OK continuing with my set of posts concerning cheap and easy prop making here is an article by Dave Lowe; a very talented illustrator and prop maker. Dave always has plenty of tips on budget film props so check the rest of his site after you read this great tutorial of his on cheap and easy molding and casting.
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Make do with what you got.
This would be the one statement we would quote in our manifesto over and over again here at Creature; if we had a manifesto. I am sure you have heard Anthony and the others say this before in other posts; but it is something we are very proud of. We apply this “motto” to the way we make our films, the way we make our comics and I apply it to the way I build our film props.
Film props can be made from just about anything. It only takes a little imagination and a little ingenuity. Sometimes the best pieces for your props are sitting in your own garage.
For example the script for Zombie Years: Thanks Grandpa called for the lead character Delilah to carry an old gore crusted machete and wear some sort of hand protection. So I went into my garage (aka Creature’s prop warehouse) and bam I found an old machete I had been meaning to throw away because it was blunt. I also found some old paintball gloves. Both were perfectly weathered to perfection. I love it when I don’t have to spend money on props and they still look great. Next I got some cardboard and duct tape and made a perfect post-apocalyptic scabbard for Del’s weapon of choice. At this point I feel I should mention adding little doodads and such really help personalize a prop and make it look unique. I added some cord to the machete handle and picked up some small items I found lying around and threaded them through the cord. This gave the weapon a personalized feel as if Del had added some “charms” to girlie it up a bit. It might be the Zombie apocalypse but people still tend to hang onto certain things that make them feel human. This was a central theme to this movie; so I went with it.
I also made a pretty cool looking utility belt for Delilah but I won’t go into that here (I have already rambled enough) you can see Del (as portrayed by actress Karla Solarte-Saint) and some of her gear below. I would also like to give a big thank you to Genesis Cordoba and Whitney Paige they did an amazing job on the costume design for Delilah. These ladies really came through for us and deserve a lot of the credit for helping to bring the character to life.
Ok I have rambled enough. I’ll try to follow up with more posts about budget prop building and just prop building in general. See you guys next time.
EDIT: Check out Whitney’s comments below on how they put together the costume