The countdown to E3 2010 has finally begun, with its plethora of new game announcements. Check out two of the biggest games to be available, like the post-apocalyptic FPS 'Rage' and a inside look at 'Star Wars: The Old Republic' MMO.
It's a special treat for me to introduce today's subject on The Big Picture, not only because he's a talented builder, or because he's the front man for one of the best rock bands in Los Angeles, but because he's a pal of mine. Sirs and ladies, please give your attention to prop maker supreme, Derek Christensen!
What inspired you to become a prop maker?
It just kind of happened.
How did you get your start?
My old guitar player and roommates were working at the Pasadena Playhouse and LATC [The Los Angeles Theatre Center] and got me in. Had to pay my share of the rent right?
Was it tough breaking into the business?
It is these days. There aren't many movies happening in Los Angeles any more, so there's not a lot of work. Also, I think the iniation to my union, IATSE [International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees] Local 44 is like six grand now, all at once. No payment plan. Needless to say, it was alot less when I got in.
How does one in your profession get gigs?
The only way to get shows is to hustle, hustle, hustle. Skill is rarely the deciding factor in getting a job. It's all cliques. It's all who you know, unless a show has a really big push and they just want asses and elbows, so they hire any butcher they can get their paws on, but you're probably sent down the road in a week. It's a terrible practice, but very common these days.
What's your process for designing and constructing new props?
I cut the wood and nail it together. Pretty straight foward. It's all done off of blueprints.
What are your favorite projects that you've worked on?
I was Construction Foreman on a movie called Momento that was a cool movie. Got to build cool stuff on this weird kid's show called Yo Gabba Gabba.