Hot Film & Theater How-Tos

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.

How To: Frame and compose a shot for film

What makes a good movie good is that it is both aesthetically pleasing and has an interesting point/plot. This video runs you through how to make it visually effective, stressing how you frame and compose a shot. While the Rule of Thirds is forever a great way to make shots interesting, there are other ways you can set up a shot.

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 an easy, cheap green screen with no posterboard

In this video you learn how to make your own green screen for less than $15 in under an hour. The material for the screen is a green felt-like fabric that can be easily found at a local fabric store or Wal-Mart. The fabric itself is just over 1 yard in width and you will need to buy 2 sheets 3 yards in length for a total of 6 yards at a price of about $2.00 per yard. You will also need a way to join the sheets together. For this, the video recommends a tube of Heat'n'Bond fabric joiner which ...

How To: Turn an Old Aquarium into a Cloud Tank & Create Creepy Alien Atmosphere Effects

Need some creepy visual effects for your alien flick, but don't want to spend a bunch of money? With some pretty basic materials, you can turn an empty aquarium into a "cloud tank," which can be used to create several different atmospheric effects. Before Hollywood started using CGI, cloud tanks were used for scenes in a lot of famous movies. Remember this one? Besides Raiders of the Lost Ark, cloud tanks also helped make some wonderful non-CGI effects in Independence Day, Close Encounters of...

How To: Create a fake knuckle wound with makeup

If you want to have your character punch a very hard object, or punch a person very hard, then it will help if you can show their damaged, bloodied knuckles afterwards. Now you can with help from this video. It will teach you how to create a very gory fake knuckle wound out of basic prop and makeup materials. Now your characters can punch with authority.

How To: Light an interior space while filming on a budget

In this video from FiveSprockets we learn how to light an interior space while filming on a budget. For this you need two Chinese lanterns which he found for $2.95 each. You need 2 light bulbs which he found for $3.95 each. Make sure you get extra ones. Then get a couple of pan lights. They are day light and mood light. They were $7 and $5. You also need a multi colored gel pack which is $6.00. He uses C-stands to hold the lights up but he suggests coming up with other ways if you don't have ...

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: Make a prop movie bomb

Dynamite your way to movie success with an explosive bomb. A fake explosive bomb, of course. TNT on a timer is a great movie effect for you action flick. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a prop movie bomb.

How To: Create ink drop & spread effects

In this tutorial, we learn how to create ink drop and spread effects. You will need: coffee filters, fish tank, dropper, black ink, water, and a bowl. Next, pour water into your fish tank, then pour your ink into the dropper. After this, add in water into the bowl and place the coffee filter in it to soak it, then place it on a flat surface. For the first effect, drop the ink into your water and see what it looks like when you drop it into the tank, getting this on tape and using the proper l...

How To: Build a sci-fi cryo containment chamber

Making a prop for a science fiction movie? This how-to video dives step by step guidance on how to build a super cool, futuristic, sci-fi, cryo containment chamber. You will need a cylindrical object, craft foam or sytrofoam, a hot glue gun, plaster of Paris, aquarium line tubing, and paint. Check out this video prop-making tutorial and learn how to build a great sci-fi like cryogenic containment chamber.

How To: Recreate the Joker's makeup from the Dark Knight movie

This video series demonstrates a take on the screen accurate Joker from "The Dark Knight." The materials and makeup used are all from a company called Mehron, specifically the Extra Flesh that used for the scars, the Liquid Latex, the Spirit Gum, and the Fantasy F/X Tube Makeup. Watch this video special effects tutorial and learn how to do the Joker's makeup from the Batman Dark Knight movie for a Halloween costume or a new life as a sociopath.

How To: Make a latex skin over carved foam

Are you in need of some kind of mold or cast for your next feature film, but need to save a few bucks? As an alternative to casting (making a shape from a mold) one can carve foam into a desired shape and then coat the foam with liquid latex. This will not create a perfectly smooth surface, but is much less expensive than casting as it requires fewer steps and less resources. So, with this video tutorial, you can learn what you need to know about making a latex skin over carved form.

How To: Make a cheap squib

This is an informational video for people that want to have some action in their movies but have a small budget. Each squib ended up costing us about $0.78. These are for fake gunshots.

How To: Build a small and movable stage

In this stage design and construction video series, learn how to build one of those small “portals.” Our expert—a director, actor, and producer himself—will show you tips and techniques for building a small, mobile stage that can be set up anywhere you or your acting troupe decide to give a performance. This step-by-step guide to stage construction includes clips on what tools and materials to use, how to measure and cut the frame, what type of bolts to use for ease of tear down, and how to b...

How To: Sculpt the face of a polymer clay stop motion armature

This video animation tutorial demonstrates the process of sculpting a human face out of polymer clay as part of an armature for stop motion animation. The demonstrator begins by molding a piece of polymer clay into the general shape of a human skull and neck, and impresses the more finite features with the aid of a flexible sculpting tool. Watch this instructional video and learn how to sculpt the face of a polymer clay stop motion armature.

How To: Make Your Very Own Hobbit Pipe—The Only Way to Smoke Pipe-Weed

A new trailer for Peter Jackson's Hobbit movie arrived recently, and it continues to look pretty awesome. If you're gearing up for the midnight premiere on December 14th, why not get into the spirit early by making your very own Hobbit pipe? In the film, the Hobbits smoke from signature rustic, wooden pipes with a very homemade look to them. Instructables user handcraftsup makes his own versions out of tree branches of what he believes real Hobbit pipes would like like. The tools he uses incl...

How To: Rotate a video clip using iMovie HD

This video shows us the method to rotate a video clip using iMovie HD. Go to iMoviePlugins and download Turn Clip from it. Also make sure you have iMovie HD installed. Now add the video clip to the timeline. Go to the editing tab and choose Video FX and CFX enhancements. Choose Turn Clip from the resulting window. Now set the rotation angle. This can be configured to 90 degrees or 180 degrees. Click on 'Apply' and the software will render the rotation on the timeline. When everything is done,...

How To: Make convincing fake bruises

Ever wonder how actors get bruises that look so real? Learn how to make these bruises and start your own visual effects for movies. Perfect for beginners or advanced make up artists, create real looking bruises for your next Halloween costume. Make convincing fake bruises.

How To: Make a realistic fake severed finger prop

Fingers are the parts of the body most often severed from the rest of it, and if you have any interest in creating violent or edgy films there will probably come a time where you want to cut a finger off for a scene. This video will show you how to make a really realistic-looking fake severed finger prop. It isn't a severed finger technically, but a hand with part of a severed finger still attached, and it looks SO creepy. This prop will make any horror film or Halloween costume much more rea...

How To: Set proper white balance on a video camera

When a scene is filmed, problems can occur in the final outcome of a scene if the white balance is not set correctly. If the white balance is off, a scene may look too orange, blue, or the color is just off in general. This video tutorial shows how to set the correct white balance on your video camera. White balance is what the camera considers to be white. Most cameras have white balance presets for both indoor and outdoor. This is because the light we perceive will vary depending on whether...

How To: Create a "District 9" inspired alien hand

You will need: rubber glove, paper towels, liquid latex, paint, and newspaper. First, fill the glove with newspaper, then secure the fingers with electrical tape to make only 3 fingers. Then, mix up the liquid latex with black paint and apply it to the fingers. Then, place the paper towels over this in coats and shape them so they are pointy. Add in some texture using paper towel strips and cotton balls. Continue to paint over with the liquid latex/paint until you have made your desired textu...

How To: Boffer sword fight with two-handed long weapons

Boffer. You've heard it, you've used it, you've died by it, but have you done it well? The Knights of Gray teach you in this video tutorial, how to use a boffer weapon that needs two hands. So, if you're a LARPing wannabe, or a LARP professional, then you need to watch this. You will see what three pivot points for striking with a two-handed foam boffer sword.

How To: Make a Gatling gun arm costume

Backyard FX is back just in time for Halloween with this video tutorial. This how-to video shows you how to replace your an arm with a motorized gatling gun! Make a cool movie or the best Halloween costume in town! All for less then $35 dollars. You will need six cardboard shipping tubes, a sheet of scrap foamcore, a cordless screwdriver, a film canister cap, an L-bracket, plastic tubes, a plastic bucket, a roll of friction tape, a 1" by 3" scrap of wood, a scrap of wooden dowel, and a skateb...

How To: Paint a prosthetic wound

This video describes the coloring techniques to make a realistic gelatine prosthetic wound. The presenter chooses to use grease paint as it applies easily to the rubber gelatine wound mold. First, apply a base color to mimic that flesh tone around the wound and blend it until it matches the skin tone. Next the presenter applies red and pink tones to the wound, the idea is to mimic the color of raw meat. Highlights are then applied inside the wound to simulate fat underneath the top layer of s...

How To: Fake cry

This is a very quick tutorial on fake crying. Make your eyes well with tears by concentrating your vision above a point of interest and not blinking. It's a super easy way to the real tears effect.

How To: Make movie rain without getting wet

In this tutorial, we learn how to make movie rain without getting wet. First, you will need to get a garden hose that has a spout on it and few pieces of PVC pipe. Connect the pieces of PVC pipe together, then stick the head of the hose to the pipe. Keep in mind that you will want to cut the pipe a bit shorter so it's easier to hold. Now, have someone hold up the pipe while you are taping and make sure to stay opposite of the way the wind is blowing. After this, you will have taped rain in a ...

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