I've got SOME BALLS!!!

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Prop Runner, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Hopefully some of you guys MUST have seen these before: Alec Baldwin's brass balls from the star-studded David Mamet film Glengarry Glen Ross:

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/baldwin_balls_composite.JPG[/image]

    He's a foul-mouthed regional manager who is brought into a local real estate office to motivate and threaten a bunch of salesmen who've been in a severe slump, played with gusto by Ed Harris, Jack Lemmon, R.I.P., and Alan Arkin. Al Pacino plays the local office's star salesman, and most of the movie he's in a bar working a potential buyer, played by Jonathan Pryce (Brazil). Kevin Spacey plays the office manager and Alec Baldwin's scene is only a 10-minute cameo, but it's his most amazing career performance, he delivers the most scathingly offensive monologue I've ever heard in any film. He must have uttered the word "f-uck" at least 20 times without stopping for breath (move over, Scarface. ;) ). In fact, the center-top headhot of Baldwin catches him in "mid F." :lol He's brilliant in the role, and the ONLY prop in this long, talk-filled movie is the pair of dangling brass balls he pulls out of his open briefcase to demonstrate to the group "what it takes to succeed."

    By the way, my ex-girlfriend just told me that last Saturday on SNL Alec Baldwin hosted the show and he parodied himself in Glengarry Glen Rross as a giant elf brought in to motivate the other elves to "always be cobbling." :lol Apparently he also had a pair of brass balls and a giant gumdrop with him...

    Did anyone catch or record this sketch? Gotta love the timing. Now I have to look for reruns. :p

    So... because I just HAD to have an extra pair (everyone here knows I've already got brass ones :D ), I set out to not only replicate the balls, but to design an attractive, original, and functional display to compliment them. The project began with my virtual model for a replica display concept:

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/brass_balls_assy_rev_2_front.JPG[/image]

    The first proof-of-concept prototype looked less than stellar, but it was made to see if the base and hanging rod kept the heavy balls stable, and for purposes of designing the box packaging:

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/proto_10_s.JPG[/image]

    This week, the same day I got my screen-used DUNE Pain Box hero prop, the production prototype of the brass balls display set came by courier from my vendor:

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/IMG_1912s.JPG[/image] [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/IMG_1911s.JPG[/image]

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/IMG_1914s.JPG[/image] [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/IMG_1917s.JPG[/image]

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/IMG_1916s.JPG[/image]

    The brass balls and hanging rod turned out fantastic.. Those things are HEAVY... And because they're yellow brass, I had to have them made outside California, adding to the cost, curse our *, wonderful environmental laws. :rolleyes I'm actually unsure what wood my vendor used for the base. :lol (let me get back to you on that...) But I think it's a nice grain and color, don't you? Or would a rose wood or cherry wood base look more "executive?" The base has a black felt lining (even though I asked for green or red - what do you guys thing it should be?) I added the color printout as a stand-in for the proposed photo plaque, which is still being developed. I liked the results so much that I decided to have the display copyrighted as an art sculpture - my first-ever copyright. :D

    I've also designed several brass plaques with different phrases for those who'd want to display the set as a novelty rather than a movie prop replica. The text will be etched and black-oxide filled. These are my top three phrase choices:

    [image]http://www.wackychimp.com/uploads/plaques_1_2_3_samples.JPG[/image]

    By the way: "A-B-C: ALWAYS BE CLOSING" is one of Baldwin's lines in the movie (see above photos). I welcome additional plaque phrase ideas. :) One of my buddies here to whom I already showed these suggested "COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS" :lol (movie reference - watch it and you'll understand).

    The photo plaque will be polished aluminum or brass with the image printed directly on the metal and clear coated, leaving a small border of polished metal. Aluminum goes better with the image, but brass obviously suits the rod and balls more, so I'd appreciate your feedback on which to use.

    I also had to design a template fixture for applying the different plaques to the base in order to keep them all centered and parallel. That's still on the drawing board, and will be my final project expense.

    I'm not taking orders yet, because I was hoping to get some feedback and constructive criticism before signing off on the prototype. For instance, here's an alternative base with a trapezoidal footprint:

    [​IMG]

    The trapezoid footprint would lend a little more stability to the display, as the balls have a slight tendancy to tilt the center of gravity forward. As they are now with the rectanbgular footprint base, unless you start swinging them from the hanging rod, the display is still quite stable. The trapezoid may also look more stylish than the rectangular footprint, so I wanted to run it by you guys because I respect your aesthetic judgment. My thinking on the trapezoid shape was that it looks like a grand staircase in a throne room, leading up to the Big Brass Cajones... :D Please comment freely on your prefered base shape.

    Anyway, Just wanted to show off my latest project and see what kind of feedback I can get. If you'd like to get on an interest list, please e-mail me at proprunner@aol.com (my PM box is nearly full and I'm going to be out most of the weekend). Should I get enough names, I'll start a separate interest thread in the Junkyard.

    Thanks for looking. B)


    - Gabe
     
  2. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    NICE. :thumbsup

    ".....third prize is you're fired."
     
  3. pnerves

    pnerves New Member

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    Will you go to lunch? Go to lunch. WILL you GO to lunch?.?

    Interesting and cool
     
  4. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    gabe you have something new and cool every single day.

    how do you do it?
     
  5. ed-209

    ed-209 Sr Member

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    Hey Gabe....
    Here's some company selling a set.
    But I like YOUR balls better.....
    Wait...what did I just say...???
    Oh well, shows I've got 'em to make such a posting.... LOL
    ED

    [​IMG]
     
  6. amish

    amish Sr Member

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    Gabe,

    I love your balls.

     
  7. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No, no, no, I thought you had to have a whole ROW of balls. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lupus Yonderboy

    Lupus Yonderboy Well-Known Member

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    First of all, brilliant idea.
    Haven't actually seen the movie but from your description, I'll have to :lol
    Once you're up and running, I'd definitely be interested.

    Some feedback:
    - I don't think the black felt is a bad idea.
    - IMHO, the alternative trapezoidal base looks better.
    - I'd be interested in one without a plaque as well...

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,
    Pontus
     
  9. houdiniguy

    houdiniguy Sr Member

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    Count me in when these ARE available.

    I want a set.

    Thanks....
    Tom
     
  10. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Dang I love that move. You're here to help us, not to f#$k us up.
     
  11. Montagar

    Montagar Legendary Member Community Staff

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    Alec Baldwin was also the "Schweaty" balls guy on a Saturday Night Live skit... a mere coincedence? I think not... :lol


    George: "When I talk to the police I get nervous."
    Ricky: "Yes. You know who doesn't?"
    George: "Who?"
    Ricky: "Thieves."
     
  12. E2K13

    E2K13 New Member

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    Oh man. I was sooo waiting for someone to put together a set of these.
    I like the Trapazoidal Base as well.
    You might want to also add the optional plaque:

    "This is what it takes to sell Real Estate"

    Being a Mortgage Broker, that movie is one of my all time favorites.

    (Ricky Roma) "Ever take a dump that made you feel like you slept for 12 hours?"
     
  13. mez7

    mez7 Sr Member

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    see this movie, its brilliant,

    great prop, like it alot
     
  14. misterfusion

    misterfusion Sr Member

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    Oh, I'm gonna be watching this thread. I've got a friend who will KILL to get ahold of your balls.
     
  15. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    :lol

    Thanks a lot, guys. I'm deeply moved by both your subject recognition and comments. I see I've touched a few hard-core GGGR fans. :D

    Of course, anyone who hasn't seen the classic Schweddy Balls sketch owes it to himself to either rent it or stalk their cable/satellite guide for reruns. Another great play-on-words sketch is the "Cork Soaker" sketch with Janet Jackson from last year - had me in tears. :D

    Please keep both the movie quotes coming and and constructive criticism - I want this to be PERRRRRRFECT.

    Thanks for bustin' my balls. :lol

    - Gabe
     
  16. Montagar

    Montagar Legendary Member Community Staff

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    Well, for me anyway, it's because it is such a non-Hollywood movie; by that I mean, very dialog intensive (a real rarity), no special effects, no car chases, no explosions, no violence (although very intense), no contrived romances, no product placements, no lone superstar actor to focus on and detract from the plot... etc, etc, etc. I guess I could go on all day, but you get the point. :D
     
  17. Feraud

    Feraud Sr Member

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    Holy crap. That is a truly hilarious and wonderful prop. I have wanted a set of brass balls since I first saw the film. :D

    I think the trapezoid base is perfect. The raised back presents whatever info in on the base towards the viewer. The wood looks good. My personal preference on the plaque would be, "A B C Always Be Closing".


    Call me very interested..
     
  18. KarlBud420

    KarlBud420 Well-Known Member

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    Mainly because Mamet is a playwright by trade. Have you seen any of his other flicks?

    If not, immediately check out Heist and Spartan. Heist was only written by him, but Spartan was written and directed by Mamet. Top-notch dialogue and acting, and the ever present double/triple/quadruple double cross. They are both Saturday afternoon favs when nothing else sounds interesting.

    Great replica Gabe. As far as my opinions on what you originally were asking:

    I think rose/cherry wood is preferred as that has more of an "Executive" feel to me personally. That was the wood I chose to frame my degree and I've never regretted picking it.

    For the felt, I'm not sure why, but I prefer green...maybe just 4 little felt circles in the corners instead of having the entire bottom covered in felt?

    As far as the plaque is concerned, I'm in favor of the movie logo/artwork like that which is already on the prototype. It would make it easier for guests browsing the collection to know what it is instead of having to explain it to them. That leaves more time to discuss the movie and why they should see it straight away.

    edit: as far as the base is concerned, more stable is better, therfore the trapezoid.

    Respectfully,
    Bruce
     
  19. allosaur176

    allosaur176 Sr Member

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    oooohhhhh Big.... Gold.... Balls...... Its been awhile since i've seen some :)
     
  20. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    I agree with all of Bruce's points above...except that I'd prefer the "What It Takes To Succeed" plaque....I'll know what it means even if guests don't... :D
     
  21. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Bruce: I'm very grateful for your recommendations. :) The green felt discs definitely seem like a less costly and labor intensive solution, and I'll run it by my vendor ASAP. As for the wood, he told me it's cherry wood, and I was surprised, because I expected it to have a more reddish hue. He told me that's because most rosewood and cherry wood products are painted to make them rudier and warmer. He'll be making me a new sample and I'll post pics. Here's what raw unpainted rosewood looks like:

    [​IMG]

    And here are finished samples of the four most common "red" woods:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The rose wood and walnut boxes above are definitely painted/stained, and the flat cherry wood plaques are natural, like my base. Anything that's stained red is an obvious attempt to simulate mahogany, which is rather espensive. I'd love to use mahogany, but I fear I'll pay through the nose... Still, since it's such a small base, I'll ask my vendor how much more it would cost. If it's reasonable, i.e., under $5, I may decide to run with it.

    Bottom line, I want this display to meet the highest expectations, and more than any other source, I value the creative and aesthetic input from members of this forum. :)

    Thanks again, and please continue to add your opinions.

    - Gabe
     
  22. KarlBud420

    KarlBud420 Well-Known Member

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    Glad to be of assistance. I guess it is actually painted/stained cherry wood that I am thinking of whenever I picture them mentally.

    I'll cast my lot in with the others clamoring for your balls when they're ready. :lol

    Regards,
    Bruce
     
  23. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    And unlike Schweddy Balls, mine won't be slightly deformed... :D

    For those who would like a glimpse of the two sketches I mentioned earlier, here are they are:

    http://snltranscripts.jt.org/98/98idish.phtml transcript only, couldn't find a video... :(

    http://thatvideosite.com/view/142.html - streaming video - prepare to wipe tears. :lol

    - Gabe
     
  24. KarlBud420

    KarlBud420 Well-Known Member

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    I love it when the actors can't keep a straight face. It takes a lot to make a comic laugh.

    Bruce
     
  25. misterfusion

    misterfusion Sr Member

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    Depending on how big a run you're planning on doing, you can pick up those small circular felt pads with adhesive backing ONLINE and just stick 'em on yourself. You can do six (with a pad in each corner) for about $2.50.

    Also, there doesn't seem to be a concensus (or even a quorum) on what the plaques should read, so perhaps depending on set up costs, provide a variety of slogans, or offer a base with no plaque and let the creative types around here make their own (or maybe even offer this in kit form for a few $$$ less).

    Steve
     
  26. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Thanks for saving me the time, Steve. :) Definitely the course of action I plan on taking now...

    That's definitely an option - no reason why I'd object to customizing. :) I'd probably take $2-$3 bucks off the price for a plaqueless set (that's how much the plaques will cost me on average). The plaque phrases were never up for debate, as I intend to order the three I came up with plus the "COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS" plaque and the more expensive movie photo plaque in sufficient quantities to cover all the orders.

    Otherwise, there's nothing left to "kit," unless a similar amount of people want both base shapes. However, it looks like a consensus is building toward the trapezoid shape, but if someone simply won't hear of anything but the rectangular shape, I want that person to speak up. :)

    - Gabe
     
  27. misterfusion

    misterfusion Sr Member

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    My pleasure, and the trapezoid shape? Absolutly. Looks classy and different, and "Coffee is for Closers" is PERFECT.

    Steve
     
  28. ThePatriot29

    ThePatriot29 New Member

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    Trapezoid
     
  29. Kris

    Kris Sr Member

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    As I said yesterday .. those are some nice Cohones . ;)
     
  30. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Kris has some shiny ones himself... ;)

    Here's an updated CAD of the trapezoid shape with the Alec Baldwin plaque (in brass) and 1/2" diameter felt pads:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the input, guys. :D

    I hope to have a final prototype made up in January and I'll then bump the thread for the Junkyard sale. If you want to send me an e-mail to reserve a spot, you may do so in the meantime, although it's not required.

    - Gabe
     
  31. captjustc

    captjustc Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Now, sound chip with the "first prize-thrid prize" bit would top it off perfectly.
     
  32. KarlBud420

    KarlBud420 Well-Known Member

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    That looks like the one to me. I think it would be funny to have the soundclip with 1st/2nd/3rd prize etc, but I think it would complicate an otherwise crisp and clean design with details such as hollowing out a cavity for the board and speaker, and the added hassle of having to change batteries. I would personally prefer a non-fx version and just have my guests watch the entire movie if they need additional context to place the prop in.

    Bruce
     
  33. Montagar

    Montagar Legendary Member Community Staff

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  34. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Interesting suggestion, but I think for my own sanity I'll be keeping this puppy decidedly low-tech. Not to say that a new owner can't mess around with the base to his heart's content. :D

    Personally, I conceived this as a minimalist design with a subtle visual and textual message. In this case, I believe less is more. :)

    - Gabe
     
  35. KarlBud420

    KarlBud420 Well-Known Member

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    Amen.

    Bruce
     
  36. Lupus Yonderboy

    Lupus Yonderboy Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
    /Pontus
     
  37. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    *BUMP*

    Updates coming soon... :love
     
  38. misterfusion

    misterfusion Sr Member

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    That's good. I was beginning to worry about your balls....

    :eek

    Steve
     
  39. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  40. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    :lol Awesome, thanks. :D

    - Gabe
     
  41. Darkknight0667

    Darkknight0667 Sr Member

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    Hurry up with the update, Gabe. You've got a lot of people just waiting to see your balls. They're practically lined up around the block to see your balls. I daresay that many of them are probably salivating at the thought of seeing your balls.
     
  42. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    Absolutely....I'm dying to see Gabe's balls.....
     
  43. Kittlemeier

    Kittlemeier Well-Known Member

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    I'm in. Who's gonna do the steak knives and leads though? K
     
  44. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Want to volunteer? :love

    seriously - good ideas for accompanying pieces. :thumbsup Now we just need a separate research thread to ID the steak knives... :D

    - Gabe
     
  45. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    My pleasure. :)

    By the way, when I posted the link last night, it was coming up on 3:00 a.m. and my wife was demanding that I turn off the computer. :$ So I rudely uploaded the link without even commenting on Gabe's work.

    As with virtually everything I've seen that Gabe has made, if I had a seal of approval, I'd give it. :thumbsup

    By the way, although I missed this thread the first time around and things are now well past the voting stage, for what it's worth, I'd cast my vote for the trapezoidal base on the grounds of both aesthetic appeal and stability.
     
  46. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    *** :$ ***

    Did I forget to mention that a trapezoidal base is what I decided? Yep. :D And here's the fixture I designed for centering the different length plaques:

    [​IMG]

    and initial proofs of the stamped brass plaques (pre-polished, words need to be spaced out and filled in black, etc.):

    [​IMG]

    Hope to post pics of the final prototype soon. :)

    - Gabe
     
  47. temponaut

    temponaut Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking good, Gabe. Hurray for the trapezoid. :D

    I'd like to raise a question about the plaque (or, more specifically, the legend on it). Are you thinking of WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED as a "title" or as a "sentence"? If the former, I'd suggest that you don't need the period. I notice in the diagram of the stand, the plaque doesn't have a period. Personally, I think it looks better that way.

    What do others think?
     
  48. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    Yeah, I'm doing away with it - thought it would look better with it, but I've changed my mind. (Hey, that's the creative process. :D)

    - Gabe
     
  49. Kittlemeier

    Kittlemeier Well-Known Member

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    Hey, what happened to the pics? This was the one prop my wife would appreciate as she loves the movie and is a sales manager. K
     
  50. Prop Runner

    Prop Runner Sr Member

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    @#$%.. I used Whackychimp - guess the hosting expired... I'll have to repost them all now. :cry

    But I'll use a different service this time - once I get around to it. :p

    - Gabe
     

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