Interview: Rob Kyker – Lilja’s Library, a site dedicated to Stephen King, sits down for an interview with Rob Kyker, the prop master on Mr. Mercedes. Rob was also prop master on shows like Lost and Castle.
Making Your Own Foam Cutting Table – Make Magazine brings us this how-to video explaining how to build a hot wire cutting table for foam. Don’t forget the ventilation!
Kansas City Rep Theatre, Prop & Costume Auction – The Kansas City Rep is losing their storage space and moving to a smaller warehouse, so a large portion of their collection is being sold off. This auction includes items that have been bought throughout their 30 year history, so it is a rare opportunity to acquire many hard-to-find items.
Pocket Screws for Chairmaking? (Yes) – Chris Schwartz shows us how he uses pocket screws as a way to clamp pieces that are otherwise difficult to attach a clamp to. I’ll admit to having done this in the past; pocket screws create a very strong connection.
The making of the Central Perk couch on Friends – This video shows the Warner Brothers Upholstery Department building the iconic orange couch from Friends. I think it is a recreation of the original couch, but I still find it fascinating that they build the entire couch from scratch.
What Does a Prop Master Do? A Conversation with Elisa Malona – Elisa Malona is the head of props for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In this great interview, she talks about how she got started in props, how her career led her to The Tonight Show, and some of her greatest successes and fails in churning out crazy props on a daily basis. You can’t see it on any of the photos, but my book is sitting on her bookshelf.
The Prop Master Behind ‘Arrested Development’ – Supporting Players – Now the story of a prop master who had everything. In this short episode of “Supporting Players,” we visit Todd Daniels in his prop truck while working on the set of Arrested Development, which recently finished filming its fifth season.
Glossary: Dunsels, Nurnies, Greebles, Gundans, and Fuidgets – Christopher Noessel goes into the history of these terms, used to describe various decorative details on models, sets, and computer screens in sci-fi films. If you delve deeper into the history of design and art, you can see these are all just modern forms of diapering, which is the use of decorative patterns to break up a plain surface.
How Altered Carbon’s costume designer created the fashions for its futuristic world – Sure, it’s clothing, but it is so futuristic it may as well be props. Right? Ann Foley talks about the design and fabrication of the outfits in this new sci-fi series, including the hard armor of the Praetorian Guards.
More Stranger Things! More Stranger Things! People are in love with the show and want to know more about the props. This week, we have two podcasts that talk with props master Lynda Reiss. First is a short 7:40 interview on CBC Radio. Second is an hour-long episode of Pop Culture Confidential with both Reiss and Shannon Purser, the actress who plays Barb.
Dorothy Thicket has put together this great reference chart for armor materials. It’s handy for all sorts of props, comparing the properties of materials like acrylic, EVA foam, Worbla, and more.
Eugene Lee recently received his 12th Emmy Nomination for Saturday Night Live, which he has been designing sets for since the first episode back in 1975. Crain’s talks with him about his career in TV and on stage.
Variety has a special feature on “Artisans So White”; while a lot of attention is paid to the diversity of directors, actors, and writers on films, the below-the-line craftspeople and technicians remain overwhelmingly white and male. Though this article deals with film, the same trends can be found in theatre. They even include a quote from Clint Ramos, a costume/set designer familiar to many in the theatrical world. It’s a thorny issue to deal with, and part of the problem is that so much hiring at companies is done informally, with jobs going to friends and acquaintances of people already working there.
StarWars.com has a great interview with Bill Hargreaves, one of the prop makers on the original Star Wars trilogy. He talks about how he got the job, how he built many of the props, and what it was like working on the set. His most famous creation was the bounty hunter droid, IG-88, and he has gone on to build props for the Indiana Jones films and many others.
Speaking of interviews with cool people, the Greensboro News & Record talked with me about my work on Deathtrap, which begins performances this Sunday at Triad Stage. “Eric Hart won’t be on stage when “Deathtrap” opens Sunday, but his talents will be seen in every thrill delivered and every goosebump raised.” Aw, shucks.
CineFX has a cool (though very gross) look at the creatures and special effects in The Strain, a TV series based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Don’t read this right after you’ve eaten.
So, this is something I really want to try someday: hydro-dipping. I first started coming across videos of it a few months ago. Now, Make Magazine has collected 12 tutorials on how to hydro-dip. I can try to explain it, but once you see the videos, you’ll know what it’s all about.
Here is a special Friday night blog post. I couldn’t write it earlier, because I am in tech for one show, starting rehearsals for another, and oh yeah, my baby just came home after 14 months in the hospital. But here are some fun prop things to read and watch:
I don’t know anything about this, but Comikaze Expo 2015 in LA is having a prop making contest. It looks like you may need to be there in person to show off your prop if you’re selected.
Tested has a very cool article on making a Furiosa Cosplay Prosthetic Arm. What makes it extra special is that it was made for a woman who is actually missing her arm.
TOTL Podcast has a quick interview with Evil Ted. If you’ve never seen his work and how-to videos, check them out!
This is from a few months ago, but has a ton of great photographs of vintage soda bottles from throughout the twentieth century.