Transforming Props & Costumes

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Clara, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Clara

    Clara New Member

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    Location:
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    Hey-
    I searched this site for any mention of transforming props, but I couldn't find a thread that fit my needs.

    I was tasked with designing a prop that has to transform onstage. What are some instances in which a prop changes onstage? Either by actor interaction, crew interaction, lighting, etc? Costumes count too, but I honestly can't sew very well so it would be a big challenge.

    Throw some ideas at me. Thanks.

    (Ex: Cinderella's peasant dress changing to her ballgown, the enchanted rose's petals falling from Beauty and the Beast, Audrey II growing)
     
  2. Quillons

    Quillons Active Member

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    Occupation:
    Pyrotechnician
    Location:
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    Apparently there's an apple in The Giver that has to change color while in mid-air.
    I think I read on here that someone had to have about 1,000 book pages fly up and out.
    I did a show where a prop caterpillar had to turn into a butterfly.
    The Mary Poppins "Practically Perfect" scene has a fair amount of that.
    Speaking of Poppins, the carpet bag is pretty fun.
    I've seen a thread or two about having to show an empty box, only for a person to climb out of it a moment later.
    And Then There Were None has 12 statues that have to break onstage.

    Try searching "how do I" or other variations of it; that may bring up more interesting results.
     
  3. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    My ex and I designed and made skirts that transformed for a show so that each actor could portray three different characters. Literally using snaps and some creative sewing the changes were made as the actresses (there were three actresses, 9 characters) turned around they would unsnap one part of the skirt and turn it around exposing a completely different look. Some of the skirts even changed length.

    Really this is a very incredibly broad topic. Transforming props and costumes varies GREATLY depending on the specific application of the production.

    Please help us help you, what needs to transform? From what into What? What show are you doing? What is your budget?

    Other examples (all of which I've worked on productions of) include:

    The flower in Beauty & The Beast (which there are many examples of here)
    In Permanent Image a set which has been painted entirely white, and is white during the entire show suddenly appears as it was before it was painted white at the very end of the show.
    The Beast in Beauty & The Beast has to transform from a man into the beast on stage (typically)
    In Little Mermaid, Ariel has to transform into a human, and thus switches from having a fish's tail into having legs.
     
  4. Clara

    Clara New Member

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    No show, no budget. Just an extremely flexible final project. I think I might go with the color-changing apple from The Giver, as mentioned above ^^

    I've been stuck on this idea for a while. When I think of transforming props/costumes I think of big costume changes- but I have no way of doing those. Oh well. Thanks!!
     
  5. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    A tavern bar that rotates and becomes a Winabago motorhome (with a wind shield).

    A limo dispatch counter in one scene then lights up with hidden led's into a disco bar (in the heights)

    A top hat that flys up off the floor as the cat in the hat (suesical) enters from behind a scrim and he catches it in his hand.

    Item or costume can change by using additive or subtractive lighting. If items incorporate some florescent paint along with regular paint. and crossfade to black light, regular painted areas disapear.

    Man appears in the mirror (phantom of opera) then steps through glass into the dressing room.

    Grease lighting (the car) turns (physically) from an old jalopy to a dazzeling hot rod then disappears in a blinding white out.

    Projection and pixel mapping can transform entire sets into different objects or looks.
     
  6. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Shop Foreman
    Location:
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    You could do something like this. Road Case that unfolds into something else (in my case a juke box). So, depending on your interpretation, it kind of transforms. Sorry don't have a good pic of it all closed up

    Juke 1.JPG Juke 2.JPG
     

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