Budget Prop Making: Seeing Things Differently

Sure, this looks like an ordinary 50 cent, bargain bin spool of thread.

But I see it as locks of hair for a zombie pirate skull and a potential laser pistol targeting sight.

Creative Inspiration: Big Movies on Regular TV

I know one day in the future folks will be very nostalgic for Tuesday DVD releases, but in my youth, just having a now antique VCR let alone owning a store bought film on VHS was luxury. During those years, it was a big deal when big movies aired on any of the regular big three networks even though they where a few years old by the time they did.

The ABC Sunday Night Movie was a "second coming" for beloved movies in those days. They where heavily promoted, starting from a few weeks before right up until the very last minute before air. There was a unique feeling of excitement caused by these network premiers that recent generations will never experience due to DVDs, BLU-RAYs, web downloads and the 1001 cable channels to choose from.

Below are some opening title clips from the Sunday Night Movie that feature a few of my favorite movies. The creative inspiration from these is very personal. They remind me of evenings when I'd sit in my room after the movie ended at 11pm, drawing or making stuff, pumped up and wide awake due to the "event" feel of it all until the wee hours of the morning.

104 Days 'til Halloween: Bloody, Dripping, Head Sack How-To

I'm not a big fan of extreme gore at Halloween, but a touch of it is okay by me, especially if creepy and mysterious such as an unseen severed head wrapped up waiting to be disposed of or saved for some unspeakable reason. The fun of this prop is it actually can drip blood for upwards of 2 hours (depending on how you make it) and is easily refilled as needed.

It's really simple to make and requires zero high tech. Basically you just wrap a plastic jug full of colored water and poke a few holes in it. It also lends itself to numerous variations creating different hanging "parts" using different sized containers. A bunch of these will be dangling around my Frankenstein lab this year. Imagine a tree full of these that folks have to walk under Halloween night and get hit with a few drips doing so. It would give me the "willies".

The one pictured here is sort of a quick "proof of concept" version. I hope to make improved ones later with added details in more natural shapes. One with visible strands of hair or an ear or nose poking through the burlap would look great. Fake hands and feet attached to longer thinner bottles are definitely planned on.

Materials: Used milk gallon container, red food coloring, pitcher of water, nail (or something similar to poke small holes with), burlap, rope and black spray paint (I suggest Krylon Fusion for plastic).
Step 1 - Spray paint the milk container. This will help disguise it if seen through any gaps in the burlap weave.
Step 2 - While the paint dries, mix up some blood in the pitcher of water by adding red food coloring. Make extra and have standing by for refills on Halloween night. Store bought fake blood will work but thin it out, thicker fluid doesn't flow as well through the small holes.
Step 3 - Once the paint is dry enough, fill the container about 3/4 full and close cap tight. Having a funnel on standby is a good idea, especially for refilling.
Step 4 - Place on your piece of burlap. Tie the rope to the container handle. This will be taking all the weight when hanging so use a good strong knot.
Step 5 - Pull up the sides of the burlap, wrapping the container and tie off with a separate piece of rope. Fray and trim the burlap if needed. Some extra looping of rope will help create the illusion it and the hanging rope are one piece. Keep loose enough to open or untie easily should you want to refill.
Step 6 - Test hang from somewhere and make sure all the knots are good. While at it, a good time to embellish with paint if you like creating blood stains or adding other aging.
Step 7 - The fun part. Hang where you like and poke 2 or 3 very tiny holes at the base of the container. Don't poke any above the water line as this will allow air in and create a stream of water flowing out (unless that's what you want). Also don't poke any too high on the sides as once the water decreases below the hole, it will affect the same way. You might try experimenting on another spare container first. Red food coloring can stain, so make sure where it's dripping will not damage anything or has a catch basin. Small push pin sized holes will drip slow and should last about 2 hours before refilling. Obviously the larger the hole the less dripping time. The one I made here has 2 fairly big 1/8 wide holes and lasted about 45 minutes.

Who? What? Where? When? Huh?

2 weeks ago I signed on to a TV show for what was originally going to be just 5 days of work and only yesterday was my last day. Many long hours that all blurred together.

Today I hope to get back to making my Franken- Switch and also spend part the weekend doodling up many new new cartoons for much neglected Para Abnormal.

121 Days 'til Halloween: Franken-Switch (Part 5)

Not much progress over the past few days, turned out to be a busy week in the real world. I did doodle where the piece might go next, based on what has been done so far. As you can see below, I've decided to make the switch built into the pillar by adding a curved support element.

This sketch also allows me to play with color schemes. Pretty sure it will end up being brass and copper with lots of verdigris and rust. A good look for the Frankenstein theme and much more Halloweenie.