Sunday, November 5, 2017

Prop Design: Portable Cylinder Recorder

I designed the above prop for a low budget feature film titled Johnny Shortwave. The world depicted in the black and white epic has an almost steampunk aesthetic, with audio recording happening not on linear magnetic tape, but on cylinders; Edison style.

In addition to the above I designed two table-top models. The idea I had there was that those were older machines. The rationale for the portable recorder was that miniaturization was producing more compact devices -- like a cylinder recorder. A character in Shortwave carries the machine around by slinging the carrying strap over his shoulder.

John Gajdecki built the prop from my plans. I told him that he could run with the design. He did a beautiful job, I think.

Soon I will post the original plans.


Tibor said...

John Gajdecki? Did he get into CGI?

Simon St. Laurent said...

He was in visual effects at the time -- had his own company; might still.

Just before "Shortwave" I worked for him on three episodes of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES.

When I worked at Film Effects, Toronto, we had KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES as a regular gig. John was also working on that series and had acquired Quantel's "Harry" compositing system; he sent some finished composites to us in order for them to be included as part of optical sequences -- fades and dissolves. (One of my favourite memories is having to split-screen composite David Carrandine into a scene -- in one episode he meets himself. My first attempt at the composite rendered an interesting result.)

I guess my answer to your question is "yes".