A Word to the Wise on Resumes & Cover Letters – Jay Duckworth brings us some advice on writing resumes and cover letters from the Public Theater Props Department, which receives 100-200 resumes a year. Always remember to spelcheck before sending one out!
Why Mary Robinette Kowal Traded in Puppets for Science Fiction – Though largely know for her science fiction and fantasy novels, some of us knew Mary Robinette Kowal back when she was a puppeteer. This is a great little article on how and why she made the transition, and how her theatre background informs her writing.
Secret Cinema – A New Life Awaits You – Cinefex has an interesting article about London’s “Secret Cinema,” which brings an interactive element to watching films. Sets, props, and costumes combine with live performance to create an otherworldly street fair surrounding the screening of a movie. It seems like the kind of thing a prop builder would love to get involved with.
How did they build all those vehicles in Mad Max: Fury Road? Credits has an article on the whole devilish process. They talk with production designer 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.
Saul Griffith brings us a curriculum of toys. He categorizes the different ways a child can learn to make things and to interact with the physical world, then suggests toys and games which will help grow the skills in each of those categories. Looks like fun for adults, too!
The New York Times has a summary of the science, health and legal implications of e-cigarettes since their introduction. Giving them to an actor for use on stage of course raises additional concerns and considerations than when a private individual who already smokes uses them, but this article does a good job of laying out all the different governmental and scientific forces jockeying for a say in the future of e-cigarette use. If nothing else, this article should show you that the legality of using e-cigarettes on stage will probably remain ambiguous and evolving over the next several years.
Finally, enjoy this video of a wooden automaton who can pick up an arrow, draw it in a bow and fire it at a target:
I’m still catching up with a lot of things; you may have noticed Monday’s post did not appear until Tuesday. First up, I want to mention that Puppet Kitchen will be giving a live chat interview today at Theatre Face, starting at 2pm (E.S.T.). We’ve worked with them together and individually on a number of projects here at the Public, like The Bacchae and Hamlet, and will be joining them again on our upcoming production of Compulsion. Check it out!
Here are a few links to help you make it through the week:
The Replica Prop Forum is posting a three-part interview with John Dykstra, perhaps best known for creating the visual effects on a little film called Star Wars.
The LA Times’ Hero Complex has an interview with Barry Wilkinson, prop master for all the Harry Potter films. He’s constructed over 500 magic wands just for the final film alone.
Mary Robinette Kowal is a puppeteer and science-fiction writer in New York City. She is also works in props. Her blog contains the occasional post about the interesting props she’s built, and fascinating stories about the day-to-day life of a NYC props master (such as getting a moose-head down five flights of stairs, or carrying an axe on the subway).
You can quickly peruse all the posts dealing with props. Be sure to look at all the pages, as there’s quite a bit of great information there.
Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies