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From Scythes to Jagerclaws: Behind the Props of NBC’s 'Grimm'

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Creating the Props for a Dark and Magical TV World
From Scythes to Jagerclaws: Behind the Props of NBC’s 'Grimm'

At the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2012, visitors got a glimpse of a meticulous recreation of Aunt Marie's Trailer, one of the most important and beautifully designed sets on NBC's "Grimm" -- and the home of many of its coolest props.

NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- GRIMM at Tin Fish -- Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

If you know the difference between a Blutbad, a Fuchsbau, a Spinnetod and a Jagerbar, then you must be a fan of the fantasy-suspense TV show "Grimm," which airs on NBC on Fridays at 10 p.m.

“Grimm” is a modern suspense series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales in which Portland homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers that he is descended from an elite line of criminal creature profilers known as "Grimms." He's soon charged with keeping balance between humanity and the "Wesens," the mythological creatures of the world unknown to most humans, while hiding his identity from his girlfriend and co-workers. With help from his confidant Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), a Blutbad and a Wesen himself, Nick must navigate through the forces of a larger-than-life mythology, protect the good, face off with the evil, and research his own mysterious past.

Bringing TV viewers into its distinctive world is the show's talented production and creative team, and while I personally love several aspects of the show (not least its underrated cast and the writing's sly sense of humor), I'm a special sucker for the show's wonderful props and sets.

I got the chance to get some insights recently into creating the world of the show from Drew Pinniger, the talented property master for "Grimm," and through an interview by e-mail (just in time for the show's return on Monday, August 13, 2012), Drew provided some fascinating glimpses behind the scenes of one of NBC's most distinctive and creative shows. Drew's previous experience in television is extensive, including work on props, set construction, set dressing and more on such films as Gone, Coraline, Feast of Love, Be Cool, Snow Falling on Cedars, Assassins, The Favor, Return to Lonesome Dove, American Heart, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and many more.

With its blend of fantasy, horror, mystery, and that ever-present dash of dark fairytale magic, "Grimm" is unlike anything else on television. Offering viewers a lush and visually distinctive world (with a treasure-trove of props for Pinniger and others to create), the show's creative and beautiful props, production design, and set décor are a big part of what sets it apart.

ANGELA MITCHELL: Hi Drew, thanks for taking the time to chat with me about your work on "Grimm."

First off, kudos to you, production designers Paul Eads, Michael Wylie and the other designers and set decorators at "Grimm" for one of the most visually beautiful shows on TV. Everything from Monroe's home to Aunt Marie's trailer to the apothecary shop is so richly and wonderfully realized.

DREW PINNIGER: Thanks, Angela -- we have had great people leading the art department from Day One, right up to the present.

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