PROPS & SETS as categorized here include inanimate objects and mechanisms, and this section covers: HERO PROPS, MINIATURES, MECHANICAL PROPS, STUNT PROPS, and STATUES.
MINIATURES are generally used as an alternative to the high costs involved in building full scale sets and objects. High degrees of realism are achieved with the additional advantages of having complete creative control over the art direction of the set, as well as the surrounding environment. We can go where human kind is only just beginning to explore- Mars, the deep sea Titanic wreck; and beyond into fantasy- a Monument Valley with Bart Simpson shaped buttes, farms that grow row after row of McDonald's restaurants, spooky poltergeist mansions, graveyards, and spaceships capable of intergalactic travel.
HERO PROPS are props used in close-up shots and must be highly finished and free of defects. Because they are important, usually two or more copies of most hero props are made for backup. HERO PROPS covers those props that are critical to a scene and require holding up under close scrutiny. This includes a wide range of items- Oversize props; Weapons; Food (like hundreds of dead fish for Godzilla); Logos, Signs, Titles and elements used within them (like the Days of our Lives Hourglass); and basically any other specialized props a script may call for. Hero props are usually ordered in duplicate or triplicate, so backup hero props are always be standing by should anything happen to the originals. Some items require the creation of oversize hero props- enlarged for gags (our Jack in the Box son's Football Helmet); storyline (a giant Hallmark Teddy Bear); also for practical photography, when high detail macro shots(a Titlest Golf Club) are needed. Items that are reduced in scale usually fall into the Miniatures category and can be found in that section. Other Hero props can also be found in the Stunt Props and Statues sections.
STUNT PROPS require the same detail as hero props but must be created out of soft, safe materials that are also tough enough to remain intact as actors interact with them. STUNT PROPS are specialized props made of safe, usually soft materials. In preventing actors and stunt people from being hurt, they are a form of "rubber insurance. Creating stunt props usually involves carefully molding and faithfullly reproducing original props in soft foams and/or rubber. In some cases -depending on detail and complexity of shape- they can be directly fabricated out of soft and safe materials. Anywhere an actor is involved in a dangerous scene can usually call for stunt props. Any prop directly involved in fight stunts or horseback stunts for instance, require the safety of stunt props- weapons (guns, clubs, swords), rubber tools (hammers, 2x4's), rubber furniture (radiators), rubber stunt bodies and even rubber glass fragments. A related category to stunt props can be found in our Special Effects section under Stunt Bodies.
SETS can be created in full size, in miniature, or even a combination of the two, for forced perspective. Sets are differentiated from our prop category in covering entire environments. They range from interior effects like our frozen room to vast landscapes of whimsical trees, bushes and flower beds; faux frozen snowbanks, and recreations of Stonehenge. Building some sets in miniature can make it possible to quickly and cost efficiently realize extensive sets: Mars landscapes; huge castles on hills and dreamlike farms whose crop is row upon row of McDonald's restaurants. They allow other advantages: greater control of weather effects like our spooky foggy gravesite; the use of forced perspective to quickly conjure up expansive vistas like Monument Valley with Bart Simpson shaped buttes; also providing scaled environments for small puppet and toy characters like the locker room for our Bud Light hockey game players and the trailer park for our PSA pregnant teens. Working in the other direction, building sets over lifesize can also create otherwise impossible sets- figure sculpture so large they become the environment, like our Coneheads arena or our stomach interior for Perfect Circle.
STATUES are props that specifically simulate the illusion of fine art sculpture. While most of these sculptures require faux bronze and granite finishes, they are actually made out of foam, fiberglass or other lightweight materials for easy transport and handling. We create sculpture in a wide range of styles sizes and finishes- desktop sized medieval Gargoyles, renaissance Angels and gold-plated Lions; busts of Freud, Lincoln and Danny DeVito as a roman emperor, life-size Egyptian Tuthankamen sarcophagus, over life-size Martin Luther King statues, giant Greek marble Atlases, gigantic Statue of Liberty statues, alien Klingon statues and monumental alien Coneheads Fest Arena sets.
MECHANICAL PROPS Mechanical Props as defined here covers those props that have movement which can be generated by mechanisms, motors, electronics, and/or lights. MECHANICAL PROPS covers props that have movement, which is generated by mechanisms, motors, electronics and/or lights. Whether they are simple gears, cams and motors or complex electronics, animatronics, pneumatics, hydraulics,and/or computerized motion control systems, mechanics must be solid and dependable.Unlike the appearance of a prop, for the most part, mechanics can not be touched up or patched up at the last moment. In most cases, motion can't be faked; the mechanisms either work or they don't. We've built a broad range of mechanical props ranging from handheld Chainsaw Knives and Neuralisers to Suspended Animation Chambers, Total Recall Benches and Makeup Tables for Meryl Streep; Racecars and Spaceships; Crash Test Dummies, Androids and Alien Robots; mechanical Solar System models. Many of our animals, aliens and fish are also mechanical and can be found in their own categories with descriptions of each of their movements.