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Movie Tech. Disc. 5 - Building Middle-earth: Props

OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 10:54am


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Movie Tech. Disc. 5 - Building Middle-earth: Props Can't Post

PROPTOLOGY: The Journal of Props Professionals
http://home.eol.ca/~props/

Some Tips on Making Stage Props
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1097255

The Fan Club Magazine has an interview with Mick Weir, the Props Master on The Lord of the Rings. "My basic responsibility is to look after all the props, including the hero hand props and set dressing for the film. I have nothing to do with weapons or armor – Weta Workshop does all of that. But everything else falls under the art and props departments." (1)

One of the props makers working in the Art Department was Chris Streeter. There is an interview with him in the Fan Club Magazine, "‘A lot of research and experiment went into finding new things we could bastardize for use on a set,’ he says, ‘we used a lot of finishers and woodworking [equipment] like polishers. It all depends on the job, really. When you got the designs, you had to decide what it would be made out of – whether it would be a (one-off) or whether you had to make multiple examples of it’ If multiple copies were called for, he says, a mold was a good option for reproduction. The crew relied heavily on plastic urethane, paints of all kinds, esoteric glazes, and expensive gold leaf in order to obtain the most realistic finishes on all of their props." (2)

Something that I keep seeing, whether it be in regard to sets, props, or whatever, is the pressure of meeting deadlines. An example given in this article was the lamps that the Elves carried when they left Rivendell. Streeter was told that 50 Elven lamps were needed in two days. It took one day to find the materials and enough labor to do the job. The second day was spent with everyone making the lamps from patterns. Everything was broken down into steps and it was set up as a production process. The lamps were made out of cardboard with a candle inside each one. Luckily, none of them caught on fire.

When Streeter was asked what were some of his favorite props that he had worked on, he mentioned the chandelier that Gandalf bumped his head on, the leaded glass windows in Bag End, the firedogs in the Golden Hall, and the Elven telescope in Rivendell.

Some of my favorite props in the movies are the statues. The head sculptor was Brigitte Wuest. Brigitte Wuest grew up in Switzerland where she developed skills in drawing, painting, and above all, sculpting. She completed an apprenticeship in graphic design, prop-making, and model-making and then got her first contracted sculpting job sculpting for H. R. Giger. Giger is the Swiss artist that created the creature for the science-fiction movie Alien. In the mid-1990s she moved to New Zealand where in 1999 she applied for a job working on The Lord of the Rings. (3.)

On The Lord of the Rings, Brigitte worked collaboratively with Alan Lee. A statue would start with a sketch from Alan and a maquette would be created out of plasticene. After the maquette was approved, a large block of polystyrene would be ordered and the statue drawn up to the right scale.

Brigitte said "I would then do the first cuts with a hot wire, and then I would redraw it for the next phase, which was usually a chain saw. After that, it would get more and more detailed, and I would then use a knife to get the final shape and details. Finally, I would use different grades of sandpaper along with little blades to put all the finer details into the final touches." (3)

A few of Brigitte’s sculptures were the statues at Weathertop, elven sculptures at Rivendell and Lothlorien, the statue of Helm at Helm’s Deep, the headless statue at the Crossroads, and the large equestrian statue in Minas Tirith.

I asked myself, "If I could have one single prop from the movies, not a replica, but one of the actual props, what would it be?" It’s a really tough decision. I went through all of the obvious things, hero weapons, banners, rings and so on, and started narrowing things down. The Elven telescope would be really cool and there is a statuette of two elves dancing (in the scene where Elrond and Gandalf are discussing what should be done with the ring) that I have always had my eye on. I finally decided. If I could have but one single item from the movies, I would want Bilbo’s map of the Lonely Mountain.

If you could have one single prop from the LOTR movies, what would it be?

In my opinion the single most important prop in The Hobbit will be the Arkenstone. What should it look like; how big should it be; and how would you do it?

Does anyone have any experience with props or set dressing or anything of that nature?


Sources:
1. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine #4 (pgs. 16 & 17)
2. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine
#9 (pgs. 58 – 62)
3. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine
#11 (pgs. 40 – 45)

Subject User Time
Movie Tech. Disc. 5 - Building Middle-earth: Props OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 8 2008, 10:54am
    Daniel Reeve OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 8 2008, 11:00am
        This would have to be ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 8 2008, 2:55pm
            Wonderful Starling Send a private message to Starling Feb 8 2008, 7:33pm
            Your calligraphy… OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 8 2008, 10:11pm
            I hadn't realised that Arwen Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Feb 9 2008, 12:49am
                Arwen drops the book FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 9 2008, 4:09pm
            Your calligraphy is beautiful! Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Feb 11 2008, 6:42pm
        I sent Daniel an email about his work on LOTR AND he replied!!! ... answers inside ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 9 2008, 11:37am
            Oh wow! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 9 2008, 1:45pm
                Even better ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 9 2008, 4:03pm
                    More to come? Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 9 2008, 6:13pm
                        Theres another thread added from Daniels response ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 5:05am
                    Way to go, Elven! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 9 2008, 8:05pm
                        Make that three copies // Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 9 2008, 8:10pm
                            Please... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 9 2008, 8:22pm
                                Speaking of Daniel entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Feb 9 2008, 8:28pm
                                    Bwaha! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 3:31am
                                    Thanks! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 10 2008, 7:37am
                                        You'll be glad you did Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Feb 11 2008, 6:50pm
                                We'll need a few then ... :D Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 5:11am
                                    And one book to rule them all? OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 2:45pm
                                        Fimo transfer ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 3:59pm
                                            A few accidents too much Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 10 2008, 4:34pm
                                                LOL! // OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 6:10pm
                                            That makes sense. OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 6:09pm
                                            Brings back memories Starling Send a private message to Starling Feb 11 2008, 6:52am
                                FOUR!!! Please *twitch* // grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 14 2008, 3:40pm
                        Great thread, Ohiohobbit and Elven! Lily Fairbairn Send a private message to Lily Fairbairn Feb 10 2008, 3:58pm
                            Oh wow Lily!! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 4:07pm
                                The sketching tour Lily Fairbairn Send a private message to Lily Fairbairn Feb 10 2008, 4:54pm
                            Wow! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 10 2008, 4:38pm
                            WOW from me too. OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 6:13pm
                    *jumps up and down in geeky fashion* Starling Send a private message to Starling Feb 9 2008, 11:52pm
            *shiver* I've been reading through grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 14 2008, 3:32pm
        Daniel Reeves answers the question relating to "the individual styling of the fonts" .... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 4:44am
            Such great behind-the-scenes detail! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 2:40pm
        Daniel Reeves answers the question relating to the writings of Rohan ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 9:06am
            Gondor writing style ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 11:46am
                Thanks for finding those entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Feb 10 2008, 12:25pm
                    I sooo agree!! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 1:09pm
                Beautiful maps all Earl Send a private message to Earl Feb 11 2008, 6:25am
                    Ooo Great! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 11 2008, 11:47am
                        My Maps Earl Send a private message to Earl Feb 12 2008, 7:01am
                            I just missed the edit time window. Sorry for the extra post. Earl Send a private message to Earl Feb 12 2008, 7:22am
                            Great work, Earl! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 12 2008, 7:44am
                            Awesome Earl!! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 12 2008, 11:07am
                                Thanks Earl Send a private message to Earl Feb 12 2008, 11:27am
                            That's terrific! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 12 2008, 11:05pm
            The Death Warrant. OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 2:43pm
                Ah! You made me think about something ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 3:41pm
                    That is all perfectly logical. // OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 6:15pm
        Daniel Reeve... Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Feb 10 2008, 6:41pm
            Now *that* is wicked. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Feb 10 2008, 6:48pm
            Oh gosh!! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 10 2008, 7:03pm
            That is amazing! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 10 2008, 10:04pm
            Wow! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 11 2008, 6:28am
                Yep! Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Feb 11 2008, 7:53am
        Daniel Reeve answers the question regarding other things he designed for ME - like the Calender of Imladris! ..The Red Book .. His own Book and more .... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 11 2008, 8:13pm
            Daniel is great! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 11 2008, 11:26pm
            I have got to... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 11 2008, 11:57pm
            Where to begin? OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 12 2008, 11:18am
                Great thoughts! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 13 2008, 3:03pm
            I want a Calander of Imladris! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 13 2008, 11:36am
                Oh yes Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 13 2008, 1:13pm
            Re: Dan Reeve's Answers - The Sceptre of Annuminas? Urambo Tauro Send a private message to Urambo Tauro Feb 16 2008, 9:16pm
        A random piece of parchment! Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Feb 11 2008, 9:56pm
            Cool! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 12 2008, 12:03am
            A perfect place to put this! Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 13 2008, 3:18pm
        This lovely man grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 13 2008, 12:58am
            Thankyou gramma ... Elven Send a private message to Elven Feb 13 2008, 3:22pm
            Well said gramma. // OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 13 2008, 6:32pm
    Weta OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 8 2008, 11:16am
    Swords OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 8 2008, 11:35am
    Beam me up Scotty! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 8 2008, 11:39am
        Fascinating! Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Feb 11 2008, 6:55pm
            I was really surprised... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 11 2008, 11:55pm
    Re: Movie Tech. #5 - Props Urambo Tauro Send a private message to Urambo Tauro Feb 10 2008, 8:57pm
        And there’s so much more... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 11 2008, 12:11am
    When props are successful no one ever notices them Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Feb 10 2008, 9:34pm
        A lifetime looking at all of the props OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 11 2008, 12:13am
            I once saw a Star Trek props warehouse Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Feb 12 2008, 9:01pm
                ...an hour or two in the LOTR warehouse. OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 12 2008, 11:20pm
                    Only one or two? Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 13 2008, 5:56am
                        I know what you mean. OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 13 2008, 6:31pm
        Yes, that's what I said from the beginning Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 11 2008, 6:16am
    Now I've done it! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 11 2008, 6:24am
        The Frodo Franchise... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 12 2008, 12:00am
            It may take a bit Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 12 2008, 12:12am
                That's O.K.... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 12 2008, 12:16am
    well, I am just glad you don't give homework in this class... weaver Send a private message to weaver Feb 11 2008, 7:20pm
        WEAVER!!! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 11 2008, 11:51pm
    Oh geez... my favourite prop? grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Feb 13 2008, 12:10am
        No hesitation at all! OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 13 2008, 6:33pm
            Just wondering Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Feb 14 2008, 7:35am
                If you think of the movies... OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Feb 14 2008, 10:56am

 
 
 

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