126: Movie Prop Replicas

There are times when my day job and my laser come together in fun ways.  You may remember project 80: The Katana Stand, or even 93: Specialized Museum Trays.  This month, museum staff got tasked to work on something a little different: Haunted Quarry.  Every October, the Batavia Park District turns the Hall Quarry Beach into a mix of maze and haunted house.  Each of the buildings is assigned to a team, and my team got to deck out the Men’s Bathhouse.

We found inspiration in Stephen King this year, and went with a Shining themed scare.  Research into the movie lead me down the rabbit hole of internet movie prop sites and I started seeing things I could easily recreate on the laser.  As a major motion picture and a horror classic, there are many avid fans out there trying to recreate props from the movie.

One laser friendly prop is the key fob for Room 237 (you can see a great screenshot from the movie at Yourprops.com.) It’s a 1970s era, red plastic rectangle with white writing.  Here’s where I really have to thank the movie buffs and their attention to detail: on The Replica Prop Forum, a user determined the original fob was likely made with standard fonts from the Leroy Automatic Lettering Machine.  Though the forum recommended using Planscribe NF to replicate the numbers, I ended up using a thickened version of Gadugi.

Fun piece of trivia: In the novel, it’s room 217.  The Timberline Lodge, where the movie was filmed, didn’t want a stigma attached to room 217 so the director changed it to 237.

Because the Men’s Bathhouse is too dark for details to be appreciated and the tours are led through quickly, I chose to make my key fob replica oversized – 9 inches tall.  It also was only going to be seen from one side, so I only did the iconic number side.  And because it needed to be attached to cinderblock walls with tape, it had to be light-weight.  I had some mis-ordered Flexicolor material – red cap with a white base – that was perfect.  Finally a use for it!

I also wanted the Overlook Hotel sign to greet  the visitors as they came in – a little nod to what they would see inside.  I had zero luck finding a movie screen capture of the sign, so instead I whipped up something vaguely classic, vaguely 70s-ish with thick letters I could join together easily for simple install.  Then I threw a couple show capped mountains above it.  I used 2 sheets of misordered Flexicolor – black cap this time – and we were in business.

To complete the creepy lead-in to the bathhouse, I printed up a bunch of 11×17 prints in various orientations of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in a typewriter font.  I wanted to convey that overwhelming sense of sheets and sheets of typewritten pages but surrounding visitors with them.

The team did a great job on the rest of the bathhouse – including a hatcheted door for Jack to pop his head out of, and a huge tractor in a snowy “maze.”  Frozen Jack, quietly on the floor, was my favorite.

Each year has a whole new theme, so I think I’ll bring the movie props back and hang them in my office – let’s see who notices!  Lasers are a great way to get precision in detail to replicate movie props, and I encourage you to check out the many online communities that work on recreating them.   I’ve also attached my Shining Props vector files as editable PDFs – feel free to use them, and if you are feeling kindly, credit 52Lasers.com.  Thanks!

If you are looking for other Halloween – inspired Posts from 52 Lasers, check out Week 41: Pumpkin Decorating, and Week 96: Deer Ears (Last year we missed the holiday themed boat and did Enamel Stencils)

 

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