Tony Swatton

Last updated

Tony Swatton
Born
Hammersmith, London, England
Occupation Blacksmith
Website swordandstone.com

Tony Swatton is a British-American blacksmith and gemcutter from Hammersmith, London, England. He is best known for creating props for films and television programmes. He was also the host of the popular webseries, Man at Arms. [1]

Blacksmith person who creates wrought iron or steel products by forging, hammering, bending, and cutting

A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmiths produce objects such as gates, grilles, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils and weapons. The place where a blacksmith works is called variously a smithy, a forge or a blacksmith's shop.

Gemcutter profession

A gemcutter is a person who cuts, shapes, and polishes natural and synthetic gemstones. In historical use it usually refers to an artist who made hardstone carvings or engraved gems, a branch of miniature sculpture or ornament in gemstone.

Hammersmith district in west London, England

Hammersmith is a district of west London, England, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

Contents

History

Swatton is a self-educated blacksmith and a trained jeweller. [2] When he was young, he used to cut gems and later expanded his skillset to include silversmithing. When he was 15, he met Jody Samson who had worked on the Conan the Barbarian film, and started to swap gems with Samson for knives. Unable to afford a knife, Swatton made one out of a file and showed it to Samson. Samson told him that it would break easily, as he hadn't used the right metal or type of treatment. [3]

Silversmith craftsperson who makes objects from silver or gold

A silversmith is a metalworker who crafts objects from silver. The terms silversmith and goldsmith are not exactly synonyms as the techniques, training, history, and guilds are or were largely the same but the end product may vary greatly as may the scale of objects created.

Jody Samson was a knifemaker and bladesmith from Burbank, California who designed butterfly knives for Benchmade and the swords used in such movies as Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, First Knight, The Mask of Zorro, Blade, Blind Fury, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, and Streets of Fire.

<i>Conan the Barbarian</i> (1982 film) 1982 Fantasy movie

Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 American epic sword and sorcery film directed and co-written by John Milius. It is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a pulp-fiction writer of the 1930s, about the adventures of the eponymous character in a fictional world of dark magic and savagery. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones, and tells the story of a young muscular barbarian warrior named Conan (Schwarzenegger), who seeks vengeance for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (Jones), the leader of a snake cult. Buzz Feitshans and Raffaella De Laurentiis produced the film for her father Dino De Laurentiis, with Edward R. Pressman as an executive producer. Basil Poledouris composed the music.

When he was 17, Swatton attended a renaissance fair where he observed another blacksmith making armour. Swatton then made copies of the blacksmith's equipment and used them to make his own helmet. When he was 26, he opened his first shop in North Hollywood called Sword and Stone where he sold products to Euro Disney and Michael Jackson. In 1991, he was employed to do his first film work on Hook. [3] [2] Between 1994 and 1998, Samson worked in Swatton's shop. [3]

Michael Jackson American singer, songwriter and dancer

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

<i>Hook</i> (film) 1991 film by Steven Spielberg

Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo. It stars Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Robin Williams as Peter Banning / Peter Pan, Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell, Bob Hoskins as Mr. Smee and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy. It acts as a sequel to J. M. Barrie's 1911 novel Peter and Wendy focusing on an adult Peter Pan who has forgotten all about his childhood. In his new life, he is known as Peter Banning, a successful but unimaginative and workaholic corporate lawyer with a wife and two children. However, when Captain Hook, the enemy of his past, kidnaps his children, he returns to Neverland in order to save them. Along the journey, he reclaims the memories of his past and becomes a better person.

Webseries

Swatton was involved in Man at Arms after he was approached by the director. The director was looking for a blacksmith who could create twelve particular weapons and approached Swatton. Swatton accepted as he had previously built prop versions of several of the weapons that had been listed to be created by the director. [3] In the webseries, Swatton created real versions of fictional weapons and armour. Some of his creations included the Zenith Blade from League of Legends [4] and Wolverine's claws from X-Men . [5] The last episode featuring the creations of Tony aired in June 2014.

<i>League of Legends</i> Multiplayer online battle arena video game

League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and macOS. The game follows a freemium model and is supported by microtransactions, and was inspired by the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod, Defense of the Ancients.

Wolverine (character) Comic book character

Wolverine is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, mostly in association with the X-Men. He is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor, and three retractable claws in each hand. Wolverine has been depicted variously as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and the Avengers.

X-Men is an American superhero film series based on the fictional superhero team of the same name, who originally appeared in a series of comic books created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and published by Marvel Comics. 20th Century Fox obtained the film rights to the characters in 1994, and after numerous drafts, Bryan Singer was hired to direct the first film, released in 2000, and its sequel, X2 (2003), while Brett Ratner directed X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).

Beginning in April 2015, Swatton has starred in Blizzard Entertainment's intermittent Azeroth Armory webseries, in which he forges iconic weapons from the Warcraft video game series, with episodes typically released as part of the marketing push for new World of Warcraft expansions. [6]

Blizzard Entertainment video game publisher and developer

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California, and is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., then Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.

Warcraft is a franchise of video games, novels, and other media created by Blizzard Entertainment. The series is made up of five core games: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone. The first three of these core games are in the real-time strategy genre, where opposing players command virtual armies in battle against each other or a computer-controlled enemy. The fourth and best-selling title of the franchise is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), where players control their character and interact with each other in a virtual world. The most recent title is Hearthstone, a digital collectible card game.

<i>World of Warcraft</i> video game by Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the Warcraft fantasy universe. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game was announced in 2001, and was released for the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise on November 23, 2004. Since launch, World of Warcraft has had seven major expansion packs released for it: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion, and Battle for Azeroth.

Personal

Swatton has a fiancée. [2] In 2013, he obtained American citizenship. [7] Swatton was once a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism but left after other members wouldn't acknowledge hits on them from Swatton in mock battles, which led to him having to use force which caused Swatton to leave because he said he didn't want to be a bully. [8]

Society for Creative Anachronism nonprofit organization

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century. A quip often used within the SCA describes it as a group devoted to the Middle Ages "as they ought to have been", choosing to "selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us". Founded in 1966, the non-profit educational corporation has over 30,000 paid members as of 2017 with about 60,000 total participants in the society.

Film credits

Swatton has been credited and even gone uncredited in many films and TV shows for his contribution to the props departments, making weapons or armour for them, some of the credited performances that he has been given are as follows:

YearTitleCredit
2012 The Hunger Games weapons: props – uncredited
2011 Thor props
2011 Sucker Punch weapons
2010 Alice in Wonderland sword maker – uncredited
2007 Beowulf weapons
2007 Epic Movie weapon fabricator
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sword maker
2005 Into the Blue sword maker
2005 The Legend of Zorro sword maker
2004 Hellboy sword maker
2004 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed armorer
2004 Spider-Man 2 knife maker
2004 Blade: Trinity armorer
2004 Van Helsing armorer
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl sword maker
2003 The Last Samurai sword maker
2003 The Matrix Reloaded sword maker
2003 Jeepers Creepers 2 armourer
2003 Holes knife maker
2002 The Ring jeweller
2002 Spider-Man sword maker
2002 Men in Black 2 sword maker – uncredited
2001 Ocean's Eleven jeweller – uncredited
2001 Rush Hour 2 sword maker
2000 The Patriot sword maker
2000 Rules of Engagement knife maker
1999 Angel weapons
1998 Blade sword maker – uncredited
1997 Spawn armourer
1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer weapons
1997 Face/Off knife maker
1996 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996 TV series) sword maker
1996 The Crow: City of Angels knife maker
1996 The Cable Guy armourer – uncredited
1995 Casper armourer
1994 The shadow helmet maker
1993 Hot Shots! Part Deux sword maker
1991 Hook sword maker – uncredited

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References

  1. Montgomery, Leland (10 May 2013). "Man at Arms: A Blacksmith goes viral". Paste. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 McLauchlin, James (28 March 2013). "When Hollywood Needs Shiny Instruments of Death, This Blacksmith Delivers". Wired. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Rothman, Lily (18 March 2013). "Forging His Way: Q&A with Hollywood Blacksmith Tony Swatton". Time. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  4. "Man at Arms forges the Zenith Blade". Na.leagueoflegends.com. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. "Tony Swatton Makes His Own Wolverine Claws". HuffPost. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  6. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY0KbDiiFYeMPuz_b3UAHn_l6geVVH9wfM
  7. "Captain America's Shield". 29 April 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013 via YouTube.
  8. "Really Heavy Metal – Meet Man at Arms weapons master Tony Swatton". Geek exchange. 7 April 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.