Interview with Igor Pinsky of Mrpinski Props
Q: For anyone who doesn't know who you are and what you do, give us a rundown.
A: My Name is Igor Pinsky. I run a small shop in Los Angeles CA called MrPinski Props. I make replica costumes and props from film, comics and video games.
Q: What got you started in propmaking? Once you got started, what made you continue?
A: The first thing I ever made was a Jack Sparrow wig from the POTC franchise. In May of 2007, one of my friends took me to see POTC 3. I had never seen a Pirates movie before this one as I honestly though that "this Disney movie couldn't possibly be for me…" I was SO WRONG! in the first 15 minutes I was engulfed by the shear awesomeness of this film. By then end of it I knew one thing was for certain, I HAD to be Jack Sparrow for Halloween that year! Over the next five and a half months I spent every day doing a little something here and a little something there to make my dream into a reality. I went to every store in the Los Angeles area where I thought I might find some little trinket to make the costume that much cooler. I went on to wear out my creation to a night club in hollywood called AREA and I won their costume contest. That feeling of accomplishment just made me want to keep going. I made a new costume every Halloween that followed until a buddy of mine showed me a video on YouTube that changed the game for me.
He showed me a video put out by Harrison Krix (Volpin Props) of a build of the infamous Guy Manuel helmet from Daft Punk. This was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen! I must have watched that video 100x times. "I dare you to make this" my friend said. "Challenge accepted!" Over the next 5 months I began making the helmet from a process called Pepakura. Through this I learned a lot about fabrication and how to lose a lot of money and be okay with it. Every dollar lost was a lesson learned. At the end of my build, I had something that I had spent over $1000 on, hated it and sold it on eBay for just over $300… So I tried again. By that point, I had made so many mistakes and learned so many lessons that I cut my build time in half and made a much better product. Once I got to show off my helmet at San Diego Comic con in 2010 and people thought I was Volpin himself… I caught the fever.
Q: What generally goes into making a prop, from initial conception to completion?
A: Before I begin making anything, I spend a few days (at least) studying the prop online or taking stills off of a DVD. I will then draw up blue prints on my computer using a vector program and go print it out in scale at my local Kinko's. Then I will come up with a "plan of attack" and start my build. The plan will include all the supplies I need for the build, I may make a list of steps I need to take, that's usually in my head.
If you're really interested in making something amazing, go and check out theRPF and learn how it's done from every angle, then choose yours.
Q: How do you decide which props to make?
A: I have no idea… haha. I remember watching POTC and that was the hottest thing at the time, who didn't want to be good ole Jack? I had to make it! Sometimes I will Get a fan request and that will start a build. Sometimes I will be watching a film and see something cool that no one has ever made, I'll be the first to make that!
Q: Any hints as to what we might see you make in the future?
A: Of course! (that was it) Q: What has been your favorite experience as a cosplayer/propmaker/geek professional? A: I have two, and they happen this year at SDCC. I dressed as Judge Dredd and I got to meet Karl Urban. I asked to take a photo with him and just before the button was pressed I heard him say "Make the face rookie!" The next day, I got to meet Walter Jones (the original Black Power Ranger) as I was dressed in full Black Ranger gear along with a full sized power axe. He asked me if I had a business card because he liked my work. I handed him the card, "MrPinski? I've heard of you!" That pretty much made my year… This dude was a hero of mine when I was an 8 year old kid, 20 years later I get to meet him and he's heard of me?!?!? I can't even describe that feeling.
Q: Do you ever do any original prop or costume designs, or are they all generally recreations/re-imaginings?
A: I have worked on a few "C" level films and I have made props for either closeups or background shots. I also designed and built my own version of what I thought a real world Harley Quinn pop gun should look like. I like how that came out.
Q: If you could choose to live in any video game, comic book, fantasy, anime or sci fi universe, what would it be and why?
A: That's easy! The Fifth Element! That movie has every single thing I could ever want if I lived in that universe. I still plan on owning my own ZF-1 some day.
Q: Who and what inspires you artistically?
A: Honestly, my friends and my fans. ( I hope I don't sound full of myself for saying "my fans") I love seeing what my friends are doing and I love making things in concert and playing show and tell after. I also have some of the best fans I could ever ask for. Every time I post a picture whether it be a progress shot or a finished product, the "likes" and encouragement keeps me going.
Q: What conventions and events can we expect to see you at?
A: I go to Wonder and SDCC every year. I will be at LBCC and Komikaze this year. I plan on being at Wizard World in January next year.
Q: Where can fans follow your work?
A: I have a FanPage on Facebook
under MrPinski Props where I try and post something every day. I also have a Tumblr
, Flickr, Instagram
and Deviant Art
Photos by Focus Flicks
Interview by: Geek Girl Zelda
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November 10 2013