We can design and make any prop from almost any material and make it look like the real thing.
The function of a prop is not only to make that prop look real, but to also exaggerate the look by making it look more menacing, stand out on camera and to help the actor carry out a scene in a far more dramatic way. This can mean making a prop from plastic to look like steel or wood which in turn makes the prop lighter and easier for the actor to fight with in a choreographed and well rehearsed scene, that could possibly have to be re filmed many times.
Also, for health and safety reasons, having a prop made from rubber or plastic can make things safer on a film set.
With the latest materials and techniques at our disposal, the sky is no longer the limit!
Three Windmill models were constructed. Initial frames were constructed from timber and then clad in thin pre coloured timber pieces. Holes were then cut for the windows. On one mode,l which was used for the explosion scene, fire proofed replica sheets were placed on the bottom of the model and then clad in thin pre coloured timber pieces The Windmill mechanisms were installed and the four wind sails were bolted on. The models were made in 1/4 scale.
In this scene a boy is hiding behind a chair. As he moves he cuts his hands on the arms of the spiky chair. Flexible spikes were made to bleed to give the effect that the boy cut his hands. Hundreds of spikes where made from flexible rubber. The boys hand already had blood on it and through editing and one angle makes the viewer think the spikes make his hand bleed.
The Tree of the Dead was a huge project made by the Art Department, Construction Crew and Special Effects Department. It was part of a forest that was constructed in the largest sound stage at Shepperton Studios. It looked so convincing that real birds flew in the forest and settled there.The first scene was when actor Johnny Depp attempts to cut in to the tree branches before the horseman flies out. The first job was to create branches that bleed when actor Johnny Depp cuts in to them.
A two piece silicone mould was made of the branch that would bleed.
1. Inside the mould : two layers of fibre glass matt were applied to represent the branches outer skin.
2. A hollow tube was inserted in to the joined mould.
3. Then rigid biscuit foam was poured in to the joined mould in between the hollow tube and the outer skin to represent the bark.
4. The branch was removed from the mould,
5. Then stage blood was pumped inside the branch at pressure.
6. Three branches were made as back ups.
The second scene was when the branches move just before the headless horseman flies out of when he goes on a rampage. Our job was to create flexible branches that move when the headless horseman flies out of the tree fissure.
To achieve this we made a series of real branches, stuck them together and sculpted the gaps smooth. Then a two piece silicone mould was made.
1.Inside the mould : two layers of latex rubber were applied to represent the branches outer skin.
2. Then flexible biscuit foam was poured in to the joined mould to represent the branch wood.
3. The branches were moved with clear plastic wire in the film. The rest of the illusion was achieved on computer.
The Weapons were made with Polyurethane Resin. Inside the weapons were reinforced with a metal armature. Acrylic Paint was used in layers for the final effect.
Inside the weapon handles were reinforced with a metal armature, surrounded with solid foam, moulded and cast in fibre glass. The blades were made from solid metal. Acrylic paint was used in layers for the final effect.
The barrels were cast in Polyurethane Foam Resin from a 2 piece silicone rubber hold. The barrels were then painted with acrylic paint. As in real life, they also hold water.
In the interior cave scene a set of special magnetic release catch shackles were needed. So that the shackled crone could act in comfort the shackles were made from plastic tubing with smaller tubes made for the hinges. It was then textured with car filler and painted with acrylic. The magnets were then stuck on.