Tag Archives: HR Giger

Props: In Memoriam, 2014

We lost a lot of good people in the props world this past year. Here, in chronological order, are the props people who have completed their final note:

Though she passed at the end of 2013, news of Anne Sidaris-Reeves’ death did not break until last January. She worked in the props department on films such as The Goonies, Edward Scissorhands and Father of the Bride, and was one of the first women to be admitted into IATSE.

Joe Longo passed last January. He was the props master on Star Trek II and III, as well as The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.  He even had his own trading card in a 1993 set of Star Trek: TNG cards.

In a very tragic accident, Seamus O’Bryan was killed by a hit-and-run driver who remains unidentified. Only 32, he was the prop master at the Old Globe in San Diego, and had just left work and picked up a friend on his motorcycle when they were struck.

While not strictly a props person, H.R. Giger’s passing was felt by many people in the field. His work designing and building the creatures and sets in Alien paved the way for what sci-fi horror would look like for the next three decades.

In July, Kenneth Schwartz, the prop master at Loyola Marymount University, passed on.

Madison, WI, felt a loss when Jen Trieloff passed on. He was properties director at the American Player Theatre, but worked on shows throughout the city. At just 43 years old, this fellow SPAM member’s death came way too soon.

Finally, it’s important to remember the death of Sarah Jones. She was a camera assistant who died while working on the set of a film, and the lack of safety protocols could have easily affected a props person. The ensuing Slates for Sarah campaign has been raising awareness for the importance of safety in our industry.

So be safe in the upcoming year. If there is anyone you think I have missed who should be here, let me know.

Friday Week in Review

This week, famed illustrator and designer HR Giger passed away. Perhaps best known for his work designing the creatures in Alien, his aesthetic has found its way into numerous sci-fi and horror films, and even theatrical productions. BFI has a great post showing behind-the-scenes photos of Giger working on Alien,  while Creative Review has a good round-up of his conceptual and illustration work.

BBC Culture shares a viewpoint that filmmakers are returning to old-school special effects and real miniatures. While CGI can accomplish things that are impossible in reality, real sets, props and models still give more authenticity to a film, and in some cases, can be cheaper and easier to incorporate. So keep on proppin’!

The previous article stems from the announcement that Disney will be incorporating more practical effects and less CGI in their upcoming round of Star Wars films. Esquire also had an interview with Roger Christian, the set decorator on the original trilogy. He talks about how he took scrap metal from airplanes to make the halls of the Millennium Falcon, and other interesting tidbits.

Sticking with the Star Wars theme of today, Tested has the tale of how obsessive fans built a better Han Solo blaster. Several fans spent countless hours reverse-engineering the prop weapon used in the original film to come up with a replica that was as screen-accurate as possible. It’s like a detective story and a prop-making story all wrapped into one.