Prospect, the film we worked on in 2017 building and finishing props and sets, is now out on Netflix in the US! Prospect is a sci-fi western full of practical effects starring Pedro Pascal in a helmet. It is also available on Blu-ray if you want a physical copy! This 8-part series of posts does not contain any spoilers so you can check them all out without fear of ruining anything if you haven’t seen the film yet!
This was one of the very first things I was tasked with working on when I first showed up to the Prospect workshop. I was handed this CNC cut box with all of these cutouts destined to become a fusebox inside a beat up spaceship. I used the same techniques we use for a lot of our weathering (you can watch our Weathering Tutorial on our YouTube channel). I started out by spraying the entire thing with a metallic silver. I then used liquid masking tape to mark off where I wanted the major chips and scratches.Once the masking fluid was dry, I then painted the whole thing a darker, WRONG color than what we wanted. Going back over the same masked spots, intentionally being sloppy, as well as adding a few new spots will help get a layered paint chip effect after the final coat of paint.And here it is with the final coat of paint on it. This is the CORRECT final paint color applied and then all of the liquid masking tape peeled off. In some spots you can see the paint layers. This helps give added depth and realism to the paint chipping versus just painting chips on the finished product. I then added some various metal grills and details from our scrap bin.An EVA foam panel was cut and added around the handle to act as a seal. The entire box was assembled and then rust effects were added. There are a lot of different techniques for realistic rust effects, but we had this rust paint kit on hand already and we used it on this and several other props and sets. Various acrylic paints and powders completed the worn and dirty look. Then came installing the box into the actual space ship. You can see this is the same corner where Cee (Sophie Thatcher) is sitting in the trailer. The tubes being hooked up are meant to look like conduit running down the length of the freighter (most of the interior of which got cut from the final movie but can be seen in a deleted scene). I made the conduit tubes out of insulation rods covered in the same cotton sock material used in the Aurelac case as seen in our previous post.Once all of the conduit tubes were in place where we wanted them, I coated them in Shellac. It was a really easy way to give them a patina AND make them more rigid. They were then weathered with the same paints we used for the rest of the ship’s interior.
While the fusebox looked great installed, there was still something missing – fuses! We had a large selection of random greebles to play with, and I experimented with a lot various ideas. Here’s one using various old vacuum tubes. It looks cool but it just didn’t feel in world.
As I went scavenging through our miscellaneous parts for a better idea, I randomly found this laying inside the ACTUAL fuse box in our shop. It’s a really old tube fuse with a paper label on it, and felt very close to in world.With that inspiration in mind, one of the metal working guys bent three steel tubes for me that fit into the slots on the box. I then worked with the Graphic Design Supervisor to come up with paper labels for the fuses.Once they were properly weathered, I mounted them into the box permanently as they didn’t need to move, and I didn’t want to risk one falling off. You may notice that there are no English characters in Prospect. Our designers not only came up with an alphabet but they designed both a hand written and printed/technical version – you can see the hand written version Cee is using in this same scene!
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