Hot Props & SFX How-Tos

How To: Make Realistic Fluffy Cloud Props from Things Around the House

If you need a cloudy background for a photo or video, you can always turn an old aquarium into a DIY cloud tank. But, if you want something more fun and less creepy, these fluffy cloud props by Serena Thompson might be more what you're looking for. It'd even make a good Halloween costume if you tweak it a little. All you need is some balloons, tape, flour, newspaper, and a bunch of pillow stuffing. Serena made them by taping balloons together and applying a mixture of water and flour, then co...

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 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: Use an outdoor green screen

Tom Skowronski teaches the secrets of using an outdoor green screen. An excellent summary is given below. First check the advantages of using green screen outdoor like a lot of space, sufficient light. In the same way check some disadvantages like noises from birds, children. For the screen materials you can use paper which is cheaper but it cannot be controlled if wind blow. You can also use a board or even paint a wall green which will be better. Now to set up the screen use the screen rods...

How To: Make a breakable prop computer

Everybody has that destructive feeling sometimes, when you just want to smash your computer to bits due to a glitch or virus or freeze up. If you're making a film, it's a little more plausible that the computer would actually get smashed, considering it would be a fake prop computer. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a breakable prop computer.

How To: Make a latex skin over carved foam

Are you in need of some kind of mold or cast for your next feature film, but need to save a few bucks? As an alternative to casting (making a shape from a mold) one can carve foam into a desired shape and then coat the foam with liquid latex. This will not create a perfectly smooth surface, but is much less expensive than casting as it requires fewer steps and less resources. So, with this video tutorial, you can learn what you need to know about making a latex skin over carved form.

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.

Make edible prop bodily fluids: poop, vomit, snot, and blood

The human body is full of different kinds of fluids, most of which are either gross or dangerous to remove from a person for use in one of your films. Fortunately, most of them are pretty easy to replicate using household materials. This video will show you how to make edible prop fake blood, feces, vomit, and snot. They all look great, are safe, and will make you movie much more realistic.

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: 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 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 an easy, cheap green screen with no posterboard

In this video you learn how to make your own green screen for less than $15 in under an hour. The material for the screen is a green felt-like fabric that can be easily found at a local fabric store or Wal-Mart. The fabric itself is just over 1 yard in width and you will need to buy 2 sheets 3 yards in length for a total of 6 yards at a price of about $2.00 per yard. You will also need a way to join the sheets together. For this, the video recommends a tube of Heat'n'Bond fabric joiner which ...

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 the effect of someone crawling through the TV

This week, Indy Mogul, Erik shows how to recreate the effect of someone crawling out of a TV. Just like in that scary movie The Ring. It's actually not expensive, just about $30. You will need scrap wood, poster board, tape, and flat bright green paint. Watch this video film special effects tutorial and learn how to make the effect of someone crawling through a television.

How To: Make a really gross fake scar for Halloween or film

Making fake scars, abrasions, lacerations, and other wounds is one of the most entertaining parts of special effects and makeup work. This video help you get started, teaching you how to make a really gross, festering, fresh-looking fake arm wound that will scare the pants off of your audience (if you use it for a movie) or your fellow revelers (for Halloween or another costumed occasion).

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 a Halo Magnum movie prop weapon

Halo. The all time best Xbox game. Everybody knows of it. So when you want to make a Halo gun, most will know exactly what it is. This Halo Magnum weapon is sure to be a hit on your movie set. Sure, making a Halo weapon would be good for a Halo movie, but you can use it as any futuristic weapon for your indie space flick. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a Halo Magnum movie prop weapon. Get the blueprints.

How To: Create floating objects and razorblade props

In this tutorial, we learn how to create floating objects and razorblade props. First off, take your object and some double sided tape. Then, place the tape on the object to make it look invisible. After this, tape it to the middle of the plexi-glass. Have someone else help you move this, and then when you record it on video it will look like the object is moving around in the air without anything holding it. This is a great effect that looks even better on video! To create the razorblade pro...

How To: Knife someone in the face with film effects & tricks

In this tutorial, we learn how to knife someone in the face with film effects & tricks. This effect is mostly done in the camera and not in computer software. First, get two identical knives and a hat you don't mind ruining. Then, remove the blade from one of the knives and fix it to the hat. Once you have the knife set up, put your actors in place. When you do this part, use caution to make sure you don't throw the knife at anyone. Throw this into the air, then take the shot to the person wi...

How To: Build a prop teleportation chamber

Unfortunately, no one seems to have, or willing to share, the science of making a real teleportation chamber. That doesn't mean you can't make a prop one though. Parker put together this video to show us how. You will need foam core poster board, a hot glue gun, duct tape, a pane of glass or plastic, silver spray paint, black paint, and cardboard. Watch this video prop-making tutorial and learn how to build a teleportation chamber.

How To: Make a model of the Halo 3 assault rifle

The assault rifle form the Halo series is probably the most recognizable gun in the history of gaming. Many people choose to make machinima using Halo, but wouldn't it be cool to make a little live-action Halo film? Or maybe dress up as Master Chief for Halloween? Either way, having a replica of the assault rifle would behoove you. This video will show you how to make a replica of the assault rifle from the game using this toy gun as a base. It looks really cool, and will be an excellent talk...

How To: Build a P-90 prop gun

The FN P90. Everybody wants one, but more than likely, you can't get your hands on one, especially if it's illegal in your area. Designed by FN Herstal back in the 80's, the P90 personal defense weapon is the cream of the crop. It's full name, Project 90, specifies a weapon system of the 1990's. If you want this firearm for a weapon prop or just to have, you can easily build one yourself with household materials, mostly cardboard. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a P-90 prop ca...

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...

Prev Page