Introduction to prop making for film, TV, theatre and display
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VU106
Choose a start date
Duration: 5 sessions
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?
For those with an interest in prop making, or those wishing to start out on the path to working as a prop maker in film, TV and theatre. This intensive week long introduction to prop making techniques will focus on responding to a given brief and introduce the demands of the prop making industry. You will explore a range of sculptural materials and techniques that are employed to make props in these industries including, sculpting, fabricating, casting, mould
making and paint effects and finishes.
You will be introduced to the possible progression routes of further study at a higher level and/or potential employment avenues in this area.
What will we cover?
Working to a given brief, you will explore and experiment in the following disciplines in relation to prop making:
- Sculpting in a variety of different materials
- Mould making and casting
- Paint effects and finishes
- Pattern cutting in foam
- Working with scale.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Have a good understanding of the demands of a specific prop making project as appropriate to the industries of film, TV and theatre.
- Use a range of appropriate techniques and processes.
- Gain an understanding of the requirements of developing a prop making brief.
- Understand the importance of experimentation and record keeping.
- Gain an understanding of possible progression routes within the subject.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous experience is necessary. This is an intensive introductory level course. There is a follow on course to develop your skills further if you wish to continue your study in this area.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Each day will introduce new materials, processes and tools with the last day being a self driven micro-project using the knowledge learnt over the previous days.
- You will be taught by demonstration followed by practical application.
- Briefs and projects will be set by the tutor.
- You will be advised to utilise London's vibrant museums and art galleries for inspiration for your final day's self driven project. The British Museum is just around the corner from the Keeley Street campus.
- You will receive one to one guidance and there will be group discussions.
- You will be shown examples of work by practising prop makers and you will receive information about progression routes available to you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All essential materials and equipment will be provided and are included in the course fee.
You must wear flat sturdy shoes with a closed toe. Please also wear old working clothes that you do not mind
getting messy or bring overalls.
Please bring a sketchbook, pencils and a pen to sketch and make notes. A camera is also useful to photograph
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 join a course in a material
or process you have tried before to develop your skills further, or try something completely different. 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! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (telephone temporarily unavailable) Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm.
Ro Sylvester is a veteran of film and theatre, having made costume and props for productions such as ‘Hellraiser’ and ‘Legend’ back in the ‘80s. She ran a costume studio in Covent Garden for some time, supplying the Opera House and other West End Theatres with costumes and props. Ro also made many props and costumes for pop videos including Eddie Grant, Supertramp and New Order. From the early ‘90s, she worked in secondary and 6th form teaching, delivering exam courses in Design Technology, Textiles, Graphics, Computer Graphics and Model Making. Having retired from secondary teaching in 2017, Ro has worked to private commission in retail display, commercials and theatre. She has also worked as a tutor at City Lit, teaching; Model Making, Prop Making, Perspective, Pastel drawing and general creativity skills. She continues to create bespoke lightweight jewellery, window displays and props for theatre and film. Ro runs a lively and fast moving classroom, helping students to explore their potential and progress onto other courses where applicable. You can see much of her work and that of her students on her website.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.