Saturday, 27 November 2010

Film Props

The short module at Millennium FX has come to an end. It has been a great experience to see how the prosthetics side is produced and get a huge insight in how long the process can take. The module serves as a intensive short course in Prosthetics as well as a container for the SFX gags in our film. The class has been making a full head prostheses, a partial face prosthesis, finger extensions, a prop arm - complete with balsa wood bones, a large gouge that will be augmented with CG and several small wound pieces including a handful with silly glass wedged in them.

The characters also have makeshift weapons and a few pistols, I took the props on board and played around with casting the Axe and Knifes. The Axe initially didn't work which was probably to do with the fact that the A&B mixture had been out overnight and was contaminated with other chemicals in the extractor room. The knifes worked from the start but one of the molds had problems letting the fast cast mixture right to the end but I did manage to get a partial knife from it which will serve as a prop to decorate.

The Knife was coloured using a mixture of silver spray paint which was sprayed straight into the mold before the fast cast mix was poured. This gave a great base coat for applying a textured brown to the handle before I added layers of acrylic paint to try and create depth and with a coat of Shellac which gave the knife a rust colour before finally rubbing back a few layers to make to look well used.

The pistol was a simple plastic replica that (Peter Tindall) had lying around. Painted using the same technique as the Knife but more metallic in its appearance, again it had to look well used but also like 'Conway' had used it a lot. I tried to get a worn wooded look for the handle and painting the two pistols exactly the same was fun.

Finally the two main weapons were cast using a soft foam mix with piano wire threaded down the center to add rigidity and stability or they would flop. They are both soft but if you were to swing at someone it would still hurt. Painted using acrylics and shellac to create the worn down and dirty feeling. To add a little more I wrapped some scrim around the handles to make it look like they had been personalised and were used a lot for killing. Scrim is simply a soft string netting that comes on a giant roll. Paint was added to stain the fabric.