Hot Props & SFX Posts

How To: Do advanced green screen tricks

Interested in learning how to do advanced green screen tricks to show a subject flying? After this tutorial, you'll be a pro. How to launch: Light the screen and the subject. Frame the subject so that you do not see their feet on the ground. Do this by cutting off the lower 1/3 of the subject. Sell the effect by using a fan from above. Add in a background which works with the flying that you are trying to achieve. How to fly: Have a prop that you can use for effect that can be cut out later (...

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 level three foam boffer sword for LARPing

If you're a LARP maniac, or just a fan of LSD-themed (Latter-day Saint) games and activities, then you can't miss out on this. Check this video out to learn how to make a foam-padded sword that is easy and inexpensive. This level three boffer sword will take care of your LARPing opponents like Chuck Norris. If you're a fan of live action role-playing, then this boffer sword is the best of the best for kicking serious ass.

Becoming the Dark Knight: 8 DIYers Show Us How to Build Batman's Belongings

The final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is here, The Dark Knight Rises, and if you're anything like me, it made you want to immediately don a cowl of your own and run around punching criminals. Don't forget though, one of the most awesome aspects of Batman is his never-ending supply of crazy gadgets. Unfortunately for most of us, we don't have a billion dollars, nor Morgan Freeman, so we'll just have to make do with some good old-fashioned DIY tricks. Read on for a rundown of ...

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 an extreme nose bleed trickle and gush

Here, we unveil a brand new type of BFX episode called "BFX On Location"! We've been invited by directors Giancarlo Fiorentini and Jonathan Grimm to create an extreme nose bleed effect for their film "The Old Man and the Seymour". This movie stars Streeter Seidell, Amir Blumenfeld and a VERY bloody nose. Check out all the action as Erik's skills get a real world test!

How To: Make pneumatic dust system for blood and dust hits in film

Have you ever wondered how all of the blood and dust that flies from wounds and bullet holes in Hollywood films gets shot through the air so convincingly? The answer is a pneumatic dust system. This video will show you how to make one yourself for almost no money, allowing you to achieve all sorts of cool special effects without any expensive digital technology.

How To: Build a DIY reverse flow coffin fog chiller for Halloween or a film

Spooky fog-emitting items like coffins and cauldrons are iconic parts of many haunted houses, but are terribly expensive to buy premade. If you're got some DIY know-how, watch this video for a guide to building a coffin fog chiller for your fog machine yourself for a Halloween display, horror film effect, or just because you like foggy coffins. This thing is a BEAST, it will cover your whole lawn if fog by itself.

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: 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: Create an impaled chest effect for your Halloween costume or indie film

For the director on the cheap looking to make a good ol' fashioned zombie horror flick, or any other sort of flick that involves showcasing your characters with large pipes and more impaled through their chests, you may be scratching your head how to create the effect. It's actually easier than you think! All you will need is some pipes, basic tools and some time! In this awesome video you will get a full walkthrough on how to create the effect on a $40 budget!

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: Make a latex prosthesis chest wound effect

There is no such thing as a sucking chest wound. All chest wounds suck. Except perhaps for fake ones, which are essential to making a really gritty, gory film in most cases. This video features detailed instructions on how to make a fake chest wound out of latex and other special effects materials. Since it is a prosthesis, it can even be reused! It is a little complicated, but the end result looks great, so try this out in your next movie!

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: 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 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 Batman grappling gun prop

No Batman Halloween costume is complete without a grappling gun and hook. Parker put together this video to teach how to make this easy prop. You will need a fake plastic gun, two mini DVDs, cardboard, scissors, miscellaneous hardware, two checkers, duct tape, spray paint, and a hot glue gun. Watch this video prop-making tutorial and learn how to build a Batman-style grappling gun prop.

How To: Turn an Old Aquarium into a Cloud Tank & Create Creepy Alien Atmosphere Effects

Need some creepy visual effects for your alien flick, but don't want to spend a bunch of money? With some pretty basic materials, you can turn an empty aquarium into a "cloud tank," which can be used to create several different atmospheric effects. Before Hollywood started using CGI, cloud tanks were used for scenes in a lot of famous movies. Remember this one? Besides Raiders of the Lost Ark, cloud tanks also helped make some wonderful non-CGI effects in Independence Day, Close Encounters of...

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: Create a "District 9" inspired alien hand

You will need: rubber glove, paper towels, liquid latex, paint, and newspaper. First, fill the glove with newspaper, then secure the fingers with electrical tape to make only 3 fingers. Then, mix up the liquid latex with black paint and apply it to the fingers. Then, place the paper towels over this in coats and shape them so they are pointy. Add in some texture using paper towel strips and cotton balls. Continue to paint over with the liquid latex/paint until you have made your desired textu...

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!