Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Minas Gerais, Brazil where my mom is also from, and my dad is from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. I went to college in Barcelona, Spain before moving to Los Angeles in 2013.
What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? As a Prop Master, being the head of the Property Department, I’m in charge of overseeing the research, breakdown, budgeting, design, acquisition, fabrication, and the safe usage of props on set. Prop Masters also work closely with the Set Decorator and Costume Designer because we
essentially create a “bridge” between the character’s personal style and their spaces.
How did you begin working in the industry?
I started with both PA’ing in the art department, as well as doing lots of custom prop fabrications (self-taught!). Then I slowly started getting pulled into operating / resetting my custom practical props on-set more and more, while working under wonderful experienced prop masters who showed me how to run the Prop Department. A really amazing Mexican Production Designer pushed me to get the experience needed to get into the union, and the rest is history!
What made you want to work in your department?
I absolutely love the variety - one day it’s custom dog collars, another period-accurate license plates, food graphics for a comedy gag, cocktails in the brand’s color palette, a totally worn-out and written-in notebook, a trunk full of porn magazines, fake edible drugs, breakaway furniture, realistic driver’s licenses, custom working musical instruments… I’ll stop now!
Are there any films that inspired you to start working in television and film?
Definitely Amélie - most people remember the gnome as the main prop, but the tin full of memorabilia that she finds (which propels the whole story), her neighbor’s stack of love letters, and her love interest’s photo album are just some of my all time favorite props EVER! And Moonrise Kingdom is a forever prop inspiration but who doesn’t love Wes Anderson’s style?
What has been your favorite project to work on?
That’s a pretty difficult one for me because I don’t work in one genre - I do commercials, music videos, features, and sometimes television! I take on projects that either have a really
interesting visual concept, complex characters, a comedic slant, or ideally all three!
What advice would you give someone?
Three things: pay attention, be positive, and be energetic! Most things about set work you can learn by just being on set, but it’s important to always be paying attention to your supervisors, ask questions when you don’t know something, and be ready to help out at a moment’s notice! Having a multi-tool and some sharpies on you won’t hurt either ;)
What inspires you?
Both the Production Designers I work for and my magical team of Prop Assistants! The designers always bring such a strong vision to their work, they inspire me to get the props just right and know what vibe they want each object to have while trusting me to make it happen! And a Prop Master is nothing without a strong team and I feel so incredibly lucky to have assembled a group of Prop Assistants who have such unique specialties, skills, and passions that they bring to the department! What are you working on these days?
Recently it’s been mostly commercials and music videos, which are covered by NDAs otherwise I’d share more information!