Friday, June 8, 2012

National Treasure Prop Replicas

Apologies for not updating the blog for a long time.

To make up for it, I've got pics of some of my work in progress; paper prop replicas from National Treasure and National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.


First up is the secret clue given by Charles Carroll to young Thomas Gates:

Then we have the Declaration of Independence:

For this declaration, there are various online stores where you can buy replicas printed on parchment. But the problem is, they look like they're freshly printed. Whereas in the movie, the text of the declaration has faded due to oxidization. So what I did was I took a hi-res scan of the declaration which I found online, tweaked the graphics to make it look faded then print in onto an A1 size paper, then weathered it with coffee and tea. I think the final result looks more screen accurate than those other online replicas.

Then I decided to tackle the Silence Dogood letters. I read that only 9 letters (or fragments thereof) were made for the movie but I didn't know which ones, so I decided to make them all. Yep... all 14.

I got the text from here: Silence Dogood Letters

I took a minor liberty with the size; it's supposed to be 10" x 17" but since my printer could only print up to A3, the letters ended up being 10" x 16 1/2". I used a font called Lamar pen suggested by Kramstaar which looked quite realistic. After printing, the A3 pages were cut down to size by tearing the sides. The margin line was pencil drawn.

The letters were weathered with coffee and tea. I also tried to match the folds as seen in the screencaps (they are letters after all).

The one thing I noticed was that the screen version of the 10th letter had some variation from the actual letter; the screen version had some paragraphs paraphrased while others were omitted. So I made 2 versions; the actual and the screen version.


I haven't had the time to make some of the props from this movie yet but the following are what I've made so far.

First up is the missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth.

This page was printed on regular paper, folded to get the screen accurate creases, weathered and then the edges are burned. Lastly, the page was laminated in clear plastic, just as seen in the movie when Ed Harris' character produces it in the auditorium.

The next one was made just for fun. This is the letter Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) found on his Ferrari in the last scene of the movie.

Stay tuned for more updates.