Happy Friday the 13th, everybody. Here are some great prop-related stories from around the internet.
The production team at the Clarice in Maryland recently recreated Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne statue using a mix of CNC routing, 3D printing, and theatre ingenuity. Watch this video to see how they did it.
Caleb Kraft and Platinumfungi decided they needed to recreate the flaming sword from the new Fallout 4 video game. Check out videos and photos showing their day-to-day process.
Duo Fiberworks has a nice tutorial on creating a rustic leather sketchbook from scratch. It’s a must for every Shakespeare play (h/t to Propnomicon for the link).
For your third video of the day, you can learn about Shawn Thorsson, the superhero of cosplay. You’ve seen some of his work before on this blog; now you can watch him at work in his shop and check out more of the pieces he has constructed.
Mythbusters is ending its fourteen-season run this January. This week was the final day of filming for them, and Adam Savage live-tweeted the entire day. It’s a sad day for television, since it was one of the few shows that got close to showing what we do in props. Thankfully, Adam is still busy as ever building props over at Tested.
Things continue chugging along here. King Lear began previews. I’m furiously preparing the first four chapters of The Prop Building Guidebook to submit to my publisher at the end of the month. Yet I still have time to find fun things on the internet.
Here’s an interesting story on how a film prop (technically, a mask) became a real-life prop used in protests around the world. This article on the V for Vendetta masks shows who is behind them and how this all came about.
Christopher Schwartz, former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine and current founder of Lost Art Press, has published 14 principles of shop setup which he has developed over 20 years of woodworking.
In the same vein, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of Mythbusters’ fame have 15 DIY Workshop Tips, including an ingenious nesting work table and indispensable tools to have.
In our current production of King Lear, we needed to provide them with a paper bag. Not just any paper bag. Only a specific size would do. I eventually found a place online we could order a close-enough size, provided we cut a few inches off the top. So I thought this history of the paper bag posted on the MoMA site was particularly apropos to the situation.
I don’t mean to nerd out, but did you know there’s a whole club of people who build R2-D2 replicas? I haven’t signed up to view the forums, but you can still browse the galleries, and read a few issues of the online magazine they publish.
I’m not the only props person who is enthralled with Mythbusters. Working there would be a dream come true. There is a video on YouTube of Jamie giving a tour of their shop. It’s an amazing space, the kind every props artisan wishes they had. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have an entire warehouse to fill with tools, materials, found objects, and miscellaneous parts. Still, it’s a great video to watch, showing how they organize all the various bits they’ve accumulated over the years, and the challenges of keeping order in such a large shop.
Mythbusters: Behind the scenes tour, part 1
Mythbusters: Behind the scenes tour, part 2