View Full Version : Tips?

Dr. Giggles
08-20-2008, 03:32 PM

I was wondering if all you experienced prop makers and builders had any tips and tricks for someone knew on the scene?

Im trying to get into this but its a lot harder then i thought it would be.


-Zackary J

08-20-2008, 03:47 PM
sclupt , sculpt , and sculpt some more..... then weld, weld and weld, then play with alginate, wax, clay, and when ya have a lil extra money silicone....lol....yeah its a b*tch. My advice is ( get yer hands dirty ) experiment, get high on fumes expose yerself to cancer.....it sucks ( but its fun )

Dr. Giggles
08-20-2008, 04:33 PM
Alright so essentially just play around till i get to where i want to be?

Kevin Dells
08-20-2008, 04:45 PM
Pick a couple things you would like to learn and pursue them wether it's building haunt rooms, spfx make up, or prop building.

Im on the learn everything about everything program, i dove into this head first.

I spend countless hours on the internet just learning the bussiness itself,Hauntworld is a great instructor!

Figure out the feilds you want to learn most, do some research and get to it!

Killer Katie
08-20-2008, 07:02 PM
No matter what you make - learn how to drybrush and age products. Drybrushing gives everything an old look.
And I agree with the other post - don't try to do it all at once.
And finally - if you have a passion, you can't go wrong!

Dr. Giggles
08-20-2008, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the words of advice Katie!

I will look into Drybrushing.
And Kevin im not trying to do it all at once, i mean iv read all these pots about people getting ripped off and what not, i mean iv been a haunt designer/actor for about 4+ years, now im trying to get into the more technical aspect of it. So i can help myself out and i wont have to rely on other people. I know that sounds selfish and im sorry but im just thinking that if i get good at making props thats more money i dont have to spend, considering my poor financiel state.

But once again thanks for the help and advice everybody! Its REALLY appreciated!

-Zackary J

Greg Chrise
08-20-2008, 08:22 PM
Most of what it takes to be a genius is getting cans of stuff and reading the directions. Beyond that, you either have it or you don't. For lots of money the only thing any art course is going to teach you is that if you spend hours and hours on something it will look pretty good. You will amaze yourself. Then amaze your friends and neighbors.

Then magically someone wants to give you money to make something because you have an original take on it, you weren't trained at McDonald's land to stamp out the same thing over and over.

Dr. Giggles
08-20-2008, 09:21 PM
Yeah Greg, i understand. In highschool i used to take an art course, thats four years of art from a pretty good teacher, and i still never evolved beyond stick figures. But iv always been good with wood and metal and the more hands on, you can feel what your making kind of thing. But even if i do get really good at it i dont think i would sell any of my pieces, just because i feel like they are part of me. I dont think i can explain it, i guess i just get to attached to my work to let it go...even haunted houses. Iv always been notorious for not taking down my haunts, i put so much effort into it...just to pack it away and re design it again..but sadly it is our business and i love it so not much i can do about it.

Jim Warfield
08-20-2008, 09:33 PM
Try stamping on MacDonald's food as their kitchen technition and you might get fired. Then Flame-broiled, plucked, ground up, seasonings added.
You thought the Mafia was rough!
Making a living turning out one of a kind hand made items will be a tough way to go, but if you love doing it and it can pay your bills you have the majority of the known world beat.
Many of the people who think scary things are worthy of purchase might not have the big money to make it happen.
Keeping track of your time you invest in a product might also be very discouraging, especially at first until you learn to relax more and forget about the clock ticking and merely only putting in 8 hours a day or only 40 hours a week.
Being self-employed will see you putting in those long hours until you don't show up for work one day and that azzwhole boss of yours fires you!
You do know him better than anyone else does and you have blackmail on him so threaten him with it and give yourself a raise!
Now step away from the mirror before some else notices.

08-21-2008, 06:39 AM
Anything in particular you are looking to make? I would suggest buying carpentry and cabinet making books and learn to construct props like that. It seems like people sometimes focus so much on making masks and latex props they forget to make creepy wooden props as well. It is all about balance.

Jim Warfield
08-21-2008, 07:59 AM
Yesterday I was faced with possibly spending alot of money for large diameter copper wire (for a display-only item) or not?
I chose "Not"!
Instead I spray painted some nylon rope with copper colored spray paint.
This is the kind of choice we make all the time when trying to duplicate something for less than $300!
I already owned the rope.
It is too small of a diameter to hang myself with (it wouldn't show up well in the Police photos) butt "Waste not, want knott!"
My faux-copper is not for a labratory scene, rather it's for a device from some strange 1880 technology belonging to a proficient serial-killer ," extraordinaire" who was way ahead of the curve in personal weapons technology (and still is!)
Maybe..just maybe....I just created "something" not made before?
The display does have a certain "wickedness" to it's look, sort of like me!
(Taking the credit once again for old-age and genetics I could do nothing about!)

Dr. Giggles
08-21-2008, 11:19 AM
Anything in particular you are looking to make? I would suggest buying carpentry and cabinet making books and learn to construct props like that. It seems like people sometimes focus so much on making masks and latex props they forget to make creepy wooden props as well. It is all about balance.

Yeah im not very good at working with sculpting but im quiet accomplished at wood work and welding. ((Thats what comes of 5+ years in the construction industry))
But i should probably learn to make creepy things out of latex that fly out of the cabinet and scare them as well right?

08-24-2008, 12:38 PM
Depending on what you would like to do....its a broad subject....I say if you want to make animatronics you need to learn about servos and controllers while learning how to sculpt with clay, wax, and etc. maybe play with alginates to learn how to make one offs which you will then pour wax or clay into the alginate mold which you will sculpt and make silicone or latex mold ( depending on your product possibly even stone mold ) -----I ramble sorry ------ anyways it just depends on what you are trying to do. I am currently learning about servos, controllers, and animatronics..... I would like to start including them with some of the ideas we have. We have and are currently coming up with some very cool stuff that we have never done before.... ( All because we simply decided to roll up our sleeves and collectively get down and dirty - it usually takes getting a bit dirty and wasting some good hard earned cash before you find out where your niche lies -

"So dont be afraid.... spend a little dough and roll up them sleeves"

Thats my advice.

Dr. Giggles
08-24-2008, 12:44 PM
Very good advice and i thanks you Malicious Studios however my problem is, that i do not have much of the hard earned cash to spare. But i have been tinkering around with clay, silicone and other things. I am lucky though because i have a friend of mine whos great with the servos and controllers and wireless things and what not as i am NOT technolgically savvy what so ever! Hahahah