Introduction to prop making for film, TV, theatre and display
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: VU962
Choose a start date
Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)
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?
The prop making industry revolves around problem solving, working to a brief, team work and delivering on time. This comprehensive course will introduce you to the challenges of being a prop maker and working to such specifications. The course is based on a collaborative group project, although each student will be encouraged to have an independent and personal input. You will develop ideas, then explore a range of relevant materials and techniques to produce your concept successfully in three dimensions. You will be interpreting and realising a brief, and working to a deadline. This is an exciting, challenging and creative course, you will be introduced to progression routes for further study and/or potential employment. This is a great addition to your CV if you are starting out in prop making as it focuses on working to a brief and realising an end product. Team work and collaboration is a vital skill needed for working in the prop making industry and this course enables you to gain this experience.
What will we cover?
Working to a given brief you will explore and experiment in the following disciplines:
- Contextual research and design development.
- Drawing and designing skills.
- Working with and understanding scale.
- Realisation of ideas and concepts in three dimensions.
- Relevant skills appropriate to your design ideas, which could include sculpting in clay or sculpey, carpentry, life
casting, mould making and casting, Polystyrene and Styrofoam carving, and fabricating.
- Appropriate use of paint effects and finishes.
- Working in collaboration and in a team situation.
- Working to a deadline and learning installation skills.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand and interpret a prop making brief.
- Understand the design process and relevance of research.
- Design and develop a concept into three dimensions according to the brief.
- Analyse, plan and select appropriate techniques and processes to initiate a required 3D outcome.
- Identify the demands and advantages of working collaboratively.
- Have realised your individual ideas and concepts successfully into three dimensions.
- Have made a significant contribution to final installation.
- Identify areas within the prop making industry that might use your specific area of work.
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?
Brainstorming, group discussion and one-to-one tutorials will all play an important part in this vibrant course. This is a collaborative project, but with plenty of opportunity for you to develop your ideas on an individual basis, in pairs, or more collectively should you choose providing you are responding to the brief. You will be given practical advice to help you realise your ideas in three dimensions as effectively as possible, and given the opportunity to work with different techniques and processes. Although this is not mandatory, there will be an option to develop work outside of class and you will be encouraged to visit London’s vibrant museums and art galleries to gather ideas. Research I a key word when we talk about design, and history gives us plenty of material to work with. You will be shown examples of work from relevant practising artists, sculptors and 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?
Please bring a small sketch pad, drawing materials i.e. pencils, graphite, pen, a tablet if you have one. A camera is
also useful to photograph your work.
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.
Basic materials are provided, although depending on the ambition of your design, you may need to purchase or
source further materials. In this case you will be advised by the tutor in class about what/where to buy.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Your tutor will discuss progression possibilities with you, either in terms of further study, or possible employment
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.