Everything is in the Details – Prop Maker Extraordinaire, Ross MacDonald

Everything is in the details; it is the small details that complete a costume or a picture.

Many of us never give a thought to props, yet you see them all the time and if they weren’t in your movies and TV shows, you’d be seeing a lot of boring people standing around talking. Props are the final touches on your favorite TV shows and movies.

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Consciously you may not see and acknowledge them, but when they are wrong… you notice. Imagine you’re watching a Western and the hero pulls out a filtered Camel? What if someone was reading a copy of Harry Potter in the background of a Vietnam War movie? It’s the little things that bring the whole movie together and Ross MacDonald is one of these rare people that do it.

In reality, Ross MacDonald is a Forger, a top grade one who seems to be able to duplicate anything and everything. He does the intense research to create items that look like they belong in the movie.

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In his first film, Baby’s Day Out, he illustrated and designed the children’s book the movie was based around. Since then he has produced all the paper documents used in The Alamo, Doctor Frankenstein’s notebooks in Van Helsing  and a score of other documents and props for other movies. He even did passports and legal document for the TV show Boardwalk Empire.ross macdonald3 (600x431)

In his latest post he tells us about the Hateful Eight and working with Quentin Tarantino to get the props just right (Tarantino style). Who would have thought tobacco would require much detailing?

Loose tobacco needs matches and rolling papers. The matchboxes were each made by hand from thin basswood that was soaked overnight, then scored, cut, folded, and wrapped in the traditional purple tissue paper.

ross macdonald2 (600x445)The research involved to make everything appear period amazes me.