Over the years Brooklyn Model Works has built more than a medicine cabinet full of oversize razors for Gillette. In the era before computer generated graphics came of age, over-sized props like these were the norm for a high-production value TV commercial or print advertisement where close-up photography was required. Our jumbo razors were more perfect than a manufactured product.
In 20XX I worked with Brooklyn Model Works and production designer Julian Laverdiere to build a custom "adjustment device" for the feature film THe Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and John Slattery. Our finished prop used a working vintage violet ray + tesla coil and a custom array of vintage amplifier tubes.
Shifts of scale are a regular requirement in table-top photography. So making miniature props to fit on set or in front of the camera is a common request from art directors, producers and photographers. Here is an array of miniatures I have wokred on over the years.
Have you ever put a magnifying lens up to a a toothbrush or a bar of soap? You might be surprised by what you see. It's not the perfect high-resolution image that appears on the packaging. Over-sized props and models make objects like consumer products easier to light and photograph. Plus, at an larger than life scale model makers can correct defects that exist in manufactured goods - making objects better than real.
At Brooklyn Model Works we were asked to create a tangible version of Donatello's backpack for a series of practical shots. Most of the appearance of the turtles in this live-action movie was CGI but there was still need for a few physical props.
In 2010 I collaborated with Marty Chafkin and Perfection Electricks to fabricate a posing robotic mannequin as the center piece for a project by the architecture team of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. DS+R created a massive fabric facade in Lincoln Center which connected the building to our mannequin which struck a pose like a fashion model every 10 seconds.
In 2010 I collaborated with the artist team PROW comprised of Peter Rostovsky and Olav Westphalen to build a kinetic fire sculpture and accompanying mechanical instruments. The lights would dim, the fire would "ignite" and the string instruments would play an automated chord periodically in the gallery space.