YOUR IDEAS MADE TANGIBLE
The Specialists has been supporting New York City’s creative community for over 40 years. We help filmmakers, artists, and other visionaries make their ideas into reality. We are the East Coast’s leading supplier of fabrication, graphics, and props, providing services for film & television, live theater & events, advertising & experiential marketing, art & architecture, and more. Chances are you’ve seen our work during your latest Netflix binge or while strolling past elaborate window displays on 5th Avenue.
Our talented team comprises artists, craftsmen, engineers, graphic designers, and programmers, who all work together at our 60,000 square foot facility in Queens. Our machinery and range of services are unparalleled. Our fabricators specialize in synthesizing old-world craftsmanship like mold-making and blacksmithing with cutting-edge technologies like 3D printing and microcontroller programming. The Specialists combines the knowledge earned through decades of experience in the industry with an enthusiasm for experimentation and problem solving. Our company continues to grow and evolve, introducing new techniques and materials while respecting time-honored processes. And our seamless integration of tradition and innovation means that we can deliver high-quality products at lightning speed for a fraction of the cost. We pride ourselves in our boundless creativity and our productivity. We can’t wait for your ideas to meet our capabilities.
ISOLATION TANK FOR MARVEL’S LUKE CAGE
The opportunity to build a machine that gives a superhero his superpowers does not come along often, so we were thrilled to get to build the Isolation Tank for Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix. The only assets we were provided were the original drawings from the 1970s comics, and the note that this should bridge the gap stylistically with the comic books and a more contemporary aesthetic for the 21st century. Our designers built this in many layers, first producing concept art, then drafting it in CAD. The tank was constructed using a combination of methods including CNC routing, 3D printing, and vacuum forming. The “scanning” ring arching over the tank travelled under its own power the entire length of the tank. It was driven by a remote-controlled Servomotor. The lighting for this piece had to be just right, so we used top-of-the-line RGB LEDs and drivers to allow the film crew to achieve the desired color and intensity without any flickering on camera. We also constructed a water-safe version of the tank that could be fully submerged on camera.
GLASS ROOM GLOBE FOR JOHN WICK 3
Every detail of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was carefully planned – from the fight choreography to the elaborate sets. We were tasked with creating the glass globe in the glass room fight scene. Our large-bed 5-axis router allowed us to rapidly cut the acrylic rings and baseplate from oversized 1-inch-thick sheets. The steel cage which supports the globe spins on 2 axes and was constructed using manual metal forming techniques including tig welding and manual metal lathe work. The brass edge band was engraved using our CNC router and joined at just the right circumference for a press fit via silver soldering.
“DREAM BIG” PGA TROPHY FOR CBS SPORTS
For the Super Bowl LII CBS Sports commercial, “Dream Big, Kid”, we created a replica of the PGA Wanamaker Trophy which was to be lifted by the main character in the commercial – a young boy that dreams big and wins several big sporting events. This meant that the prop needed to be lightweight regardless of its large size and contain the iconic intricate silversmithing characteristics it’s known for. The smooth cylindrical shapes of the trophy were router-cut in HDU foam, whereas the high-detailed filigree and acanthus leaves were 3D modeled and later 3D printed in ABS plastic. We used a UV flatbed printer to print the raised letters on a flexible medium which allowed them to take the shape of the round trophy shape. Once all of the parts were assembled, the prop was seamed, sanded, and primed for a silver spray chrome paint finish which resulted in a highly-realistic, shiny metal look. Lastly, the names of the trophy winners were applied to the trophy replica with a stencil and paint.
MOTORIZED TOILET CHARMIN ULTRASOFT
LIGHTHOUSE FOR LISEY’S STORY
This miniature lighthouse for the Apple TV series Lisey’s Story was inspired by the famous Tourlitis Lighthouse in Greece. The amount of engineering and artistry that goes into a prop is rarely noticed by the audience, but this project is indicative of the complexity of bringing a simple toy to the screen. On the engineering side, we worked closely with the show’s lighting department to ensure the director of photography approved of the lighting aspects. Determining a suitable heatsink, wiring harness, and power source to create the turning motion of the miniature Fresnel light at the top, all with a minimal amount of room inside the prop, meant that the interior geometry of the lighthouse was as intricate as the exterior. On the aesthetic side, we worked closely with the production designer to realize his vision of the prop, and how it fits into the story. This project was a fun challenge for our 3D modelers, who modeled the entire lighthouse and rock base in Rhino, one of the many programs we work in.
NACHO FRIES BRIEFCASE FOR TACO BELL
Who doesn’t love an over-the-top Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial? This was a fun project for our metal shop. Our expert machinists created a carefully tuned spring-actuated fry cup holder to get the french fries to pop up as the case opens. The surrounding foam was laser cut and the top plate, made from an aluminum composite panel, was CNC routed. Spy gear. Nacho Fries. Makes sense.