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BWW Visits: Spring Creek PROP Farms Has It All

After spending a few hours exploring Spring Creek PROP Farms, I am convinced there is no prop you can come up with that they don't have, and probably in multiples.

Located on a 200 acre farm in Montevallo, AL, Spring Creek not only has more props than I have ever imagined, but it also has some of the prettiest locations for film. Having an 1820's log cabin that has been used for movies, a strange laboratory set used in a web series and fields used for filmed civil war battles, Spring Creek is ready for anything.

Owners Len Ward and Lysa Carter are obviously excited about their business and try as hard as possible to accommodate any request a production might have, up to and including making the living room of the old log farmhouse, built in 1821 and that Len has lived in for years, available for movie shoots.

Len, who seems to be very knowledgeable about many things, went from explaining how he makes a gun harmless, so that it can be used on stage safely, to explaining the reason for the odd shape of an antique glass carafe. (By the way, the low, wide shape of the carafe was to keep it stable on the table of a ship's captain's quarters on the restless seas.)

Lysa explained how one of their latest projects, supplying props for The Dance Foundation's production of FANTASTIC MR. FOX , helped to set a precedent for how they pack and provide props. It led them to do more comprehensive paperwork with each order.

The PROP Farm tries to not only provide what a theatre asks for, but also includes options. That way once the group is in rehearsal and realizes that something else might work better in a scene, they have an option already on hand and ready to try. Lysa and Len want to try to be as thorough as possible so that theatre companies come back again and again to this blossoming business.

With years of theatre experience between the two of them, they are in a unique position to read a script, take a prop list and make magic happen. They are also very thorough in asking who will be handling the props and how they will be used. Do you just need a table or will someone be standing on it? Is this to be used by an adult or child? Does the prop change or age during the course of the show? All of these are typical questions that they ask and address with each new production they work on.

They told me about finding out that a shovel would be handled by kids, so they blunted the edge, dipped it in a rubber coating to make it safer and then repainted it with rust colored paint to look like a typical old shovel. No one in the audience would know it was "kid-proofed", but Spring Creek knew and wanted to be sure everything was safe. They don't mind taking the time to make the details right.

Not only does the PROP Farm work with local theatres and movie production companies from all over, but they try to help out high school and college theatre programs as well.

I honestly saw everything from on old time elevator cage, to antique military uniforms, to old gym lockers, farm equipment and military vehicles to a full sized zombie dummy.

Speaking of zombies, there is an older out-building that has an interesting multi paned window that is missing one perfectly placed pane. During my tour, Len pointed it out as a prime location used by a local photographer for lovely engagement photographs. He said it had been used hundreds of times for brides to look out of while gazing at their fiancé or the lovely countryside outside of the window. Recently, the picture was turned when the same window was used for a web series being shot there and a zombie was filmed looking creepily in to the window. Never a dull moment.

If you are involved in a production of any kind and you think you have hit a road block finding an unusual prop, call Spring Creek PROP Farm. If they don't have it (and I'll bet they do!) they will find it for you and rent it to you. Or better yet, make it easy on yourself and just let them provide everything you need for your presentation. Then instead of cluttering up your space, the PROP farm will come pick it up when you are done. From dishes to zombies, tractors to antiques, and anything else you can think of, Len and Lysa will be helpful and rent is reasonably priced.

For more information call 205-296-8528 or email springcreekfarms@att.net.

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From This Author Marietta Lunceford

With a BFA in musical theatre and a true love of the theatre, Marietta is thrilled to write for BroadwayWorld.com. Reviews and responses to local (read more...)

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