8 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of the Pretty Little Liars’ Vengeful Board Game – We head to Cosmo this morning to learn about the elaborate board game created by props master Chris Vail. Unlike “Cones of Dunshire,” this game is actually played on screen over several episodes. The details are gorgeous and Vail explains how they built the various mechanisms we see in the show.
Paul Huston on Making Models and History for Star Wars: A New Hope – Star Wars turns 40 this year, so StarWars.com talks with Paul Huston, who has worked on all eight Star Wars films so far. It is amazing to look back and realize just how much movie-making technology was invented solely to create that film.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Scene Shop Skips the Fasteners – OSF needs to rep ten shows at the height of their season, so they are always looking for ways to make change-over go quicker. For the set of Shakespeare in Love, they have come up with a way to sleeve pieces together without requiring fasteners. Check out the video to see how they make custom 3D-printed hardware to pull this off.
Beowulf Boritt, Set Designer, Renovates His Home – It’s always great to see a theater person’s home, especially when they do a lot of the renovation themselves. Check out all the custom parts that have gone into Beowulf’s Sutton Place co-op. My favorite bit is the framed electrical outlet from Hand of God which an audience member famously tried to charge their phone from.
How to Fix a Split Seat – Finally, Chris Schwartz show his method for fixing a split seat, which can be used to fix any piece of split wood.
I love that Oregon Live has put together a list of 10 Must-See Props at the 2016 Oregon Shakespeare Festival. From wedding cakes to bears, you can learn how the OSF prop shop made it all happen.
Kamui Cosplay has a great video tutorial on adding animated LEDs to your prop. Making your LEDs pulse and chase really bumps up the wow-factor compared to static on/off lights.
Did You Know The Props On ‘Melrose Place’ Were Covert Works Of Art With Coded Meanings? I don’t know what else to say about this article other than repeating the title. Apparently an art exhibition showcasing these works of conceptual art is now running in NYC.
Did you know that new overtime rules for workers in the US are going into effect in December? American Theatre tackles how this may affect theatres, particularly non-profits. All of us should be aware of the rules and regulations that govern our wages, particularly since theatre and small films are so rife with infractions. A combination of ignorance, lack of oversight, and the belief that we should “suffer for our art” keeps it from improving. My worry is that these new overtime rules will either be ignored or hand-waved away like so many other labor regulations that some theatres do not follow.
Today, I’m presenting several magazine articles I’ve found which are available online. These give a nice, in-depth look at working props shops around the world.
Prop Art: Theater veteran and students star behind the scenes
From the Winter 2005 edition of Ohio Today. This article takes a look at the props shop of Ohio University, where I attended graduate school for a period.
A look at Hunter Spence, who teaches props at Yale University.
All Hail the Backstage crew
A look at the backstage crew of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, with a nice section on Paul James Martin, the props master.
Little London Prop Shop Turns Ideas Into Art
An in-depth look at MDM Props, a London-based props shop which has branched out into fabrication for art installations.
Has your prop shop been featured in a magazine or website? Do you post photographs of your prop shop online? Let me know, I’d love to feature them here.