Tag Archives: Shawn Thorsson

Rockin the Prop Links

Dedicated to the Craft with Mary Creede – Thrillist has this great video peeking into the shop of Jerard Studio and talking with its co-founder, Mary Creede. This Red Hook shop has been building and maintaining specialty theatrical props for over 25 years. Most recently, they provided a number of items for Hamilton.

Want The Best Iron Man Cosplay For Comic-con? Call This Guy – Wired has an article about Shawn Thorsson, who makes foam armor suits like Iron Man or Robocop. He also writes a great deal about it and shares his techniques, and has recently written a book published by Make.

Disabled Artisans Seek Equality in Behind-the-Camera Jobs – Variety looks at some of the disabled craftspeople and technicians working in film, including a visual effects supervisor, a director of photography, and a film composer. We talk a lot about serving audiences with disabilities, and occasionally deal with performers with disabilities, but very few conversations happen around backstage and behind-the-scenes people with disabilities. It’s a conversation worth having. Monona Rossol published a datasheet about Americans with Disabilities in the Scenic Arts back in 1997, but I haven’t come across anything more recent in those twenty years.

DIY Rocketeer Jetpack – David Guyton built a rocket pack from The Rocketeer out of sheet metal. He also made a video showing how it was done, and posted the template patterns for free on his store. Be sure to browse his store for a ton of other patterns offered for sale.

Prop Making 101, with Sarah Kaiser – Part 1 – Sarah shows us how to build some props from Warhammer 40,000, notorious for its giant, over-the-top sci-fi guns. These guns also contain a ton of light and sound effects controlled by an Arduino, so it’s a good project to try if you’ve been wanting to practice that aspect of prop building.

Saturday Props Forever

‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Props to the Prop Master – Yahoo! TV was invited to a show-and-tell of props from Agents of SHIELD hosted by prop master Scott Bauer. There’s some cool stuff in here if you are familiar with the show. And for the journalists out there: please stop using “Props to the Prop Master” as your title.

Book Review – Make: Props And Costume Armor By Shawn Thorsson – La Bricoleuse has a review of this long-anticipated book by Thorsson. You may have seen his work online, whether it’s the life-size ED-209 from Robocop or his giant Space Marine armor. Now he shares all his techniques in this highly polished book.

Up Your Game with the ‘Make Pretty’ – Christopher Schwartz shares one of his secrets to making good furniture. After the fabrication is complete, but before he begins finishing or painting, he takes a few hours at the top of the day to just go over the whole piece and sand or trim all the minor defects.

The Thing ADI’s Creature Work Behind-The-Scenes – This is an oldie, but a goodie. The 2011 Thing was originally going to use practical effects rather than digital, and this video shows all the crazy monsters that could have been.

Learn the Double-Stitch Technique to Handsew Leather – Finally, Make Magazine teaches us the best way to sew leather by hand.

Friday Friday Prop Prop Prop

“Don’t Touch That!” The Trials & Tribulations Of A Props Designer – Here’s a fun little piece from TheatreNerds.com to share with your friends and family who might not totally understand what you do for a living.

How to Paint Foam Props to Look Rusty – Punished Props has a great video showing how to make flexible foam sheets (EVA, XLPE, craft foam, etc.) look all rusty.

Shortcuts to Good Design – Christopher Schwartz shows how he uses scrap wood and wire to quickly mock up a furniture design. He can check the proportions and scale from all angles before building anything too complicated.

Build Props and Costume Armor with Paper, Pepakura, and Bondo – Shawn Thorsson demonstrates how you can turn a digital model into a file to print out, cut, fold, and assemble into a three-dimensional prop. You can then stiffen it with polyester resin and Bondo.

Lucky Links for a Lucky Day

Happy Friday the 13th, everybody. Here are some great prop-related stories from around the internet.

The production team at the Clarice in Maryland recently recreated Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne statue using a mix of CNC routing, 3D printing, and theatre ingenuity. Watch this video to see how they did it.

Caleb Kraft and Platinumfungi decided they needed to recreate the flaming sword from the new Fallout 4 video game. Check out videos and photos showing their day-to-day process.

Duo Fiberworks has a nice tutorial on creating a rustic leather sketchbook from scratch. It’s a must for every Shakespeare play (h/t to Propnomicon for the link).

For your third video of the day, you can learn about Shawn Thorsson, the superhero of cosplay. You’ve seen some of his work before on this blog; now you can watch him at work in his shop and check out more of the pieces he has constructed.

Mythbusters is ending its fourteen-season run this January. This week was the final day of filming for them, and Adam Savage live-tweeted the entire day. It’s a sad day for television, since it was one of the few shows that got close to showing what we do in props. Thankfully, Adam is still busy as ever building props over at Tested.

Friday Fun Time

Chicago PD prop master Jim Zemansky talks props in this video, particularly the use of replica guns and blank-firing weapons. If you pay attention, you will see one crew member using what looks like a paintball gun off-camera during gun battle scenes; it appears he is shooting it to simulate bullets hitting around the actors. I found that interesting.

I’ve been following this build of a life-size ED-209 from Robocop for the past couple months, and it is finally finished. Here are all the parts in Make Magazine’s series which followed Shawn Thorsson as he built this massive robotic replica. Also check out Tested’s short video which looks at the final piece when it debuted at Maker Faire.

Princeton Magazine talks with TD Chris Nelson and prop master Michele Sammarco of McCarter Theatre about a recent production designed by Eugene Lee. There are some great little tidbits in this piece, such as Michele’s quote that “actors don’t like squishy chairs”.

Not all screws are the same. Popular Woodworking Magazine tests several types of screws on the market to show how they act when driven into hardwood. Personally, I know drywall screws should only be used for drywall, but I still use them. I’m usually working with cheap materials anyway; if I am doing fine furniture out of hardwood, I don’t use screws at all (brad nails all the way).