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Lunenburg bladesmith makes props for some of Hollywood's biggest moviemakers

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LUNENBURG, N.S. -

Rick Marchand of Lunenburg has been a bladesmith for over 15 years and his sharp skills landed him gigs working with some of Hollywood's biggest moviemakers.

Marchand met master bladesmith Wally Hayes through music, and showed him a couple of knives he had made.

"He said, 'they look pretty good, you want to learn how to do it for real,'" Marchand said. "We worked together for about three years."

A few years ago, Marchand received an e-mail from one of 20th Century Fox's prop masters, asking him if he'd be interested in making knives for Planet of the Apes.

"I didn't know how they found me, but apparently they had a crew that were scouring the internet looking for the aesthetic they wanted and my name came up at the top of the list and they hadn't asked anybody else," Marchand said. "I took it on."

He's also done some work for Disney when the same props company he had worked with before was working on the new Jungle Cruise movie featuring Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.

"I made the machete -- the emails we had back and forth were titled 'hero machete,' so I was really hopeful that, you know, it would show up on the screen," Marchand said.

They sent him a wood cutout that said "JC – The Big Guy" and then asked for something a little bit larger

"I'm thinking 'they're scaling it to The Rock, right, he's a big guy," Marchand said. "So we ended up with a machete that I sure can't swing at anything, but it seems to fit him."

Marchand said you can see it early in the movie as it shows up in flashes, and he recalls giggling at the time.

"But when they had the fight scene, I kind of almost came out of my seat with a "Yes!'" Marchand said. "And I'm sure people around us were wondering what the heck was going on, but I wasn't exactly going to start handing out cards to everybody but it was it was a cool experience."

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