Tag Archives: parade

In Memoriam, 2015

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to remember some of the people who have passed away in 2015. These are either people who work in our industry or do work closely related to our own. If I have missed anyone, let me know.

Eddie Aiona, props master for Clint Eastwood, died at 83. Aiona first worked with Eastwood on Magnum Force (1973), and propped all his films until retiring after The Bridges of Madison County in 1995. He also propped films for directors like Martin Scorsese, Sydney Pollack, John Carpenter and Robert Redford.

Blaine Gibson, sculptor of figures in Disney Parks, died at 97. Gibson sculpted hundreds of the figures used for Disney’s Audio-Animatronics, including the first one, Abraham Lincoln. His work also included characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World.

George Barris, Batmobile Creator, died at 89. Barris worked on some of the most iconic cars in Hollywood, including the aforementioned Batmobile from the 1960s Batman with Adam West . He also built the Munster’s Koach and worked on cars for Knight RiderMannix and North by Northwest.

Mark Gill, Macy’s Parade Studio, 32. Mark was a props carpenter at Julliard before leaving to work on the floats for the Macy’s Parade. His wife was in props as well, working as the props master at NYU while I was at the Public Theater (and just a few blocks over). Both of them attended the inaugural NYC Props Summit in 2009. His death was far too soon, and he will be missed greatly.

The attendees of the 2009 New York City Props Summit
The attendees of the 2009 New York City Props Summit

A Friday Cavalcade of Links

Stage Directions magazine has a great feature on Faye Armon-Troncoso this month. In “The Actor’s Propmaster“, we get a look at how she got started, some of the show’s she has worked on, and what she has learned. I got to work with Faye a bit when I lived in New York City, including assisting her in the production of Merchant of Venice mentioned in the article.

I love this visit to the Fiberglass Animal Farm. FAST Corp in  Wisconsin is responsible for most of the giant animals and other roadside attractions you see around the US. If you pass a giant ear of corn on the side of the road, it was probably made by them.

Smooth-On has a great FAQ on solving one of the main problems with molding and casting in the props world: how to make paint stick to your plastic castings.

I know a few props people who sometimes work on the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, so I really enjoyed this article which looks at the 1920s puppeteer whose inflatable monsters changed Thanksgiving.

Finally, this past Thanksgiving, I had a little article written about me in the local paper: “Props master Eric Hart: This guy wrote the book on making props for plays.”