Hot Props & SFX How-Tos

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 sawed-off shotgun movie prop

In this video tutorial, viewers learn how to make a sawed0off shotgun. The materials required for this project are: hot glue gun, duct tape, cardboard, utility knife, black marker, spray paint and 2 paper towel rolls. Begin by tracing a shotgun outline onto the cardboard. Make 6 layers and glue all the layers together. Then smooth the edges with sandpaper and tape the outside with some duct tape. Now tape the 2 paper towel rolls together and tape it on top of the shotgun. Finish by painting t...

How To: Make a cardboard shield

In this tutorial you'll learn how to make a cardboard shield, quickly and cheaply. All you need is some stuff you've probably already got around the house. Get to work, so you'll be ready to defend yourself against any barbarian invaders with cardboard swords!

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 Your Very Own Hobbit Pipe—The Only Way to Smoke Pipe-Weed

A new trailer for Peter Jackson's Hobbit movie arrived recently, and it continues to look pretty awesome. If you're gearing up for the midnight premiere on December 14th, why not get into the spirit early by making your very own Hobbit pipe? In the film, the Hobbits smoke from signature rustic, wooden pipes with a very homemade look to them. Instructables user handcraftsup makes his own versions out of tree branches of what he believes real Hobbit pipes would like like. The tools he uses incl...

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 fake blood appear on your body without a wound

For some reason, showing a forearm with blood running out of it from a fresh cut is one of the most visceral and popular types of bleeding to depict on screen. This video will teach you how to make blood appear on the arm, or any other part of the body, without creating a wound for the blood to "emerge" from. You will need to do some basic chemistry, but the end result is morbid and fascinating. Make fake blood appear on your body without a wound.

How To: Build a fake rock movie prop

We all know that movies now-a-days don't use real rocks, but fake rocks for their film sets. Why? Because it's safer, lighter, easier to movie, and you can design them exactly how you want them. So if you need a rock for your indie film project, make it yourself. There's nothing better than imitation. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build a fake rock movie prop.

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 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: Make a prop Michael Myers knife

In this video, we learn how to make a prop Michael Myers knife. You will need: six pins, a pen, a sharp knife, black paint, hot glue gun, cardboard, thin cardboard, and medium foil. First, print out a picture of the knife that's given in the video. After this, cut out the pieces and tape them together so it looks like a real knife. Then, cut off the points from the pins and draw the handle of the knife out on the regular cardboard, making two layers. Then, cut out the large part of the knife ...

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: 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: Simulate a gun shot wound special effect

Watch this short tutorial on how to make a realistic bullet hit to simulate an actor getting shot by a gun. Materials needed include a pressure sprayer, clear tubing that will fit on to the hose of the pressure sprayer, a small Translucent PVC elbow, fake blood, duct tape, a funnel, a shirt you don't mind damaging.

How To: Film realistic, bloody gun shots

In this tutorial, we learn how to film realistic and bloody gun shots. You will first need to gather up all the materials you need to make this happen. Once you have everything ready, set it all into place. Make sure you have the fake blood placed in the shirt where the person is pointing the gun, and also make sure you have a good actor. After this, use a firecracker to make the sound of a gunshot. As soon as this goes off and the person pulls the fake trigger, have the other person push on ...

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: 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 laser arm blaster prop weapon

The perfect weapon for your low-budget sci-fi action flick is a laser gun… or maybe this laser arm blaster. This laser arm gun is easily made at home with household materials that care cheap and easy to find. So don't throw out tons of money on your indie film… you're not James Cameron… yet. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a laser arm blaster prop weapon.

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: 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!

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