Hot Film & Theater How-Tos

How To: Make a fake tree for a play

Well it's time to put on the school play! This year, the school's going to put on Chekov's "The Cherry Tree". Only problem? You have no tree. Well, this helpful how to will guide you through the steps to make a light, portable tree that will turn your school play on its head.

How To: Build your own prop shotgun

In this tutorial, we learn how to build your own prop shotgun. To make this, you will need: one 2x6 that is 2 feet long, one 1x3 eight inches long, two 8" diameter PVC piping 2 feet long, two one inch PVC end caps, picture hangers, assorted nuts, bolts, and crews. First, draw on the shape of your gun on the pieces of wood, then cut them up with a saw. Then, cut out a prong shape in the front and stain the gun to your desired color. Next, connect all the pieces together and attach the wall han...

How To: Make a level three foam boffer sword for LARPing

If you're a LARP maniac, or just a fan of LSD-themed (Latter-day Saint) games and activities, then you can't miss out on this. Check this video out to learn how to make a foam-padded sword that is easy and inexpensive. This level three boffer sword will take care of your LARPing opponents like Chuck Norris. If you're a fan of live action role-playing, then this boffer sword is the best of the best for kicking serious ass.

How To: Create a prosthetic scar

We tend to sympathize with those who get hurt. Do you want some extra care and affection from somebody you love? Then here is one great idea to make anybody give you their shoulder to cry on. This video helps you to make a prosthetic scar on your leg. Create a gory looking bruise with modeling wax, liquid latex, skin color makeup and coagulated blood. For best and genuine scars, make the cut look real deep and oozing with blood. Show it to your friends and see the results for yourself.

How To: See through people's clothes with a video camera

This video tutorial teaches you how to see through clothes using a blank roll of film and any video camera that has night vision. You won't see people completely naked, but you can see undergarments and the "shape" beneath...If your imagination just isn't cutting it anymore, check out this how-to video and start getting a peak at people in a slightly less clothed state.

HowTo: Create a Six-Frame Animation with a Single Sheet of Paper

Pioneered by Rufus Butler Seder in his popular children's picture book Gallop!, and ably demonstrated by WonderHowTo favorite brusspup in the video below, "scanimation" refers to a novel (but distinctly old-timey) technique for cramming multi-frame animations onto a single sheet of paper by a process of superimposition and selective interference. Interested in creating your own scanimations? It's easier than you'd think. In the following clip, Paul Overton of Dude Craft presents a complete ov...

How To: Make Realistic Fluffy Cloud Props from Things Around the House

If you need a cloudy background for a photo or video, you can always turn an old aquarium into a DIY cloud tank. But, if you want something more fun and less creepy, these fluffy cloud props by Serena Thompson might be more what you're looking for. It'd even make a good Halloween costume if you tweak it a little. All you need is some balloons, tape, flour, newspaper, and a bunch of pillow stuffing. Serena made them by taping balloons together and applying a mixture of water and flour, then co...

How To: Make a dramatic spotlight from a household lamp

In this video tutorial, viewers learn how to make a guerilla spotlight using household items. Users will simply need a cardboard cylinder and a light source. Te materials used in this video were a toilet paper roll, piece of aluminum, gaff tape and a lamp. Begin by cutting a couple of 90 degrees slots in the middle of the foil, slide in the tube ad secure it with tape. It should be a bit longer than the tube. Now wrap it around the light source. This video will benefit those viewers who produ...

How To: Change lenses on a camcorder

Make sure you have the appropriate lens for your digital camera. Look for markers on the lens that correspond with any mark on the camera body. Different brands have different markers. Some have square dots while some have red dots. Line these marks In one hand, hold your camera body firmly pointing to you. While holding it, push the lens button. Firmly hold the bottom of the lens (where the lens meets the camera body), and twist. Some cameras let you twist clockwise, others counterclockwise....

How To: Build your own functional boom microphone

Joe Richardson, Five Sprockets consultant, demonstrates how to build your own functional boom microphone. First, if you don't already have one, get a microphone from your local electronics store. Then, pick up a mic holder. Next, you'll also need a telescoping pole like a painter's pole. You'll also need zip ties and metal bonding glue. A piece of fake fur from a fabric store will act as a wind sock to cut down on noise. Attach the mic head to the painter's pole with the metal bonding glue. N...

How To: Create an impaled chest effect for your Halloween costume or indie film

For the director on the cheap looking to make a good ol' fashioned zombie horror flick, or any other sort of flick that involves showcasing your characters with large pipes and more impaled through their chests, you may be scratching your head how to create the effect. It's actually easier than you think! All you will need is some pipes, basic tools and some time! In this awesome video you will get a full walkthrough on how to create the effect on a $40 budget!

How To: Fake shooting a person with a gun for film

Adam from Chemical Reaction wants to show you a little movie magic. This video tutorial will show you how to fake shooting a person with a gun for your homemade film. If you really want to make it look real, get the most real prop gun you can get, but don't use a real handgun. Fake blood is a good thing to get from a Halloween store. Acting skill is the most needed part here... because you can't look like you're being shot unless you can act properly.

How To: Change Your Voice from Male to Female

This sequence of instructional videos provides a near comprehensive lesson on how you can change your voice from that of a male to that of a female. This video series is aimed at aiding transgender individuals, but is also useful for people who want to learn to do really great voice exercises and impersonations.

How To: Build your suit of DIY Master Chief armor from Halo

Master Chief, the star of the Halo franchise before it's most recent iterations, is one of the most recognizable and beloved protagonists in gaming history, and that's without players ever actually seeing his body through his inconic and intimidating armor. If you want to dress up as Master Chief for a Halloween costume, film, or other purpose, watch this video to learn how to make your own DIY Master Chief armor for cheap.

Make edible prop bodily fluids: poop, vomit, snot, and blood

The human body is full of different kinds of fluids, most of which are either gross or dangerous to remove from a person for use in one of your films. Fortunately, most of them are pretty easy to replicate using household materials. This video will show you how to make edible prop fake blood, feces, vomit, and snot. They all look great, are safe, and will make you movie much more realistic.

How To: Make a puppet from stuffed toys

Watch this video to learn how to make puppets from stuffed toys. In this video, Barbara Dewey converts Pink Panther, Bugs Bunny and several others into ventriloquist figures. Barbara also gives some tips for caring for your puppets and some ideas for modifying them. Stay tuned for the amazing performance in the last video of this three part video series!

How To: Make a fake cast

In this tutorial, we learn how to make a fake cast. You will need: thin cardboard, old sock, duct tape, white toilet paper, and paint. First, place the sock over your arm and then cut two holes on the front of the hand and the thumb. Then duct tape the cardboard around your hand and arm and fold the bottom of the sock on. Now make paste on the cardboard and start to layer on the toilet paper to the paste and cardboard. Next, use scissors to make a cut in the cast. Then make paste on the edges...

How To: Shoot low angle moving shots from ground level with a video camera

Low angle shots are a great way to evoke a sense of panic in movies, but if you're trying to get good quality shots from ground level with just your hands, then it's not going to work. The video footage will be all shaky, unless that's another look you're wanting to achieve in your film. If you want steady, fast-tracking low angle footage, then Ritwika has a great trick on taking those ground level moving camera shots. You'll need a monopod, water bottle (with water), 2 rubber bands and your ...

How To: Fake a Loch Ness photo

This video will show you some methods to create a fake Loch Ness monster photo. You will need a camera or a camera phone for this project. One method of faking a sea monster picture involves creating a clay model of a head and a neck of a sea monster and holding it underwater. The outline of your hand holding the clay will serve as the body of the monster. Another method which can be used to fake a sea monster can be done using a clothes hanger and holding it underwater. The hook of the hange...

How To: Make a fake cut with theatrical makeup

Finally, the professionals are weighing in on how to create fake wounds! This video features a makeup artist from the BBC demonstrating how to make a really realistic fake cut on the hand of an actor using theatrical makeup. The plastic pieces from a CD jewel case that resemble broken glass really set this cut apart from the other fake cuts on the site, along with the professionalism of the presenter.

How To: Do a prosthetic skin tear effect

Conner is going to show us how to make a prosthetic skin tearing special effect for use in movies. First you need to get some liquid latex, some coagulated blood, and a paint brush. First paint a layer of liquid latex on the area that you want to have the tear away skin. Once it's dry, peel up one edge of the latex, this should make it easier later on when you want to tear away. Using a low angle and your hand to cover the latex at first, record the actor pulling the 'skin' away. Before the '...

How To: Make a fish man movie or Halloween costume

The video is an episode of Indy Mogul. It opens with a man who tells us the topic of this show is to help people make fake prosthetics for a fish-man costume for Halloween. After an intro showing us that the show is about making homemade special effects and props on a cheap budget and a disclaimer the show tells us the ingredients we'll need to make the prosthetics. They are: clay, sunglasses, latex sheet, quarter-inch foam, styrofoam head and bald cap, and liquid latex. The show then demonst...

How To: Apply a wolfman werewolf prosthetic

In this how to video, you will learn how to apply werewolf makeup. You will need the gelatin werewolf prosthetic grease paint. First, apply adhesive to the face. Next, place the prosthetic on. Push firmly on to the face to make sure it sticks properly. The lip area has to be applied tightly. The brow area and ride will also move a lot, so make sure there is a lot of adhesive. Use the gelatin blender on the sides. Work away from the edge on to the face. Use the sealer to make a uniform surface...

How To: Record live video direct from camcorder to computer

Bill Myers shows us how to record live video direct to your computer from your camcorder. You will need: long firewire cable, camcorder with firewire output, computer. Procedure: Connect one end of the firewire cable to your camcorder, then connect the other end to your computer. Start your video editing program. Turn the audio down on your speakers to avoid feedback. Turn your camcorder on then check the capture option in your screen. Record the video then hit the stop button when you're fin...

How To: Make your own animated flip book

Why make a flip book? Because all animation – even stick-figure Flash animation and multilayered, highly technical 3-D effects – is built on, and can benefit from, the basics of the craft first developed by artists working at the beginning of the last century. And while fancy computer programs are nice, you can teach yourself these basics using nothing more than a pad of paper and a pen, and replay them over and over without any extra technology needed.

How To: Create, shoot and edit a time freeze effect

Adam from Chemical Reaction wants to show you a little movie magic. This video tutorial will show you how to create, shoot and edit a time freeze effect for your homemade film. Stopping time is no joke, but doing it with a little camera skills and a little editing skills makes it easy. You just need to know when to freeze the frame and then layer it with another.

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