Earlier this week, I headed down past Raleigh to tour the amazing film prop collection ofÂ Wesley Cannon. I first read about him in an article in the Raleigh News Observer; I realized it was only a few hours away, so I couldn’t pass up a chance to see some well-known props right in my own backyard. Wesley has been collecting props, costumes and puppets/animatronics for about a dozen years. In that time he has amassed a truly remarkable assortment of well-known (and some not-so-well-known) objects and items. In fact, some of his better pieces are currently on loan to several museums around the world.
Besides what I have pictured here, he had a Mandrake root and several wands from theÂ Harry PotterÂ films, two pods from the 1978Â Invasion of the Body Snatchers, many costumes fromÂ Silent Hill, even more costumes and props fromÂ Thirteen Ghosts, Wolverine’s claws, Samuel Jackson’s lightsaber fromÂ Star Wars, one of Jason’s masks fromÂ Friday the 13th, one of Freddy Krueger’s sweaters fromÂ A Nightmare on Elm Street, a monster fromÂ Feast,Â Jennifer Lopez’s costume fromÂ The Cell, a goblin sword fromÂ Labyrinth, lots of figures fromÂ The Nightmare Before ChristmasÂ andÂ James and the Giant Peach, and so many other pieces from films that would take too long to list here.
Wesley has a bunch of mannequin displays of characters from several films. What is truly amazing about these is that they combine the latexÂ prosthetics and makeup appliances, the costumes, and some of the hand props. These elements are not just made by different people, but in many cases by completely different shops and companies, so after the film, they often scatter back to their points of origin. It makes it especially remarkable that Wesley was able to track down and reassemble so many disparate parts back into what they looked like on film.
The room itself was customized byÂ Tom Spina Designs; they also repaired and refurbished some of the older props which had fallen into disrepair. You can see a lot ofÂ photographs of the displays they createdÂ as well as some process shots of them working on the room.
There is anÂ episode of Hollywood TreasureÂ in which they visit Wesley’s collection on YouTube (for now). Wesley also runs a company called Hollywood History in which he sells movie props, costumes and other memorabilia. He was interviewed about his company by Dan Benton of the Prop Blog a few years ago.