Introduction to prop making for film, TV, theatre and display

Course Dates: 17/09/22 - 19/11/22
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Do you ever dream of conjuring up the props for Harry Potter, Doctor Who or West End musicals? Are you interested in a career in window display? On this course you will explore techniques used by professionals to produce effective props and sets. Get hands-on experience of sculpting, fabricating, mould making, casting and using paint effects. Learn about the demands of the industry from specialist tutors, and have a go at translating your own ideas into 3D.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £619.00 Senior fee £495.00 Concession £402.00

Course Code: VU976

Sat, day, 17 Sep - 19 Nov '22

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This is a practical introductory course to prop making and working in the prop making industry, suitable for beginners and those with experience. It is very accessible, hands-on and friendly! You will explore a range of materials and techniques including carving and sculpting, fabricating, mould making, life casting, finishing and paint effects. You will be encouraged to develop your personal interpretation and interests throughout the course. If you are an absolute beginner tasks will be tailored for you and we promise you will have fun. If you have experienced previous prop making courses, we will help you develop and improve your knowledge of materials and modelling and sculpting techniques.

What will we cover?

- Sculpting in various clays and polymers.
- Carving in polystyrene and Styrofoam.
- Mould making and casting.
- Life casting.
- Fabricating.
- Paint effects and finishes.
- Contextual research.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Sculpt objects in various clays and polymers.
- Carve basic or more advanced forms in polystyrene or Styrofoam.
- Make a one-piece or two-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 to achieve realistic results.
- 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 course for all levels, from beginners with no previous experience, to those who have taken prop making courses before.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be introduced to new materials and techniques in 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.

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.

You must wear sturdy shoes that cover the whole foot (no open toe). Please also wear old working clothes or bring overalls.

A camera/phone camera would be useful 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 during the class. Any photos of previous prop making work would be very useful to help the tutor assess your previous experience.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The City Lit sculpture department offers a wide range of exciting courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced and learn a range of techniques. After this course you may wish to pursue your interest in prop making and gain more in-depth experience of the prop making industry. The ideal course for you is Introduction to prop making for film, TV, theatre and display: part 2.

We offer courses in prop making, metal, clay, wax, carving in stone and wood, mould making and casting in Jesmonite, or pewter and much more! Alternatively, you may wish to progress onto the year-long City Lit Sculpture course VU841, which helps you to build your own individual sculpture practice and culminates with an exhibition.

We are constantly adding new courses. Please ask your tutor for advice or browse the City Lit website for inspiration. It is also possible to contact our visual arts team by emailing, or calling 020 7492 2700 Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.