What is the course about?
This is part 1 of a 2 part introduction to prop making and working in the prop making industry. Part 1 is a practical 10-week introductory course for anyone interested in the prop making industry. It is very accessible, hands-on and friendly! You will explore a range of materials and techniques including carving and sculpting, fabricating, mould making, body casting, finishing and paint effects. You will be encouraged to develop your personal interpretation and interests throughout the course.
Part 1 can be done as a stand alone course that focusses on techniques and processes. For a more in depth insight into working in the industry, you can progress onto Part 2 which happens in the summer term.
What will we cover?
- Sculpting in clay and Sculpey
- Carving in polystyrene and styrofoam
- Mould making and casting
- Life casting
- Paint effects and finishes
- Contextual research.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- sculpt objects in clay or Sculpey
- carve a basic sculpt in polystyrene or styrofoam
- make a one-piece mould and cast in jesmonite
- understand the concept of life casting and make at least one cast
- understand the concept of fabrication and manipulation of various materials
- use paint effects, finishes and experiments effectively
- identify areas within the prop making industry that might use your specific area of expertise.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginner's course so no previous experience is necessary, although those with some experience are also welcome.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be introduced to new materials and techniques at each session, and encouraged to develop these to the best of your ability. You will be taught by demonstration followed by practical application, and given short tasks to follow. We understand that you might be more comfortable with some processes than others, but encourage you to have an open mind in order to experience all techniques and therefore gain the most from this course. You will receive one-to-one guidance and there will also be group discussions. We also encourage independent research and investigation outside of the class but this is not compulsory. You will be shown examples of work from practising prop makers and you will receive information about further progression routes available.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Basic materials are supplied, though you will be asked to bring in images and/or objects to support various tasks. Please wear old working clothes or bring overalls, and wear sturdy shoes. A camera/phone camera would be good to record the processes you undertake. If you get particularly enthusiastic about a certain process, you might want to buy further materials. In this case you will get advice from the tutor in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
If you've enjoyed this introduction, would like to pursue your interest in prop making and gain more in-depth experience of the prop making industry, the ideal course for you is VU962 Introduction to prop making for film,TV, theatre and display: part 2. You may also be interested in the City Lit sculpture course- VU841.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details