How to Make Horror Movie Props

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Knives make great horror movie props, but the sharp edge should be thoroughly sanded down for safety on the set. Find out how to create props for horror films with help from a movie producer in this free video on filmmaking.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking & Movie Special Effects
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Shaun O'Rourke with Eleven Bravo Productions and we're here at EUE Screen Gems Studios; the largest studio complex on the east coast in Wilmington, North Carolina. Now I'm here with Molly Olesky and we're going to talk about movie horror props and how to make them today. Molly, tell us about this. "Well let's say you're making a slasher film. What you're going to do is go to any discount store where you can get lots of knives at cheap prices. Buy three of the same knife. When you get home remove the edge from each. That's very important 'cause you don't want to stab anybody; they're originally made to cut something. So what you do is if you have a table sander or even just a piece of sandpaper you want to take the time just to remove the edge, make it flat; not going to hurt anybody. Now you have to figure out your sequence of shots of how you're going to cut someone; how you're going to, how you're going to get the guys stab. So you have the first shot of the actual prop knife and then, you know, have the action. And then you can cut to; now I, what I'm doing here is a copy of a effect from Lamberto Bava's "A Blade In the Dark"; great slasher film from the 80's; kills a lot of models. See here it starts with, actually stabbing this right here; start right there. Now there's your, there's your, there's your scene right there. Now I removed this with a table saw. Get somebody; if you don't have that sort of equipment, find someone who does. A lot of times if you go to any sort of hardware store they do things like that for you. Sure if you're really nice maybe fight with them. And, and your next shot you could do that and with this you can put blood tubing on the back and that's just working with your director and the camera man. Set up the shots; make sure that non of your tubing showing. Here you can see the, the remains of a, of tubing that can go up the, up the knife, up the handle and through the actor's hands and it can be hidden in a t-shirt or tape or glued to the actor's edges right out the body. And that's just one way you can, you can do that." So there you have it guys; if you're making movie props make sure safety's first. You want to dull a blade; make sure it's dull. Make sure the actors that you're working with understands that it's dull and that it's not going to cut you and then make sure you explain these bits to them all the way through so that they understand how when you cut a knife here and you sit it here it's going to look like it's in the hand. And if you're going to be gluing things like hoses and pneumatic tubes down on actors arm, make sure they're not allergic to whatever the adhesives are that you're using and that you take care of your actors and explain things to them throughly so that you can get the best effect from a horror prop. There you go; we just showed you how to make a, a knife in three stages and there you go, that's your movie effect; that's your horror prop.


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