How to Make a Fake Tree for a Play

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To create a fake tree for the set of a play, simply carve out large pieces of foam into the shape of a tree trunk, apply acetone for a bark texture and color, and insert real tree branches into the top of the foam. Make a great stage tree from inexpensive materials 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 am Shaun O'Rourke with Eleven Bravo Productions and I am here at EUE Screen Gem Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina the largest studio complex east of Hollywood. And today I am going to talk to you about how to make a tree for like a elementary school play. It is real simple. This doesn't take a lot of rocket science. You are going to go to your local hardware store, and you are going to buy big pieces of foam. Now they sell it in different sizes, and different shapes, but you are going to want to get a big piece of foam that is about the size of a truck. And you can kind of gauge it like this. Once you have your piece you are going to take a sculpting knife, and you are going to carve out your little bark pattern, and then you can also take acetone. Now acetone is very dangerous, and it is caustic so you are going to want to make sure you have protective eye glasses, protective mask so that you are not breathing in the fumes, and gloves. Acetone is used to put airplane wings together so it is very, very strong, and potent. What you are going to want to do is kind of take a brush and coat that tree, that foam that you have already sculpted out, and it is going to leave marks, and kind of smeared burn, and it is going to look really, really cool. Well then you are going to take a very large screwdriver, and you are going to pop holes into this foam. This is because you are going to add branches on to it. Go out to a park or a friend or a neighbors house that is going to allow you top cut down branches of actual trees with leaves, and you are going to slide these into place on that tree. Once you have done that you have completed your tree. One it won't be heavy so it will be easy to maneuver. Two you can bring the branches in later so after you set up the trunk you can just slide them into place. So there you have it. It is going to be portable, and easy to move around, because we are dealing with like an elementary school play tree here. We are not making some giant tree that is going to be in the next Lord of the Rings sequel where you would actually have carpenters, and special effect makeup, and prop guys that would actually build this thing to spec. So there you go I hope those tips helped you out on how to make an elementary school play tree, and that it is successful when you put it to practice on your play.

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