“THE SPIRIT MACHINE” – A Prop From The Other Side

Once again, Aeronaut Productions was called in to help on a strange project – an independent film called The Spirit Machine. The team and White Room Artifacts contacted us because their roster was just too full to complete the project in time, and suggested that Pete tackle the assignment of building the title prop – a fanciful version of Thomas Edison’s Spirit Machine.

The Director of the project sent us a couple of concept renderings, and we set about on a “Junk Expedition”. Our budget was low enough to dictate that we’d have to “Kit Bash” (i.e. taking pre-existing junk, piece it together and then paint it to match the concept), so Pete’s supervisor, Don, and Pete went to every scrap yard and thrift store they could think of. And this is what they found…

“Kit Bashing” at it’s most epic! All the parts for The Spirit Machine laid out in the White Room studio.

Next, Don & Pete laid out all the pieces and began to fit them together – trying to find the appropriate shapes to match what the Director wanted out of the prop.

Don doing a preliminary “fitting”.

Then, once we had found the perfect configuration of pieces, Pete packed everything up and took it back to his home studio and set to work on building The Spirit Machine.

We were also commissioned to build a volt meter for some insert shots. Most vintage ones were just too expensive, so Peter had to build a replica from scratch. He even rigged it so the needle would jerk around as if being hit by surges of electricity.

Don, from White Room, and Peter finished the final assembly at the White Room studio, where the Spirit Machine was reviewed by the Production staff.

During the move from the studio to location, a couple of the little pieces on The Machine were broken. So, Pete “saved the day” and arrived with his bag of glues, wire and tape…fixed her up, and even wound up puppeteering some of the bits for some insert shots. Here are some pictures from the shoot…

The gent playing Thomas Edison – pretty striking resemblance.

Another shot of Edison – the crew was trying to light him and the machine at this point.

Almost there…

Shooting begins. The machine was lit internally from several vintage-style bulbs for extra authenticity.

The Machine waiting for insert and close-up shots. The volt meter is resting on the front part of the platform – which Pete puppeteered during insert shots.

Director, Timothy Plain, working with his crew. We were impressed on how professional and quick the production staff were on this film. Thank you, Timothy, for having us on this film!

Here is the Teaser Trailer for The Spirit Machine. The prop we built has some marvelous shots of it in action. The teaser was used for a successful Kickstarter campaign, and now The Spirit Machine is in post production! Yay! We will update when this film is going to go public! Enjoy!

The Spirit Machine is Copyright 2013 Spin Dry Productions.


~ by Peter Overstreet on January 13, 2013.

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