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.
What’s it like to audition for a Jim Henson puppet workshop? Mary Robinette Kowal participated in one and shared her experience. She made it to round 2; we’ll see in a few weeks how she does in the next part.
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.
I don’t know much about Pinterest, but here’s a whole bunch of puppet building resources. They look very pinteresting.
Here’s a great in-depth tutorial on making a two-part underpoured mold written by Adam Savage. Yes, I’ve already had some Adam Savage on the blog this week; there are only so many props people out there who write about what they do.
By now, you’ve all heard about 3D printing, and some of you have even gotten your own 3D printers to play around with. Here’s a great article on why 3D printing is overhyped. It is not saying 3D printers are worthless or a waste of time; rather, it offers a sobering look at the reality of 3D printer’s capabilities versus how they are presented in the media. They are at the peak of hype right now; I’ve seen articles promising they will destroy traditional manufacturing and even end consumerism. The reality is that they can make shapes in plastic from digital models, something which may be useful to some props people in certain situations.
Fans of The Walking Dead may enjoy this piece on John Sanders, the prop master for the show. He talks about weapons and special props which will be appearing in the upcoming season.
Jeff Burks has posted quite the treatise on workshop cleanliness from 1885. I think a clean and well-organized shop is vital to working safely and efficiently; however, the author states that when you are finished with a tool, “return it to its place, immediately after you have done using it.” Now, I’ve heard “tools away at the end of the day,” meaning don’t waste your time putting a tool away if you might need it half an hour later. How does everyone else deal with putting tools away?
In case you missed it, Backstage Jobs has changed its name to OffStage Jobs. Same great site, new title and address.
Ray Harryhausen, special effects pioneer, passed this week. StarWars.com has a great tribute to him, talking about his influence on the movie industry. I posted a great video interview of Harryhausen a while back, too.
Over at Tested, Harrison Krix has a tutorial on some pretty advanced mold making for props. It’s actually part 8 of a series on prop making, all of which is heavily photographed and well documented.
I like this show, so I really liked this slide show of 10 odd items from the New Girl set. But even if you’re not a fan, the explanations of how they dress sets and locate props on a TV show are very insightful.
This next one is only marginally prop related, but it’s about Iron Man, a movie that has cool props and whose hero is kind of like a prop maker. Scientists look at the Iron Man suit and debate which aspects are possible with our technology.