The cover piece for our first ever Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction is the 11-foot long filming miniature of the Nostromo from Ridley Scott’s horror classic, Alien. This artifact has been a part of Prop Store’s company collection for over a decade, but wasn’t always in the camera-ready shape you see it in now. Read up on this model miniature’s incredible history; from creation, to restoration, to auction.
Long before digital technology took on the lion’s share of effects work, miniatures and models ruled the roost. Some teams are still working with them, so we thought we’d take a look at some vehicles and other creations from both the past and present of movies
Welcome to our continuing series of collections blogs as Prop Store’s team digs into the archives and unearths some amazing items. We talk about the film and the prop or costume itself, giving you the facts, the figures and all the details on some fascinating piece of movie history. This time? A casual look for a character usually more famous for his sharp suits and tuxedos…
If you’ve ever been on a film set, or watched a behind-the-scenes documentary, you might have seen crew wearing T-shirts, jackets and other memorabilia from different productions. Clothing is a common gift for the cast and crew, often used as a present when a film or TV season wraps so they can remember the time they spent working together. Lurking within Prop Store’s archives is a variety of these items from all sorts of films, so if you love a movie and you want something unique, take a look at just a few of the pieces we have on offer.
Welcome to our continuing series of collections blogs as Prop Store’s team digs into the archives and unearths some amazing items. We talk about the film, explore the history of the prop or costume and explain why we love it so much. This time? One of those movie props you really, really wish was a real item…
Our UK Copywriter Peter Cooper talks about the incredible Luke Skywalker “force jump” puppet from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back…
Welcome to our continuing series of collections blogs as Prop Store’s team digs into the archives and unearths some amazing items. We talk about the film it comes from and the prop or costume itself, giving you the facts, the figures and all the details on some fascinating piece of movie history. This time? One of Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated productions…
In addition to the awesome collection of props and other items from movies, Prop Store also has a big range from some of the best TV shows. We thought we’d dig through the list and find some excellent choices as seen on the small screen. As ever, head to our website to find the full range.
Welcome back to the collections series, in which Prop Store’s team digs into the archives and unearths some amazing items. We’ll talk about the film it comes from and the prop or costume itself, giving you the facts, the figures and all the details on some fascinating piece of movie history. For this blog, we’re all about a certain furball from one of the most famous fantasy films ever made.
St. Valentine is about to shoot his arrow through our hearts, which always seemed a little violent to us. Still, whether you’re loved up or lovesick, you might be wanting to inject a little romance into your life. Take a look at some great items available in Prop Store’s catalogue and see if there’s something that could work as a gift, or a way to treat yourself and start to heal if you’ve lost that loving feeling.
Welcome to the first in a new series of blogs as Prop Store’s team digs into the archives and unearths some amazing items. We’ll talk about the film it comes from and the prop or costume itself, giving you the facts, the figures and all the details on some fascinating piece of movie history. Let’s get started, shall we?
Clapperboards, for anyone who doesn’t know, are used on film sets to assist in the synchronization of the picture and sound, and to designate and mark particular scenes and takes for use in editing the film later. They’re very collectible, especially if they’ve been used in big productions, so here is a selection of our favourites.
It’s that time of year again, when prestige films and the people who made them are busily competing for awards attention. Glitzy ceremonies are rolling out the red carpet for stars and trophies are being handed over like they’re going out of fashion. The Academy Awards are creeping closer, with the big event scheduled for February 28th, so we thought we’d pay tribute to some of the big Oscar-winning movies by looking at some great items in the Prop Store’s collection.
Computer generated imagery might be the big player in animation these days, with Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky and more putting out more and more films, but there is still something to be said for enchanting movies created by companies such as Aardman (who brought us Wallace & Gromit, Shaun The Sheep, The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit and more) and Laika, creators of Coraline, Paranorman and The Boxtrolls). We thought we’d showcase just a few of the handcrafted – and collectible – items available from the Prop Store.
Quentin Tarantino’s latest, blood-soaked Western thriller The Hateful Eight roars into some American cinemas on Christmas Day (and then goes on general release in both the US and UK on January 8). To celebrate the return of the auteur, we trawled through our catalogue of items from his previous films to offer up a few for nostalgic Tarantino fans to peruse.
Our LA Copywriter Brian takes a moment to tell us about his favourite props and costumes from the Prop Store website…
The next morning, the group met with their guides—Terje Olsen and Erling Nesbo. Terje has been around Finse all of his life, though he was too young to be involved with the filming of Empire. Erling, however, worked on the production of the film. As Erling did not speak English (and the expedition did not speak Norwegian), Terje served as the group’s protocol droid and interpreter. He provided the expedition with Erling’s specific curriculum vitae with regards to his work on EMPIRE.“[Erling] was the head of security, and transport, and things like that. Most of the people who stayed here at the time were extras in the film. His sister, and brother-in-law were extras.” They showed Erling their reference photos and Erling seemed to recognize the majority of them. It was a promising start.
“There’s nothing there.”
To Brandon Alinger, the words of location manager Philip Kohler were hardly surprising. That’s because he was seeking a place so frozen and remote that Kohler had chosen it to pass for the desolate ice planet Hoth in Irvin Kershner’s 1980 STAR WARS sequel THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
Written by the Prop Store team
Tales abound of ILM being more like a university quad than a serious postproduction house. Hell, there was a hot tub in their parking lot. Another such anecdote stars the escape slide of a 727 passenger jet from a nearby industrial yard that was re-appropriated by the ILM brain trust and turned into a makeshift slip-and-slide in the same parking lot that would eventually house the Death Star trench. “[ILM] was described as ‘the country club’ by the executives and, I would assume to a certain extent, by the people who were on the production,” Dykstra recalls.
Written by the Prop Store team
For the explosion shots, Dykstra’s team built effects models that were pre-ordained to die out of a breakaway mold-making material that master modeler Grant McCune brought to the table called “fast tool.” “I didn’t want it all just to go bang,” Dykstra says. “I wanted it to go bang, bang, bang, bang, and, you know, have different parts explode at different times.” To create the appropriate symphony of bangs, ILM tweaked the chemistry of the fast tool in order to manipulate the material’s structural integrity to their needs. The internal parts of the pyrotechnic models also had to be painted so that discerning viewers going through the film in detail would not be able to pick out bare fast tool fragments tumbling through space. As with most of the STAR WARS visual effects, the exploding ships were not a simple, one-element process. Each explosion was the result of detailed compositing. “In some cases, we shot bigger explosions to overlay over existing, smaller explosions to help give more punch to it.” In the days before computer-generated anything, this compositing was not a quick process. It was often frustrating and always delicate and tedious.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
While Arthur C. Clarke’s third principle of scientific prediction is most often applied to science fiction storytelling, it could just as easily be used to describe the age of enlightenment that began in cinematic visual effects in the late 1970s thanks to a little film called STAR WARS. The chief sorcerer behind the film who led the renaissance of not only visual effects, but also the entire movie business, was a 20-something engineering kid from Southern California named John Dykstra. In a recent discussion, he looks back on the experience of creating the STAR WARS universe from nothing more than a script and George Lucas’s unique vision.
The scream of TIE Fighters and the stirring chords of John Williams’ music on trailers means but one thing: Star Wars returns to our screens this month. The Force Awakens brings Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, Artoo and Threepio back and launches a host of new characters to continue the iconic space opera. As you look to the future of the films, take a dip into the past and explore some exciting items from the originals and prequels available at the Prop Store.
In the summer of 2001 Prop Store team member Brandon Alinger traveled to Tunisia in search of the original filming locations for Star Wars: ANH, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Star Wars prequels. Seventeen-year-old Brandon managed to convince his parents the trip would make an ideal family vacation, and spent a week traveling the country and seeing the Star Wars sites. While many fans have visited the Tunisian locations over the years, at that point there had only been a handful of visitors and information was scarce. Gus Lopez had a website dedicated to Star Wars locations, and Jeremy Beckett had produced a guidebook which covered many of the sites.
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