Dean Eilertson is a propmaster whose credits include: "The Revenant", "Godzilla", "X-Men", "I,Robot" and "The Rise of The Planet of The Apes".
Being a Prop Master, the way I collaborate with production designer(s) has taken on more importance over the years. Every film starts with a vision, in props we are fortunate enough to be included in that creative process, where we get to do our own research, pitch ideas for design etc. I run everything past my production designer long before I take it to the director. The only way I can start to understand the scale and direction our project is taking is to understand what the production designer is envisioning. My job is defined by a much bigger picture, one that is defined first by my production designer.
For me props is not a stand alone department, our job is more about complimenting or blending in, giving support where it is needed. In props we learn to peel back the layers a bit deeper, which can drive some production Designers batty, not everyone loves the importance for detail the way we do.
Over the years I have been very fortunate to work with many different kinds of Production Designers all of whom have had their own special talents. I have learned how to push my own boundaries while expanding my comfort zone thanks in part to some of the production designers I have worked with. The success of any film really boils down to what the production designer is bringing to the project be it scale or vision, I’m sure when it comes to interviewing and hiring HOD’s they have a huge responsibility.
Of course every project brings new challenges, we all know we never get to do the same thing twice, we are constantly learning as we explore new horizons. Collaboration to me is about working together, as I tell my crew ‘there is no I in Team.’