"The Prop Master: Ross Macdonald, Forger for Screens Big and Small"


Sr Member
I searched but didn't see this posted. This article was in The Atlantic Monthly the other day discussing Ross MacDonald's work in various films, notably making the book of secrets for National Treasure II. The pics have probably all been seen by folks here before, but thought it was an interesting read to pass along.

The Prop Master: Ross Macdonald, Forger for Screens Big and Small - Steven Heller - Life - The Atlantic

Ross Macdonald is a forger. And many of his most exquisite forgeries -- or, more precisely, replicas -- are currently seen, if you look closely enough, on the new season of HBO"s Boardwalk Empire. Macdonald is an editorial and book illustrator and typographer who makes props for motion pictures. And he gets "a real rush" from the props he gets for making them.
"You never know what you're going to get thrown at you," he says, adding, "I love doing the research for period props. I also love making things or figuring out ways to make things. I love working with my hands and learning new techniques -- leatherwork, making rubdowns and decals, metalwork, whatever." The part he hates, however, is the crushing workload. "I often get phone calls and emails all day and all night with changes and additions. On some shows the amount of work is massive -- sometimes literally thousands or even tens of thousands of pages of stuff, often produced at breakneck speed."
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