Friday, June 27, 2008

The Earliest [Significant] Prop

The flying witch. We were 13 years old when my brother and I constructed a witch on a broom and made her fly from the upper window down towards unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. Suspended by a wire attached to a pulley, she was life-sized and had a green mummy mask for a face and red ping-pong balls for eyes. She rode on a wire tied on one end to a chair in our parents' bedroom and the street lamp at the other end. A thin rope was used to reel her back up. It was very quiet and very fast as it glided down towards the sidewalk. A great gag and one that worked to startle and scare the people below, all night long. It looked amazing at night.

Not bad for 13 years old.

Click the photo for a few-second video of the prop in action (taken from a super 8mm film):

This pulley prop concept was used for the next few years and can be seen on my EARLY YEARS photo page. We had the Witch, a Giant Bat (no existing photos), a ghost like Slimer from GHOSTBUSTERS, a Giant Ghost similar to the one in POLTERGEIST, and a Giant Spider.
All of them came swooping down to the sidewalk. The Giant Ghost looked the best with the fabric blowing in the wind. The Spider looked most natural, like it was descending on its web.

Good memories.

1 comments: said...

This, undoubtedly, looked way cool at night. And the witch's broom handle looks to be at crotch-height for good ramming.