer as it happens. You can also participate if you have a webcam and questions (Bill gives you the details in the post I linked to). Finally, the whole thing is recorded, so you can watch the whole thing on YouTube after it finishes (I’ll post the link in the comments once it goes up).

Here is a blog of random medieval imagery, mostly taken from manuscripts.

Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound, ca 1283-1300 BCE
Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound, ca 1283-1300 BCE

Finally, Chris Schwartz ruminates on technical perfection when building something, and whether it is necessary.

 

All Props Day

My latest magazine article is out. In “Printing a Set“, I talked with several set designers who are using 3D printing technology as part of their process.

3D Printed Furniture
3D Printed Furniture

Here’s an interesting story. Some soldiers in Afghanistan were having trouble carrying and reloading ammo for the new guns they were issued. To improvise a solution, they were inspired by a prop which Jesse Ventura used in the film Predator, and set out to recreate it. It worked.

The title of this article says it all: Dexter’s Prop Master Tells How He Made the Show’s Most Gruesome Set Pieces. It is fairly gruesome, so I caution clicking through if you do not want to read about severed body parts and other macabre details.

Here is a local news article on Karl Luthin, the owner of KEL Equine Productions, an Illinois-based company which has provided historically-accurate equine props, horse wranglers and set dressing to the film industry for years. His latest work will be seen in the upcoming Lincoln film by Steven Spielberg. You have probably seen his props in films such as “Glory,” “The Patriot” or “The Last of the Mohicans“. Check out his webpage too, for photographs of many of the items he has.

You can find pictures of early variations of the game Monopoly (known as “Landlord’s Game”) as well as rules and other historical facts here. There are over a dozen variations spanning from 1903 to 1939.

Finally, I like this set of behind-the-scenes photographs from the original Alien film. It’s just a guy chilling in a monster costume, whatever.