Meet Dave Butler: Owner of Buffalo Props, Production Designer, Scenic Painter, and New Cuber!
This is a special spotlight for me because I’ve known Dave for the last few years and this spotlight was a wonderful excuse to reconnect. We met him on a feature, Looks That Kill, in Syracuse where he was painting a giant opossum mascot on the wall of the gym (and who can really top an intro like that).
Dave is a wonderful, talented, and humble human; he makes the impossible happen and keeps his imagination flowing. For Looks That Kill, there was a dream sequence where a character walks down the hall of a hospital and it morphs into a funeral home hallway. He dreamed up and shared his idea of a tear-stained transition from the pasty yellow walls to the elaborate purple wallpaper.
He has worked on everything from elaborate theatrical pieces, intense video art installations, and your neighborhood play’s backdrops.
Dave shared that for him this year has been “frighteningly eye open - everyone needs arts in every form” and what he’s really excited about is the new form art will take. Over the years, he has been a part of the cutting-edge art scene up in Buffalo at Albright-Knox Art Gallery and he was able to see all different creatives take flight. They held an annual event that took on a life of its own. One of the investors eventually adapted one of the pieces into Sleep No More, the interactive play experience in Chelsea.
Within this event, they were always spearheading new creations; there was even an 18’ in diameter motorized plate with multiple plant clay sculptures that, when it spun, it looked like the plant was growing. The structure was almost like a large zoetrope (zoetrope reference below).
He knows we always need to create and feed that part of ourselves. He shared that even though we have great limitations right now, it opens us up to the possibility of great variations of theater and dance that will come next!
With his own business, Buffalo Props, iBuffalo Props all started from his deep love for the Buffalo area and to see the film world evolve up there. He has studied, created a home, built his career, and has given back to Buffalo (he painted the sign on the left!). Now overnight it feels like Buffalo has become a production hub. With the newer productions, there is a sound stage that popped up over the last few years and within the next year they will have a total of three. He formed his Prop House, Buffalo Props, with his partner, Seth, and their colleague, Amy, where they create and find obscure pieces, plus some fixer-uppers. He’s always up for the challenge of a project! You can check out their current collection for bespoke finds.
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David Allen Butler is a Buffalo-based artist and designer with three decades of experience in the design of Film, TV, Theater and Dance, custom art, and murals. PRO Creation boasts a 2600 sq. ft. scene shop in Buffalo, NY, that has produced everything from period cargo ships, and opera sets to talking rabbits.
Buffalo's Premier Prop House
Located on the third floor of a historic auto factory, and department store warehouse,
Buffalo Props is a full service prop house located in Buffalo, NY. Our continuously growing stock runs the gamut from period lamps and hand props to telephone booths, phones, chairs, clearance free art, holiday decor, radios, medical equipment and more. Our prop collection is born from over three decades of theater, dance and film production, a deep and focused love of the story being told, and supplying you with the best props for it. We are also ready to create custom props and set pieces for your production or commercial work. This site is boasts a full selection of rentable props with a click and rent option for every item. Because we are in Buffalo, a city rich in American history as well as a burgeoning film town we can take the time and supply quality props, quickly and efficiently to satisfy your needs.