Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Hey, Vanity Fair, I'm Zach King. And over the years, I've gotten to amass fun collection of props that I've used in my magic videos. Like this one, the giant toy car. So I'll take you in the studio, show you around. [whooshing] [upbeat music] [whooshing] All right. So this is my office and this is where I not only work, but also keep some of my favorite things throughout my childhood and little things that have inspired me, as well as memorabilia from my videos. Like this one, the souvenir of France. It's a Vine video where I grab it and take the Eiffel tower. Merci beaucoup. The fun part about working with miniatures to me is it's really tactile. It's something you can grab, you can play with, you could block in the frame, but it also means you have to get it 100% perfect. So that means your distance from this to the camera, but also the item in the background has to be perfect. So you're lining up these three different elements and it's fun, but it takes a ton of time to get it perfect. If it's not perfect, you know, you gotta fly back to France and re-shoot. One of my favorite videos that I've done on TikTok was based on one of my favorite books growing up, "Harry Potter." Of course, everyone wants to be able to fly on a broomstick. So we created this illusion where, with a mirror and the broomstick and pants glued to it, it looked like I could be floating. [gentle music] You know, there's always challenges when we're filming. The hardest one on that video is we were riding and we'd chipped the mirror a little bit or the Boosted board like, dance between the cameraman and myself in the videos is always an intense choreography, and that one especially, because I'm on an electric skateboard and I have to control that as well as hold this rig of the mirror and the broomstick and the pants, which is actually rather heavy, with one hand. It's fun though, when you get that choreography down, it feels like you just had an amazing dance, and you know, the video turned out awesome, I love it. I also love exploring ideas that kind of bend reality. And a good example of that is this chair, which I keep in my office. It looks like a regular chair, right? But if I sit down, it's not quite a regular chair, it's actually what we call an illusion chair. So it's based on the perspective of where the camera is. It's actually, as you can see, a bunch of curved cut wood perfectly to line up just from one single angle over there. So there's a lot of meticulous work that goes up front in designing these illusions, from sketches, design, 3D blueprints, and CAD models. And that's only half of it. Then we take that into reality. When you're talking about making a piece of furniture or a set, you actually have to just line up the camera, and have it there during the entire construction process. And it's a bummer because a lot of times you end up building it and if you didn't line up the camera right, you have to redo it. So you gotta be detail-oriented. So this next room that we're gonna be going to is one of my favorites in the studio. It stores some really fun treats. Let's go check it out. [whooshing] Okay. So this is special room because this is where we store our medium to large props. Now, we store the extra small props in a special other room, which I'll show you in a second. So what you see in here is pretty much all the props I've used over the years ranging from snack items, like this giant Oreo here. We've got this little miniature plane. I was thinking about the name of the Wright brothers, you know, who were some of the first inventors of flight. And I was like, wouldn't be funny if there was like, what if there was a wrong brother, like what was his invention have been like, and he would take a miniature, wind it up, throw it. And then the plane would circle back and it'd become real. And it would almost crash into him. That's where that idea came from. So I got this prop online the night before we had the shoot. It arrived and I thought it came assembled, like ready to go out of the box. But no, I had to build this, it actually took me hours. And look, there's even a complicated rubber band system to how they make these spin and turn on. I spent way too much time Super Gluing and burning my fingers making this. But you know, that actually happens a lot. I always try to look in the fine print when I'm buying props online now, it's like, is it prebuilt? That is absolutely key if possible. Now a lot of the props that we make here are actually made in-house using design and 3D printers like this one. So I wanted do a video where I was playing catch with myself. I would throw it this way and then catch it close up to frame with this small little football. And you can see, this one is actually just a perfectly printed replica and we'll paint it brown. It's all hand-painted with the little Wilson logo there. But it's fun that we can make things really accurate to size and just to the size that we need so it's at the right distance from camera. You know, my videos tap into a lot of different themes and one of 'em tends to be games and sports. So I've got things that are golf clubs. I've got little mini bikes. I've even got, this is a special one, because I did a video with Tony Hawk where I was skateboarding, showing him a skateboard trick. And during the trick it transitions to this little miniature. And he actually signed this one for us, so that's cool. Some props are a mix of 3D-printed as a base, and then covered with fabric, like this one that was used in a safety video commercial we got to do for an airline. And this is actually, really amazing craftsmanship. All real zippers done. And in terms of the 3D printing, like things like this, my team will do that. They'll design it in 3D software like in CAD, and then we'll 3D print it. And we'll usually do several different sizes so that when we show up on set, we don't know exactly where the position's gonna be, based on it could be a different camera. It could be a different lens that we're using that day. So it's crazy amount of work, but we make three or four different versions just to scale the size. This one was a completely custom design where it's a little penguin. We needed to do an illusion which was having the audience guess which belly color of the penguin is darker. And so we printed a series of these to show off just little tricks that your mind and your eyes play on you, even though it's not reality. When we're designing these tricks that actually play off of real life principles, such as color illusions, where it has to trick your mind, those take a lot of time 'cause we actually have to have all of our team and our friends go through these surveys and seeing what really works, and what's the science behind it. And again, if that doesn't work for somebody out of the 99, and there's one person that doesn't work for, we still try to engineer it so every single person that sees it can have the same effect. So things like color illusions are difficult to create. I think a lot of people, if they were to come here, they'd be like, "You love these miniatures and dollhouses stuff." And it kind of looks like that because we have a miniature house set that we just used in a recent video. And it's got a mailbox, and what we did is, in the video, I walk up and I ended up realizing I'm really large. And you see that this was scaled down, but it was like a forced perspective trick. And I come down and grab the mail. But then the twist on it was when I turn around to go inside the house, the house was miniature. That video took us literally months to concept and block. We'd go out to the park for an afternoon, figure out what was wrong, come back. And I think we did that several times. And finally, we went out and shot it. And we just had a bunch of teenagers standing out there eyeballing us, looking, giving us the strangest looks. It sounds so ridiculous but the reason this video took months and months to do and multiple attempts is because we actually just needed the certain level of grading on the field. We needed a field that went down just like an inch every two feet. And we actually spent a lot of time, our team, looking for that field. And so we found a field, finally made it happen. But yeah, the smallest little variables in our videos make a big difference, such as the grade of the field. People chalk up a lot of our videos to CG and it's, "Oh, it's a CG house that they replaced," but no, it's actually real, it has real windows and doors. And that gives it a tactile feel. That's the reason I got into filmmaking is because everything was real. I'd watch "Jurassic Park" and "Indiana Jones" and you knew those tanks were real, and you knew the dinosaurs, they have real creatures that they were interacting with. And that's why I love film because you can feel it on set. You're not walking onto to a green screen room, and just pretending. This is a special deck of cards because, I made this video with my kids where it looked like we were creating a house of cards in the foreground, but then one of my sons walks around in the background and knocks it over. We came up with this concept pretty last minute. So I just told one of my producers, "Hey, we gotta spray paint the symbols. "And what we do is we'll lay out these poster boards "and then project the image, "and then we'll trace it with paint "and create stencils and then spray paint it." It's always fun to have large items. [cards crashing] That's a house of cards for ya. Sometimes I'm surfing the internet and I'll just see this giant thing. And I'll be like, "I don't know what that's for, "but I'm gonna buy it." And so we bought this giant beach ball. So far, no ideas have come to mind yet, but I think, I think something cool will come out of that. That also goes for things like this giant watch. I mean, obviously you need to tell time, but do you really need a watch this big? I don't know what this is for. That's the beauty of ideas, for me, I do just randomly buy things online if it feels like I could get some future inspiration from that. That's why there's such an eclectic range of items still here that we haven't shot with. So out of all the rooms in the studio, this room is by far my favorite. I've actually only been inside once 'cause it requires a big shrinkage process. This is where we house our extra small props. Take a look inside. [bright music] Oh, there's, there's Lucas in there, hi Lucas.