Movie Prop Electronics Hack Chat

Movie Magic with Ben Eadie

Wednesday, April 20, 2022 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Ben Eadie will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, April 20 at noon Pacific.

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It wasn't too long after the invention of cinema that the need for special effects became apparent. If you want to tell stories, especially the science fiction type of story, you need to build a plausible universe, including all the gadgets and gizmos within it. And so right from the start, propmakers and set designers have had the challenge of making things look futuristic using the technology of the present day.

All too often, the realities of budgets and time constraints have reduced this crucial world-building to an exercise in blinkenlights. But not always. Ben Eadie is a maker and inventor who works in the world of movie magic, specializing in props and practical effects. While he's certainly as much in love with blinkenlights as any of us, there's more than that to making a movie look good. He'll stop by the Hack Chat to talk about how he incorporates electronics into his practical effect builds, and perhaps even reveal some of the movie magic for us.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Dan Maloney04/20/2022 at 20:10 0 comments

    Ben1:01 PM
    @Tom Nardi On Ghostbusters there was a scene that got cut. because I had only one of the props that they needed and it broke.... That was the only time it happened to me and it was all my fault. I will never do it again

    Ben1:02 PM
    @charliex Totally.

    Nicolas Tremblay1:02 PM
    Not the buggy from the video?

    Ben1:02 PM
    @Dan Maloney do you follow @PropsToHistory on TikTok? He is a friend of mine and you should if you do not. Your favorite prop would resonate with him so much

    Ben1:03 PM
    @Nicolas Tremblay we had 4... it hurt to see it squished. But we had a spare to go right awway.

    Dan Maloney1:04 PM
    Whoa, here we are at the top of the hour all of a sudden. Ben, thanks so much for your time today, I love getting insider glimpses into industries that otherwise wouldn't be possible. And I want to thank everyone else for the great questions and discussion.

    And don't forget that "one is none" thing!

    Boian Mitov1:05 PM
    Thank you @Ben and @Dan Maloney :-)

    Ben1:06 PM
    @Nicolas Tremblay The key in any show is to make things take the least time when the cameras are there. Its like 5K a min for a show. So if you wreck a 10K prop but have a immediate replacement it is infinitely better than literally 2min down time.

    Nicolas Tremblay1:06 PM
    Thanks @Ben for this fun hour

    Ben1:07 PM
    Its been a blast! Love the chat. This one had all the right questions. The audience here is really checked in.

    Dan Maloney1:07 PM
    We have the best audiences, but I may be biased ;-)

    Ben1:07 PM
    Nope you do

    Ben1:08 PM
    Hands down...

    Tom Nardi1:08 PM
    Awesome to have you @Ben

    Dan Maloney1:08 PM

    Dan Maloney1:08 PM
    Transcript coming up. Thanks all!

    Vincent1:08 PM
    Thanks @Ben ! Very interesting!

    Ben1:08 PM

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Dan Maloney04/20/2022 at 20:10 0 comments

    Dan Maloney11:56 AM
    Hello, welcome aboard! We'll get started in a minute

    Ben joined  the room.11:57 AM

    Ben11:57 AM
    Hello! Great to see you all here.

    Dan Maloney11:58 AM
    Hi Ben, welcome to the Hack Chat! Another couple of minutes and we'll kick off

    Boian Mitov11:58 AM
    Hello @Ben :-)

    Ben12:00 PM
    First and foremost I am a high collared cape and monocle away from mad scientist... I do not speach tipe spel or gramer well :)

    Dan Maloney12:00 PM
    Hello all, let's get started. Welcome to the Hack Chat, I'm Dan, I'll be modding today along with Dusan as we welcome Ben Eadie to talk about Movie Prop Electronics.

    Hi Ben, thanks for coming on today. Can you start things off with a little about your path to entertainment industry?

    Dusan Petrovic12:01 PM
    Hello and welcome everyone!

    Ben12:01 PM

    Dan Maloney12:01 PM
    Sorry, slower typist -- missed that

    Nicolas Tremblay joined  the room.12:01 PM

    Ben12:02 PM
    I had been working as a freelance aerounatical engineer for nearly 20 years and monkeying around as a mechatronics kinda guy at a local maker space. One of the members was working on a movie here in town...

    Ben12:03 PM
    She introduced me to her boss in speical effects and said he needed some help with a big show. Next thign you know I am woking on StarTrek Beyond

    Ben12:04 PM
    it was really surreal to be honest. Ended up desinging and help fabricate two of the largest rotating sets in movie hisotry on that one. Apparently I did ok cause ever since then I have been getting calls to help on some other shows

    Dan Maloney12:04 PM
    I guess it's an industry where formal education matters less than being able to do the job, right?

    Ben12:04 PM


    Ben12:04 PM
    That is the first rotating set at the time stamp

    Ben12:05 PM
    Totally my formal education is by far secondary to what I actually do. 12 year old me messing around making things was the training i really needed.

    Dan Maloney12:06 PM
    You know, and not killing anyone helps, I suppose. Which that rig totally looks like it could do

    Ben12:06 PM
    and no I am not joking i truly believe that the curious ADHD kid was all the training I needed

    Ben12:07 PM
    OH DUDE! I end up nearly vomiting with worry on some of the stuff I make. I have made good friends with stunt guys and I am constatly launching them in the air in very dangerous things. But that is part of being a team

    Ben12:08 PM
    I am not a island everything i do is because i am surrounded buy a talented and awesome team

    Ben12:08 PM
    not one thing I do can be done by just me. I am lucky to surround myself with people way smarter than me and they help me out

    Ben12:10 PM
    Hack a day has been instrumental in me figuring out how to do some of the stuff I need to do. Between this website, youtube, and maker spaces I dont think I could accomplish half of what I have done

    Nicolas Tremblay12:11 PM
    on what other movie/show did you work on?

    Dan Maloney12:12 PM
    It's good to hear stuff like that. Makes it worth it to troll the interwebz looking for the cool stuff when you know it helps people get stuff done.

    Ben12:12 PM
    I also come here just to see what others are accomplishing. Like today the crayon line following robot! Crazy easy brilliant mechanical solution to a line follower.

    Ben12:13 PM
    Nicolas. I have done StarTrek, MazeRunner, DeathNote, Predator... here is my imdb. I also do some freelance work

    lc211895112:13 PM
    does anyone know how to clone debit cards or somethin ?

    Dan Maloney12:14 PM
    Wrong kind of hacking, we don't do that here

    Ben12:14 PM
    Freelance work recently made me do the Wilson robot gag for Tom Hanks

    Ben12:14 PM


    Dan Maloney12:15 PM
    How long did they give you to work that up?

    lc2118951 left  the room.12:15 PM

    Ben12:16 PM
    It was the dream job and he gave me 4 months or so to do it. That...

    Read more »

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