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Props For The Props
The props for "G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra,” should prove equally eye-catching, at least as far as fans are concerned. Prop Master Brad Einhorn, veteran of several "Batman” movies, says, like other department heads, that the short prep schedule made things tougher. "We had about nine weeks of prep, which really isn't enough for a movie like this. I did a couple of ‘Batman' movies, and I had six months of prep, and it's about the same amount of work, but we did it and we did some great props.”

Einhorn and his team created a fascinating arsenal of weaponry and cool gear, everything from hand weapons and tank weapons to The BARONESS' glasses. "We built everything from scratch. Everything was custom manufactured. No props were bought for this movie. We had about 30 or 40 people in town make them all,” says Einhorn. "Checking every step of the manufacturing of the hundreds of props was the tricky part, going back and forth to the director, making sure he's happy, but I just love manufacturing and creating new crazy props.”

The most complicated prop was the "star of the show,” the ‘nanomite' warheads, which took over three months to fabricate. "It was the first prop I started on because I knew it would take the longest. Every piece of it is machined. We had glass molds to make the glass parts, and it's all made by hand and comes in a really cool case with the kill switches.”

In the personal weapons department, one of the more popular on set was SCARLETT's high-tech crossbow. "Rachel Nichols loved that prop. She couldn't get enough of it,” Einhorn notes. Built as a practical crossbow, the device is covered with an array of LED lights. "It looks like an optical illusion. It opens really weird and actually scares you. It's almost like a magic trick.” Adds Nichols, "It doesn't really fire, which made it easy for me, actually, because then I can never miss a target!”

Ray Park was particularly pleased when it came to the SNAKE EYES' weapons, his favorite being the ninja tonfas. "It's a handle and a stick, and mine has two snake heads on top,” says Park. "STORM SHADOW was always beating on SNAKE EYES when they were kids, but the tonfa became SNAKE EYES' weapon of choice. And over the years, he developed this weapon and made it his own, so at the press of a button, I have a spike at the top and a blade at the back. It's lethal and very dangerous.” 

Even nearer to the hearts of both Park and Einhorn are the SNAKE EYES' swords. "I've always loved them, ever since I was a kid,” the prop master says. "If there's a sword in a movie, I'm always excited.”

"One of the reasons why I got into doing martial arts was the sword work,” says Park. "I just love the magic of moving a sword around. To me it's a dance.”  The sword fighting sequences in the film are carefully choreographed, Park notes. "They have to be really precise. We made sure we hit our beats, and we would dance and tango in, doing the waltz together because the last thing I wanted to do was have a sword and cut one of my fellow actors by accident. It was a constant challenge.”

Another important piece of craftsmanship is DESTRO's mask. "It's a fantastic piece of artistry,” declares actor Christopher Eccleston, who dons the face covering as McCullen. Einhorn and his team took great care to reference the mask of the comic book. "We want fans to say ‘DESTRO' as soon as they see it,” he says.

In a Stephen Sommers film, props can be anything as small as a ring or as large as a Humvee, each adaptable to being tossed around. Such is the case with the COBRA vehicle adorned as a SCARAB, which can go just about anywhere, and does, with the help and expertise of special effects supervisor Daniel Sudick and his team.

In one sequence, the Hummer is tossed down a traffic-filled street in Paris. The scene was actually filmed in Prague, where a great many outdoo


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