The Wild Story Behind The ‘Stranger Things’ Upside Down Tunnel Drawings – The excruciating detail which Stranger Things property master Lynda Reiss put into the tunnel drawings in the most recent season is both mind-blowing and inspiring. Guess how many crayons they went through.
Prop Master Jonathan Drover: ‘One is None’ – The props master for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Agency recently answered questions on Twitter, and the BBC has collected the best responses in this article. Find out how he built some of the show’s crazier props and what medium he likes working in the best.
From the Rockie to Reign of Fire: How Dundee pupil Chrissie carved out a career in the movies – Though she dropped out of high school, Chrissie Overs has worked as a prop builder and special effects technician on films such as Aliens, Prometheus, and Reign of Fire.
Robby The Robot Is Now The Most Valuable Movie Prop Sold At Auction – He sold for $5,375,000. If I could sell a prop for that much, I might be able to come under budget for my show. Might.
How NOT to build a HUGE sword prop for cosplay – Cosplayer Otakitty points out all the many mistakes she made while building a giant sword. It’s an interesting twist to the standard tutorial, and a great way to show how prop building is about making choices, and the strength or weakness of those choices are often not apparent until you’re too deep into the project to start over.
Summer at The Shop – The Triad Stage blog recently featured their production facilities, which is where I work. Check out my workshop, and get a sneak peek at some of the projects I’ve been working on, like some military radios for South Pacific.
Backstage at Signature: 100 Heads for Venus – Cassie Dorland had to make a hundred fake heads for the Signature Theatre’s production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus. This video shows how her and over a dozen prop builders as they mold, cast, and paint all these heads.
Quiz: Can you guess the Shakespeare play just from its most memorable props? – As the title suggests, it’s just a fun little game to test your prop knowledge.
Watch Adam Savage Make His Own Excalibur in One Day – Adam Savage recreates this iconic movie sword in aluminum using an enviable array of belt sanders. It’s a lengthy video, but filled with lots of little tips and tricks if you are interested in metal working.
Photo-Etching and Soldering Your Own Brass Model Parts – Make Magazine highlights David Damek’s techniques for creating detailed parts out of brass. He uses it for making models, but you can easily adapt these methods for adding decorative brass details to props like treasure chests and jewelry.
Behind the Scenes of the 2017 Season. Episode Two: But What If – The Santa Fe Opera is producing a series of videos going behind the scenes of their summer season. The second episode focuses on production, and features a lot of the people in the props shop that I have worked with and miss greatly.
Pretty Little Liars prop master Chris Vail explains season 7’s sinister hacker device – The Verge looks at some of the crazy prop devices invented for the final season of Pretty Little Liars. I posted a similar article last month, but this one delves into the actual construction methods and specific materials used to build them.
Building a 13-Foot Long Robot Dinosaur “Watcher” Costume from Horizon Zero Dawn – Spectral Motion constructed a giant robot dinosaur costume slash puppet to interact with guests at E3, the popular annual video game conference. The video shows the process from cardboard model to final piece.
Skyrim Dragonbone Sword Prop – How To – Dogless brings us plenty of photographs to show how he constructed this unique weapon from the Skyrim video game. He used MDF, Sintra, and a bit of 3D printing to bring his prop to life.
Gamora’s Godslayer – Guardians Of The Galaxy – I lost track of the “Man at Arms” show for awhile. It turns out they’ve rebooted it as “Man at Arms: Reforged.” The original show saw Tony Swatton use forging, blacksmithing, and metalworking techniques to build real metal versions of movie and video game weaponry. The new show is the same, just with a different shop. I have a lot of episodes to catch up on, but I definitely wanted to share this one where they make Gamora’s sword from Guardians of the Galaxy, since it is such a cool blade. You can pick up a lot of techniques by watching them work.
Twin Cities actor blows the whistle on ‘unsafe’ theater production – The production of “Medea” at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis is described as having a three-to-four thousand gallon pool with a 30 -foot long exposed electric circuit along the drip edge. I can’t quite picture that in my head, but it was scary enough to get the actors to call Equity and shut the production down.
The Creature and Special Effects of Alien: Covenant! – Adam Savage’s new life involves visiting every movie set and playing with their props. It’s not a bad gig. Plus, as a former model-maker/prop builder, he knows what kinds of questions to ask to make these videos more informed than your typical “behind-the-scenes” featurette that’s slapped together at the last minute.
Tips of the Week: Wire Splicing, Table Saw Router, and Flea Market Brainstorming – Make Magazine publishes a short list of tips and tricks every week, and I found this week’s collection particularly useful.
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.