Hot Props & SFX Posts

How To: Make a Tommy Gun out of cardboard

This video begins by showing the necessary tools needed to make a prop tommy gun out of a cardboard base. The first step is to trace a simple handle shape on the cardboard and repeat eight more times until you have eight exact copies of the handle. Then using an image of a tommy gun make an outline on the gun to cut in another piece of cardboard. You must cut and make eight more copies of the entire gun body to have the appropriate thickness for realism. The handle must be glued to the gun bo...

How To: Jump over a car with film effects & tricks

In this tutorial, we learn how to jump over a car with film effects & tricks. First, you will take a long shot of someone pretending like they are jumping over a car, make sure they add in excitement. After this, you will take a long shot of a car driving over in the same area. Now, load your clips and add in the image of the person jumping with the image of the car. After this, use the magic tool to add them both in the same scene, then you will have a great film effect that makes it look li...

How To: Create a black eye with cinema makeup

In this video, we learn how to create a black eye with cinema makeup. First, you will need black makeup, black eyeliner, and a sponge. Start out by applying purple shadow with a flat brush on the sockets on the bottom of the eye. Apply this down until you reach the top of the cheekbone. Start to pat on a light dusting of black eyeshadow on the same area. After this, start rubbing purple and pink colors into the cheek area and dark brown on the top of the eye. After this, rub the purple on the...

How To: Create a realistic, severe burn using cinema makeup

In this tutorial, we learn how to create a realistic, severe burn using cinema makeup. You will need to start out with unflavored gelatin made to be placed on the skin to create texture and a glossy look for blood. Start by applying the gelatin to the face with a flat wood stick for makeup. Apply in strokes so you have a textured look, not just smooth. Give this time to cool and set, then apply different colors of makeup onto the gelatin with a brush. Use browns, purples, and reds to create a...

How To: Build your own DIY police taser for your film

If you remember in the Hangover, there was an incredibly funny scene where the guys were stuck getting out of going to prison by helping the officers demonstrate a police tazer in front of a group of kids on a school field trip. If you've ever wanted to make your own prop police tazer for one of your films, check out this hilarious and informative video! In it, you will learn how to create your own police tazer!

How To: Make fake prop plague boils on the skin

Boils are the most visible symptoms of many nasty plagues. They make a person look pretty monestrous and will pretty reliably keep other people at arm's reach. This video will show you how to make a latex appliance of a skin boil, paint it to make it even more boilish, then apply it to the skin of a fried or actor. It looks so real, you might get sent to a plague colony.

How To: Create a man-eating plant and a severed finger props

This video will teach you how to make two awesome props for you films for the price of one! Well, technically it's all free, but still, 2 for 1! You will learn how to make man-eating plant and a severed finger props, with instructions given by devoted viewers of Indy Mogul like you. All you need to make this stuff work is $35 for each project.

How To: Make a fake single barrel pump-action shotgun prop

Shotguns are great for obliterating things that are close to you. Single barrel pump-action shotguns are the one most readily available to most folks, and if you want to depict one in one of your films without buying one or risking injury to your actors, this video will help you. It will show you how to make a prop shotgun out of cardboard and some other tools that looks pretty realistic and will let you shoot with guns without risking shooting anyone.

How To: Make a cardboard replica prop of any gun

Cardboard is not the most sturdy of building materials, but it is cheap, abundant, and somewhat rigid. That's all you need to make this awesome prop. This video will show you how to make cardboard replica or prop of just about any gun, in this case a Glock handgun. It looks surprisingly real and is very cheap to make, so if you need a gun for your film or costume and don't have money or carpentry skills, this gun should fulfill your needs.

How To: Make a car-mounted rocket launcher prop for a film

Do you want to make your own action movies? Do you feel like your artistic vision would be enhanced by having a car with a rocket launcher on top of it in the film? You aren't alone. This video will show you how to make a car-mounted rocket launcher for $20 dollars out of simple materials. It won't blow up another car, but it will look really cool.

How To: Make a blood burst machine for film

Alright, so you have some fake blood, and you want to use it in your movie. Unless you are showing a wound after it has happened, and if you want to do anything depicting people getting shot, you are going to have to find a way to make the blood "shoot" out of the wound when it happens. This video features instructions for making a homemade blood burst machine that you can use to make your actors spurt blood when they get shot, sliced, or whatever else you plan on making happen to them.

How To: Make a military-style night vision goggles prop

Night vision goggles are one of the iconic pieces of equipment of the modern military. Getting a real pair is prohibitively expensive, especially if you just want to use it as a prop in your film instead of actually seeing at night. This video features instructions for making your own set of prop night vision goggles for cheap, giving any action or spy movie that you are making a much more modern, authentic feel. Also, now your characters can see at night, opening up all sorts of potential sc...

How To: Create a zombie bite special effect for film or tv

In this episode of Indy Mogul's "YourFX", learn how to make a zombie bite special effect. Indy Mogul's Backyard FX features cheap, DIY filmmaking tips and tutorials including special effects, props, and camera equipment. Be sure to search WonderHowTo for more videos from Indy Mogul and for more tutorials on building stage props as well as creating realistic film effects!

How To: Make a Bigfoot costume for film or Halloween

This fun video shows you how to make an inexpensive Bigfoot costume for Halloween. You will need an old pair of shoes, an old wig, a bald cap, brown makeup, crepe hair, old newspaper, a foam head, a few spray paint lids, a bottle of spirit gum, liquid latex, and modeling clay. This should cost you less than $30. First build up the shape of the face on the styrofoam head with clay. Make sure to add ugly details to your face like a large nose and brow ridge. Next, add seven to ten even layers o...

How To: Make a breakable baseball bat movie prop

There are plenty of films out there with baseball bats, but if you want your bat to explode on impact, you'll have to make it yourself. A smashable baseball bat is perfect for any gangster flick or sports movie. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a breakable baseball bat movie prop.

How To: Make a fake movie prop brick

A fake brick is a great movie prop for any action film. You can break through brick walls, smash a brick in two, or throw a brick at someone without being charged with murder. The majority of this fake brick is made of foam. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a fake movie prop brick.

How To: Build a sci-fi cryo containment chamber

Making a prop for a science fiction movie? This how-to video dives step by step guidance on how to build a super cool, futuristic, sci-fi, cryo containment chamber. You will need a cylindrical object, craft foam or sytrofoam, a hot glue gun, plaster of Paris, aquarium line tubing, and paint. Check out this video prop-making tutorial and learn how to build a great sci-fi like cryogenic containment chamber.

How To: Make a flying crank ghost on Halloween

Check out this Halloween tutorial video to learn how to make a flying crank ghost. This is essentially like making a big Marionette ghost puppet. All you need is the following easy to find materials: a styrofoam skull, 7 wire coat hangers, black spary paint, pliers, cheese cloth, tacky glue, and laundry detergent. This flying crank ghost promises to be a delightful scare on Halloween trick or treaters!

How To: Make a cheap corpse head prop for Halloween

Dr Kreepy, Halloween crafter, shows how to obtain a rotting head without killing someone! For this project, you will need a skull, paintbrushes, liquid latex, black spray paint, brown paint, and cotton balls. Watch this video prop-making tutorial and learn how to make a cheap corpse prop head for Halloween.

How To: Make a Latex Skull Mold to Make a Plaster Skull

Dr Kreepy, Halloween craftsmen, shows a cheap and easy way to make full and partial skulls from Plaster of Paris! For this project, you will need a plastic skull, cheese cloth, a paintbrush, melting latex, anchoring cement, and Plaster of Paris. Watch this video special effects tutorial and learn how to build a latex skull mold to make plaster skulls or skull fragements.

How To: Build a zombie explosive head

How do you kill a zombie? Shoot it in the head, of course! Watch this instructional video to learn how to make a blow-up zombie head. This is the first in a 3 part tutorial that teaches you how to build a zombie head that can be rigged to explode. A great effect, for a microscopic budget!

How To: Make realistic looking prop swords

So you want to make a film, and in that film you want to have a sword, but you can't buy one, not to mention real ones are pretty dangerous. Your insurance costs will go through the roof! Well, here's you solution. Check out this helpful two-part video tutorial on how to make your own prop swords, which means less dangerous swords. Actually, they're made out of metal, so you still might just somebody with them yet.

How To: Build a laser weapon

Sometimes you need more than a handgun or phaser. Erik at Indy Mogul teaches you how to make a laser cannon in the likeness of the BFG9000 from Doom for under $20. He'll also show you how to make laser cannon special fx for your film.

How To: Make fake blood and scary props

In this Halloween props video series, learn how to make fake blood and other Halloween props from Halloween expert Matt Cail. Matt will show you how to make fake blood for Halloween, using corn syrup and food coloring. He will teach you how to make Halloween props such as fake arms, and how to stuff the arms to give a realistic effect.

How To: Make convincing fake bruises

Ever wonder how actors get bruises that look so real? Learn how to make these bruises and start your own visual effects for movies. Perfect for beginners or advanced make up artists, create real looking bruises for your next Halloween costume. Make convincing fake bruises.

How To: Build a Star Wars Lightsaber (Infographic)

There are many ways to make a lightsaber. You can turn a flashlight into a steampunk lightsaber, you can make a lightsaber from junk, and you can make one that looks totally real (if you've got the money and time). Heck, you can even make one in Photoshop. And now you can make one using an infographic! Who doesn't like infographics? This infographic by Herbert Pocket, which may or may not have been inspired by this lightsaber infographic, will show you the quick route to making a Star Wars wo...