'By focusing on how we build static objects using common materials...Hart has generated an excellent primer text for students and amateurs just getting into the field... [and] as a professional props master and a university instructor, I have found this book to be both a wonderful addition to my reference library and an invaluable teaching tool.' - Erin Freeman, UNC-Charlotte, Southern Theatre
'In the preface to The Prop Building Guidebook For Theatre, Film, and TV, Eric Hart writes, "This book will show you how to look at an object you wish to create, break it apart into its component parts, and put it all together." His well-organized and beautifully illustrated book accomplishes this goal of familiarizing the reader with common tools, materials, and techniques used to build quality properties for a show, and it offers guidance that allows the user to select the most appropriate materials and best method of construction. Hart's writing style is straightforward and reflects a personal, tongue-in-cheek wit.
[The book] is an equally valuable resource for the professional prop artisan, the experienced designer in an allied area who also works with properties, and for the student entering the world of design and technical entertainment production. It is an interesting and informative book for the first read-through. It could be used as part of a stagecraft or practicum course in an academic setting and certainly deserves a place on the reference shelf in the design studio or shop.' Lighting & Sound America, Book of the Month, December 2013 Issue
'This compendium by Hart (a free-lance prop builder) is designed to assist amateur and professional properties artisans in planning and building properties for stage, television, and film. Organizing his book into four parts, Hart first deals with preparations for the prop assignment. He provides terminology for the various kinds of props and breaks down the task according to its stage requirements and such elements as research, drawings, shop organization, safety, or selection of the appropriate materials and tools. Part 2 deals with construction methods and assembly in wood, metals, plastics, fabrics, papier-mâché, molding, and casting. In Part 3, he discusses finishing techniques, from sanding and preparing the surface to painting techniques and protective coatings. Part 4 addresses the profession of props artisan, covering budgeting, fees, job sources, and portfolios. This last section is very useful to young professionals because these topics are rarely addressed in how-to-books.
Numerous photographs illustrate tools and props projects in process, although materials mentioned do not have accompanying pictures. The author maintains a freely accessible website, Prop Agenda, as an accompaniment to the handbook, offering step-by-step illustrated instructions for various properties, along with book reviews, resources, how-to videos, interviews with props-related artisans, and more.Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of students and professionals.' Choice, R.A. Naversen
'In a personable, informative style, Hart gives you the full rundown, from basic to advanced techniques across a spectrum of disciplines, supported by excellent tutorial photos as well as theatrical eye-candy shots. Chapters cover safety, shop tools, joining, measuring materials, sculpture, finishing, and more with rich detail and sparkling clarity. The heavy-duty comb binding is a thoughtful touch. Hart's book makes a valuable shop companion for makers of all types and skill levels.' Gregory Hayes, Make Magazine
'...I was asked to review what I'm sure folks will be calling the new bible by Eric Hart...because that's what I'm calling it. I'm going to gush like a fanboy...I love this book for the content and for the fact that it has a hard cover and is coil-bound so it can be laid flat on the work surface like a workbook and be used as such!...As Eric Hart, who has been a freelance props builder for theatre, retail display, and other industries since 2003, points out in the preface, no book about props can be comprehensive. It's impossible to compress the collective knowledge of all prop makers into a single volume. Well, this book comes pretty close! In addition to nineteen well laid out chapters, there is a website link that will guide you to two bonus chapters, videos, and a link to the author's blog, Prop Agenda (www.props.eric-hart.com) where he documents ongoing prop fabrication projects...Now I will tell you to buy it because it's going to be a valuable resource in your library and worth every penny.' Todd Debreceni, Theatre Design & Technology
'Since graduating as a theare major with an emphasis on set design, Eric Hart has earned a national reputation as a prop master, working on major stage and screen projects and maintaining the popular Prop Agenda blog at props.eric-hart.com. He has recently written the definitive reference for his industry that is being hailed for its clarity and breadth, The Prop Building Guidebook.' Claudia Ebeling, Bucknell Magazine