Tag Archives: stop-motion

Great Big Prop Links

When Broadway Actors Sit Down for an Onstage Meal, Who Makes the Food? – The prop master, of course! Although, in this article, we find out that the Broadway musical Waitress also has a pie consultant working on the show. Read all about the complicated maneuvers it takes to get a fully-cooked meal on stage every night on cue.

Meet SNL’s 78-Year-Old “Heart Of The Show” – If you know anything about American theatrical set design, you know the name Eugene Lee. Chances are, if you’ve worked in regional or New York theater long enough, you’ve worked on a show he’s designed. Eugene has also designed the sets for every episode of Saturday Night Live since the beginning. Read all about his crazy schedule to make that happen.

Use a Drill to Shape a Chair Seat – Christopher Schwartz demonstrates a technique for using a drill to rough out the complex curved shape of a wooden seat before shaping it by hand. I’m sure this technique has a name, as I’ve seen it used in a variety of ways with other materials.

The Passion of Phil Tippett: Building Stop-Motion Masterpieces by Hand – Great Big Story looks at the latest project by Phil Tippett. Phil has worked in various capacities as a visual effects artist on films like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and RoboCop. But his labor of love is a stop-motion film he has been creating entirely by hand for the past 30 years.

The Hands that Make ParaNorman

ParaNorman is a film from 2012 made by the same folks as Coraline. Like Coraline, the film is composed almost entirely of stop-motion animation, using color 3D printers to make many of the replacement parts for the character faces. Still, it also used a ton of hand-building, particularly for the props, set dressing, and vividly-detailed landscapes. Check out this all-too-brief featurette on the hands that made the world of ParaNorman. So many model houses. So many tiny props.

Links to Bring you Luck

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Today is opening night for the final show of our 13th season here at Triad Stage (the “Lucky Season”, someone decided to call it). So while I am resting up, check out these links below:

John Barton has been a props master for over 50 years, on films such as Cool Hand Luke (he cooked all those eggs).  Coeur d’Alene Press has a nice article about his life and career.

The Standard Examiner has a great article about Michelle Jensen, the props master at Hale Centre Theatre. Right now, they are working on Mary Poppins, which has more than its share of trick props and unique items.

The Museum of Every Object you can Probably Think Of looks fantastic. Its real name is the Ettore Guatelli Museum, and it houses over 60,000 objects of everyday use. Check out the pictures in this article.

Jurassic Park turned 21 this week, and Wired has a look back on how it revolutionized special effects. The film famously used a mix of CGI and large-scale puppets for the dinosaurs. For a look at what-might-have-been, check out this pre-visualization test of stop-motion puppets, which is what they were originally going to use. I remember seeing the film on opening day with my dad and brother; hard to believe that was 21 years ago.

Everybody’s Propping for the Weekend

I love Katz’s Deli in New York City, and I love tiny models of buildings. So it’s no surprise that I love this tiny model of Katz’s Deli. The intricacy of detail in this is simply amazing. Would a tiny Katz be called a Kittenz?

Mike Iverson of Blind Squirrel Props has posted these prop building tips for beginners. I agree with every tip here.

This video interview of Ray Harryhausen is fun to watch. Harryhausen is responsible for some of the most memorable stop-motion creatures from the 1960s through the 1980s, such as One Million Years B.C., Clash of the Titans, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and Jason and the Argonauts.

The prop master for the upcoming sci-fi film Looper told his prop makers to stop being so “precious” when building the futuristic weapons.