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Don Coleman, Our Most Precious Support

Don Coleman is an American master prop maker, puppeteer, and special effects artist based in Burbank, California. He grew up in Culver City, right next to the M.G.M. Studios backlots where the scenes from The Time Machine were filmed. What will mark his life. As prop fabrication supervisor for Makeup & Effects Laboratories (MEL), he worked on several props seen on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) such as the tech cube and enhancement module in the episode "Ship in a Bottle" and the portable piano in "Lessons". He also worked for MEL as an operator of the Andorian antennae animatronics on several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005). [1] 

As a prop maker and puppeteer, Coleman worked on the action film Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983), the television series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1987), the comedy Get Smart, Again! (1989), the fantasy sequel Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (1991), the video game adaptation Super Mario Bros. (1993), the horror film Skeeter (1993), the science fiction film Alien Intruder (1993), the adventure Storybook (1994), the science fiction film T-Force (1994), the science fiction film Cyber Tracker (1994), the action film Steel Frontier (1995), the action film The Viking Sagas (1995), the comedy Spy Hard (1996), the science fiction drama Deep Impact (1998), and the comic adaptation Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Although uncredited, Don also worked on Alien: Resurrection (1997) and Stuart Little (1999) as a special effects technician, and Virus (1999) as a prop maker. [1] [2]

Don Coleman's second full scale Time Machine replica in his workshop. A third and a fourth machines are currently under construction.

Don Coleman appears as himself in the documentary films Super Mario Bros: This Ain't No Video Game (1994) and How to Build a Time Machine (2016). For institutions or private clients, Don reproduced many vintage props like the helmet and accessories of the "rocket-man" Commando Cody in the TV serials Radar Men from the Moon and Zombies of the Stratosphere from Republic Pictures; he also built a copy of Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet, and two full-scale amazingly faithful replicas of the unforgettable sled-like time machine prop seen in George Pal’s movie, as well as three life-size hyper-realistic Morlocks (soon, they'll be four, Don said). He’s currently working on two more copies of the iconic temporal vehicle, one for a client and another one for himself, finally.

Rod Taylor and Don Coleman met at the Hollywood Collector's Show in April 2002.

But Don is also a "Time Machine Historian" and a great collector of many items and photographs related to George Pal's masterpiece. With his wife Mary, they have created the Time Machine Project, a very informative and entertaining website that provides extensive references related to the movie and many information about H. G. Wells novel, its sequels, adaptations, Simon Wells' remake, or even the machine prop itself. Since the day Don kindly wrote us to comment on some details about the photos presented in these pages (as it happens, a gentleman of the 19th-century could have actually worn a wristwatch, but only in Hollywood...) he has never ceased to generously help us with his immense knowledge of the subject which interests us here.

Above all, more than giving us invaluable pieces of information, he showed and lent us some extremely rare pictures from his personal collection, giving his consent to present these treasures on our website. We wish to warmly thank him for all the selfless help he gave us and thanks to which we have been able to make tremendous progress in our research.

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Don Coleman,

Our Most Precious Support