Happy Friday, everyone! For those of us in the middle of holiday shows, whether Nutcracker, Christmas Carol, Tuna Christmas, or what have you, I hope it’s going well. I have some fun things from around the internet you can read:
Propnomicon has been doing some research into early shipping crates and packaging, and has shared some of the discoveries made. It may be surprising to see that manufacturers were shipping products in corrugated cardboard boxes rather than wooden crates back in the 1920s.
A short article of note tells how 3D printing is finding a home in Hollywood. Of course, regular readers of this blog already know this, but it is still interesting to see specifically how and where prop makers are using 3D printing technology.
La Bricoleuse has an interesting post up about the parasols her students made in her decorative arts class. Now I know many props masters do not consider parasols to be a “prop”; I’m sharing it because Playmakers’ props assistant (and good friend) Joncie Sarratt has a stunning diagram of the parasol she had to create for their production of Tempest.
For those of you in North Carolina, the Maker Faire NC is happening tomorrow at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. I won’t be there, but the Alamance Makers Guild (where I am a member) will have a copy of my book you can peruse through. And of course, being a Maker Faire, there will be tons of other cool things to see and do.
How to be a Retronaut has a few cool photographs from behind the scenes at Madame Tussaud’s in the 1930s. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is still going strong today, and I’ve known prop people who work there, maintaining all the statues.
Tony Swatton makes stage combat swords for stage and film. Here is a video where he forges the sword from He-Man. And then he destroys a car with it. I’ve linked to this web series before; every week, he has a new episode showing the creation of a sword or other weapon from film, TV and video games. It is a very insightful view into all kinds of metal working techniques.
Tested has quite the in-depth interview with Harrison Krix, one of the top videogame replica prop makers on the Internet these days. They delve into his process for building a prop, his workshop setup, and how he got started. Harrison has also contributed some photographs to my book, if you are interested. By the way, Tested is a website run by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (of Mythbusters fame), and it has a lot of other cool stuff inside, such as this video showing some models Adam Savage has made for films.
I love the show Parks and Recreation, not least because Nick Offerman is an honest-to-goodness woodworker. The show also regularly features some fun and memorable props. Entertainment Weekly has talked with prop master Gay Perello about her five favorite props from this year’s episodes. You not only get to see some imaginative props, you also get to hear the challenges involved and the process in arriving at a solution for all of them.
An interesting page came through the Prop Masters list this week. The Museum of American Packaging is a photographic collection of thousands of product packages, mostly from the mid-twentieth century. You can call it “doing research” if you want, but I would look at these pictures even if I didn’t have a show set in this time period.
It is the end of another week, and time for another round of the best props-related articles on the web:
Anna Warren continues adding great projects and articles at her Fake ‘n Bake blog. The latest shows a vintage Cheetos bag filled with vintage Cheetos that still allowed the actor to eat healthy (and non-staining) snacks during the actual performance.
Ron Paulk has a really well-made woodworking shop that fits in the back of his truck. Not only is there a video and pictures to give you a tour, but he has put the Sketchup plans online so you can download them for free. Though prop shops rarely need to be mobile, most of us work out of spaces not too much larger than Ron’s truck, so it is useful to see what space-saving methods he has come up with.
The Original Prop Blog has an interesting post about the Harry Crocker museum, which may have been the first Hollywood memorabilia museum, dating back to 1928.
Chris Schwartz has a great piece about making sure your obsession with the tools does not get in the way of actually practicing your craft.