Prop Making – First Attempt. 

My first attempt at prop making was on Monday the 3rd of April. I experimented with polystyrene and acrylic paint to try and create a fake brick or bricks, which I will use in my short film. I followed a YouTube tutorial, which I have mentioned in my research, and attempted to produce similar results. The materials I have used are;

  • Polystyrene sheets (x6)
  • Acrylic paint (red, brown, white)

The tools I have used are;

  • An exacto knife – to cut the polystyrene
  • A glue gun – to glue the sheets together
  • A ruler – to make measurements (2.5inch x 6inch)
  • A pencil – to document measurements on the material

I started by measuring and marking 2.5inches by 6inches on the polystyrene board with a ruler and pencil, however the board felt hard and I realised it would be a safety risk to use this to hit someone with (as this is what the fake bricks will be used for) because it may injure them. I peeled off the thing plastic covering and used the actual polystyrene board, which felt slightly softer. It also looked more like styrofoam, which is the material used in the tutorial.

I then used the exacto knife to cut the polystyrene into rectangles, similar to the length and width of a real brick. After cutting out multiple rectangles I used the glue gun to put them together to form a thicker rectangle, which resembled a brick. Some of the rectangles looked slightly uneven, making the ‘brick’ look slanted on one side, however I thought it would become unnoticeable once the paint was added. I may even be able to work with this if it is slanted, as bricks aren’t always in perfect condition, or I could hide the slanted side from the camera using my actress’ hand or a different camera angle. I then sanded down the corners and edges of the thick block to avoid injuring myself or my actors.

I used white acrylic paint (as recommended with polystyrene) and gave the block three coats on each side and waited for it to dry. I then mixed red acrylic paint (Mars red) and brown acrylic paint (burnt sienna) to create a brick – like colour, however the colour turned out more brown than red, which seemed unrealistic as most bricks as are a dusty red/brownish colour.

As a first attempt, I think the experiment went well and I was able to produce something that slightly resembled a real red brick, which Kim suggested I bring for my next attempt so that I would be able to get the colour, size and texture right. I will try my second attempt at prop making on Wednesday the 5th or Thursday the 6th.



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