Wednesday, July 6, 2011

PROP: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Journal

Ok, so I have been reading up on the Jules Verne style of the old Steam-Pulp stories. When I got a copy of the movie I saw that there was something unique in the props for the character of the Professor; his journal.

Immediately I sprang to work on tearing apart how it's made. Like an arrow from a bow, I snagged some screen shots and thanks to some Photoshop work I think they're clear enough I can tear apart the design.

The first thing that I saw was that it has a snap closure on a flap that folds over the journal's cover; not an uncommon feature since you want to protect the pages and such.

The left cover, apparently wooden, is longer than the pages by almost six to seven inches. This extra width in the board to cover not only the pages but also the small 'box' that's attached to the rear board.

This 'box' is designed to hold ink wells and dip pens - the most common writing medium of the film's period. I have a better picture of what the box looks like below but for now let's concentrate on how the designer has incorporated it into the cover.

Two hinged flaps extend from the head and the foot of the rear cover that can fold over the box presumably to protect it from wear and tear.

The two flaps, somewhat shown here in a capture that I tried to blow up large enough to see, just fold over the 'box' or 'tray' of writing materials and the actual closure flap would close off the third side with the paper covering the fourth.

The character of the professor is shown opening the head and foot flaps so that he can access the ink wells and dip pens in the open box / tray inside.

The pages of the journal almost look like they're stab-bound. A stab-bound journal would seem to make sense since you're basically writing things in it that will be pulled out and later organized into whatever research you're working on. I would almost say that this design of journal is more like a captain's log.

This is the good shot of what the inside of the journal looks like. The writing tray has the two ink wells and a few dip pens for writing. You can clearly see the tab that extends out of the head of the rear cover as well as the closure flap that would close over the front board.

I like that in this case, they covered the tabs with some marbled paper and the tray is apparently felted.

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