Tag Archives: Nick Robatto

Friday Prop Notes

As Doctor Who gears up for its 50th anniversary in little over a week, check out this new interview with their prop master, Nick Robatto. In it, you can read how he got started, what he studied in college, and how he hates fiberglass and refuses to build props with it (yay!).

For fans of a different genre, Buzzfeed has the stories behind 10 iconic Grey’s Anatomy props. It’s Buzzfeed, so they don’t go into too much detail for each one, but it is still interesting to hear the (often relatable) challenges the props team encounters with making or finding these strange items.

Here’s a brief (but illustrated) look at how furniture design changed due to World War II. The examples look incredibly contemporary, and none of it would look out of place on a modern set. It is a great post for those interested in historical trends in furniture and period styles.

So, the Smithsonian is 3D scanning their massive collection. They only have a small library of models online at the moment, but more is sure to come. Imagine the possibilities for research, where you can view a 3D model of a piece of furniture or an historic weapon right on your computer. You also have the possibility of downloading the models and exporting them to fabrication tools, such as CNCs or 3D printers. Your designer wants a wooly mammoth skeleton in the show? Just download and “print”.

Happy May Links

Happy May, everyone! It’s a busy month for many of us as seasons wind down and summer seasons wind up, and for those of you in the educational world, classes are ending and graduations approach. But at least it’s getting warmer outside! And I have some links for you!

CBS Denver has an article about Bill Slezak, the prop master on the touring production of Mary Poppins. The show has some 4,000 props, and Bill is in charge of repairing and placing all of them in whatever city they go to. Be sure to watch the video since the article itself is just a brief transcription of said video.

Kasterborous has an article about Nick Robatto, one of the chief prop makers on Dr. Who. Not only does he make the props for the show, but he also makes the licensed replicas of the props to sell to fans. How’s that for carving out a niche in the market?

Have you heard about the giant head found in the Hudson River? A New Orleans prop maker guesses it’s over 10 years old (he says the pink foam inside hasn’t been used since the eighties), while a Mardi Gras float maker says it’s a Mardi Gras float. What do you think?

Finally, a lot of film props are made by piecing together found objects. Cracked has put together five Sci-Fi gadgets that are really just everyday objects.