Chicago Prop Master: Anna Zorn

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July 5, 2016 | 1-Exposing The Crew, Props


What's the Password?


Prop Master


Anna Zorn

A “Prop Master” is responsible for purchasing and/or making props needed for a production.

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

This week’s ETC HIGHLIGHT is What’s the Password?, a short film about a little sister who gets even with her two brothers for not letting her play with them.

“Props provide additional tools that to express characters feelings in a more visual manner. A great example is at 1:45 in this film where she throws down her crown.” (Justin Jackola, Director at JJack Productions).

Anna Zorn, this week’s ETC EXPOSED crew member, immediately had strong ideas about the look of the forts after reading the script for this short film.  She had a general visual plan of the turrets and made them out of hula hoops, and the center one out of an umbrella for the shape.  She also purchased two large PVC pipes to hold up the gateway.  It took them 2 hours to construct the boy’s fort and about 5+ hours to the girl’s fort.

When determining the layout of each fort, Anna stated that she “wanted to show intense contrast between the two forts–Maddie’s being well-thought out…and the boys’ fort being more makeshift”.  She wanted to create a “larger than life” feel in order to amplify these kids’ imaginations, and the size also made it easier to shoot in.

Anna was also responsible for creating other items seen on screen.  She “scoured about 8 different thrift stores for huge bags of strange stuffed animals and spent about $100 on sheets.”  She said that the most difficult item to make was the dog’s knight helmet out of stiff felt. “It may contain my actual tears from 2AM the morning of shooting, but it magically ended up working and fitting the dog perfectly.”

If you would like to see more shorts written by kids,  please visit Pens to Lens.  All short films for this year will premiere on Saturday, August 13th at the Virginia Theater in Champaign, IL as well.

You can see more of Anna’s work at Anna Zorn.

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See you next Tuesday!