Hot Props & SFX Posts

How To: Make a fake brain

This video from Backyard FX and Indy Mogul shows you how to make a fake brain. Making a brain is not hard but it does take time and creativity. You can make cauliflower brains, gelatin brains or the one I am going to show you out of bread and glue.

How To: Build your own prop shotgun

In this tutorial, we learn how to build your own prop shotgun. To make this, you will need: one 2x6 that is 2 feet long, one 1x3 eight inches long, two 8" diameter PVC piping 2 feet long, two one inch PVC end caps, picture hangers, assorted nuts, bolts, and crews. First, draw on the shape of your gun on the pieces of wood, then cut them up with a saw. Then, cut out a prong shape in the front and stain the gun to your desired color. Next, connect all the pieces together and attach the wall han...

How To: Create a falling effect

Steve Nelson from Indy Mogul shows you how to create cool falling or jumping from a building effect. Use a combination of camera angeles, green screen, and editing to create this cool action effect for your films.

How To: Build a fake wall that you can smash

This video will give you tips on how to make your very own fake wall that is perfect for smashing, thrashing, or just plain old throwing people through. This backyard special effect should really spice up your amateur film making. Just be careful, this fake wall can sometimes look like a real wall.

How To: Make a fake cut with theatrical makeup

Finally, the professionals are weighing in on how to create fake wounds! This video features a makeup artist from the BBC demonstrating how to make a really realistic fake cut on the hand of an actor using theatrical makeup. The plastic pieces from a CD jewel case that resemble broken glass really set this cut apart from the other fake cuts on the site, along with the professionalism of the presenter.

How To: Do a prosthetic skin tear effect

Conner is going to show us how to make a prosthetic skin tearing special effect for use in movies. First you need to get some liquid latex, some coagulated blood, and a paint brush. First paint a layer of liquid latex on the area that you want to have the tear away skin. Once it's dry, peel up one edge of the latex, this should make it easier later on when you want to tear away. Using a low angle and your hand to cover the latex at first, record the actor pulling the 'skin' away. Before the '...

How To: Make a breakable 2x4 wood board prop

Yes, a smashable board of wood. Just what the propmaster called for. A long 2x4 piece of wood prop is perfect for smashing overtop somebody's head during an action scene. The smashable board is easy to make, too. But not as easy as breaking it. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a breakable 2x4 wood plank prop.

How To: Build a stunt dummy

Make a life-size stunt dummy for your films using old clothes, newspaper, and a roll of duct tape. Indy Mogul shows you how to create a stunt dummy in the likeness of your actors for your films.

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: Do professional quality Voldemort from Harry Potter makeup

Voldemort, the seemingly unstoppable antagonist of the Harry Potter series played so compellingly by Ralph Fiennes in the films, is one of the best villains in the history of fantasy. If you want to scare the bejezzus out of some children this Halloween or pay homage to Harry Potter in a film, watch this video to learn how to recreate the Voldemort look without makeup and prosthetics.

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: Create ink drop & spread effects

In this tutorial, we learn how to create ink drop and spread effects. You will need: coffee filters, fish tank, dropper, black ink, water, and a bowl. Next, pour water into your fish tank, then pour your ink into the dropper. After this, add in water into the bowl and place the coffee filter in it to soak it, then place it on a flat surface. For the first effect, drop the ink into your water and see what it looks like when you drop it into the tank, getting this on tape and using the proper l...

How To: Make fake blood with household items

In this tutorial, we learn how to make fake blood with household items. You will need: 5 ml flour, red food coloring, 20 ml syrup, and blue food coloring. You will also need a container, spoon, and mixing sticks. First, place the flour in, followed by the syrup and the food coloring. Mix this all together with the mixing sticks until it's well combined. If it's not to the color or consistency that you would like, then you can add more color or ingredients until it's how you like it. After thi...

How To: Make squibs to strike the walls

Watch this instructional special effects video on how to make a squib to simulate fired bullets striking a wall. This squib making process will not work for contact on people. Follow the step by step procedure by watching this instructional video to produce realistic special effects for your film.

How To: Create a compound fracture special effect prop

Compound factures are the most gruesome and scary sort of fracture, and their visceral visual appeal leads to them being commonly depicted in films. This video demonstrates how to make a compound facture effect on the arm of one of your actors, replete with protruding bone and fake blood, for $35. For any indie filmmaker on a budget, this film will help you freak out your audiences and portray the real depth of your character's suffering.

How To: Create the Indiana Jones face melt effect

Welcome to our Indiana Jones special. This week, we've been challenged by Eric Zala, the director of "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" to create an awesome face melt effect for cheap! This is probably Indy Mogul's grossest effect yet, so you better not get nauseous or anything, because you might just want to use this for your film!

How To: Make molds for hair pieces

In this how-to video series, learn how to make a hair piece mold from expert Sean Graham. Sean will teach you what equipment and materials you need for making molds for hair pieces and he will demonstrate how to mark the hair line shape for a hair piece, hair to create the hair style for a hair piece, how to create fasteners for hair pieces, and how to match hair piece color to natural hair color.

How To: Create fake blood effects

In this tutorial, we learn how to create fake blood effects. The easiest blood formula is to use soap and red food coloring, nothing else. It's the easiest blood to make and looks more realistic than anything else. You can also make blood out of different things if you want to make a more expensive version. Make sure you always add in red food coloring and make it dark to match the color of real blood. The liquid should flow so it looks like real blood. To create blood splatter, you will take...

How To: Make a fake cast

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a fake cast. You will need: thin cardboard, old sock, duct tape, white toilet paper, and paint. First, place the sock over your arm and then cut two holes on the front of the hand and the thumb. Then duct tape the cardboard around your hand and arm and fold the bottom of the sock on. Now make paste on the cardboard and start to layer on the toilet paper to the paste and cardboard. Next, use scissors to make a cut in the cast. Then make paste on the edges...

How To: Make DIY fog fluid for a fog machine

If you are an avid party-thrower, moviemaker, or are involved in some other activity that involved you frequently using fog machines, you're probably sick of paying for the fluid to make them work. No more! Watch this video for a guide to making your own cheap DIY fog machine juice / fluid at home.

How To: Build a fake cardboard security camera

Home security is as important as having a job. You have to protect your family and your valuables. If you can't afford a high tech security system, then maybe a fake security camera will do the trick. This security camera dud is also a cheap alternative for a film prop. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a fake cardboard security camera.

How To: Make your own Spider Man web shooters

Are you an enormous fan of Spider Man? So much so you wonder what it'd be like to be him and have his capabilities? In this episode of Indy Mogul's Backyard FX, learn how to make your own Spider Man usable web shooters! Use this prop for a low budget film, Halloween costume, or just for fun and take your Spider Man costume to the next level!

How To: Make a homemade electric chair

Whether you’re pro or con on the death penalty issue, there’s nothing more terrifying than having a real live electric chair in your own home! So you should probably just use these simple steps to create a mock-electric chair to “shock” your guests! This Fear.Net Halloween video shows us how to make a homemade electric chair to frighten the Trick or Treaters this holiday season! Make a homemade electric chair.

How To: Build a breakable cinder block to karate chop

Show off your karate skills by breaking a cinder block in half! Everyone will be amazed when you karate chop that block in two, without getting hurt. But is it real? That's up to you. If you don't want to break your wrist, it's best to make a fake breakaway cinder block. This is a great movie prop for any martial arts flick, but also good just for showing off. Just don't let anybody pick up the foam pieces. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a breakable cinder block to karate chop.

How To: Make a blood spurting knife wound

It's time for Halloween, maybe it's time for your ultimate independent horror movie you've been dying to make, whatever the case may be, you're going to need some blood, you're going to need some weapons... you're going to need a bloody knife wound.

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: Make a cheap squib

This is an informational video for people that want to have some action in their movies but have a small budget. Each squib ended up costing us about $0.78. These are for fake gunshots.