Perfecting the ‘Burn’: Props Master Jay Duckworth on Styling the Iconic ‘Hamilton’ Song – Is Jay ever not in the news? DC Metro sits down with the prop master of the off-Broadway run of Hamilton to discuss how he perfected the burning of the letters during the song “Burn.”
Shepherding the Show: A Day in the Life of Hamilton’s Stage Manager – Continuing with Hamilton, Playbill shares these great photos of Amber White at work as the production stage manager of the Broadway version of this iconic musical.
When the Actors Are Students, and They’re Armed – In this climate of daily school shootings, how do high school theater departments deal with plays and musicals that feature guns? The New York Times is on it. They showcase a number of schools who take different approaches; some use abstract props to represent the guns, while others use as realistic a prop as possible. As a prop master, you need to be in on the conversation early whenever your production will include firearms.
Meet the Puppeteer: Christina Stone in Manufacturing Mischief – Check out this interview with puppeteer Christina Stone as she talks about the various characters she created and performed in the recently-closed Manufacturing Mischief.
Adding Smoke F/X to Toys Using E-Cigarettes – Make Magazine rounds up some tutorials on using e-cigarettes to add smoke effects to toys (or props). Remember, if you are working on an Equity show, there are guidelines on how much smoke you can use, and the levels need to be tested. There are a few brands you can use without the need for testing, but they cannot be hacked or modified.
An illustrated guide to the ‘Hamilton’ stage – David Korins takes us on a tour of the set for Hamilton and shares all the tips and secrets that make it work.
How Heisler Became TV’s Most Popular Fake Beer – Studio Graphics, the in-house graphics team at Independent Studio Services, offers a number of fake brands for sale and rent. Since the 1990s, “Heisler” has become one of their most popular brands, and has appeared in more TV shows and films than you can count.
A Janitor Preserves the Seized Belongings of Migrants – Tom Kiefer is a Customs and Border Protection janitor, and several years ago he began saving the confiscated items from migrants at the Mexico border and arranging them into a beautiful series of photos. Props is all about using objects to tell a story about people, and these objects help tell a story about a people that are often forgotten or politicized for reprehensible reasons.
Making Your Own D&D Miniatures – Make Magazine has collected a few videos showing how to make your own miniature figurines and sculptures for playing the game “Dungeons and Dragons.”
What Robert Downey Jr does before each Avengers movie – and hidden secrets behind Marvel’s props – Russell Bobbitt, the head of props for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, continues to be in the news with this latest interview. Find out more about these iconic props from the ubiquitous comic book films, such as how he had a real blacksmith craft an Infinity Gauntlet for Josh Brolin to wear during production.
First up, Mashable takes a peek into the props shop at Pinewood Film Studios, the UK studio where the new Star Wars films are being made. They show the process for making some of the film’s iconic props, like Darth Vader’s melted helmet and Kylo Ren’s lightsaber hilt. The process is a bit more high-tech than your typical props shop.
Darin Kuehler, props master at the Omaha Community Playhouse, needed to make some animatronic dancing pigeons for their production of The Producers. Find out how he went from prototyping to final design.
Tony Nominee David Korins shares 10 secrets of the Hamilton set. He talks a bit about the props too, because really, what’s a set without props?
J. Kent decided he needed a life-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull, so he built one out of paper-mache. Check out pictures of the five-foot long piece that took over 500 hours to build.
Make Magazine discovers David Neat and his amazing model-making blog. I’ve linked to many of his posts before, but if you haven’t seen this blog yet, you’re in for a treat. He covers a lot of the same materials and methods we use in props in exquisite detail.