One of the number one problems when making a production while you’re a student is being able to find good, accurate, cheap within budget props. Which is the issue I shall be tackling today in this blog post as I use my own experience to help you find the best props which are still in budget.
The first place you should go to find props, may not surprise you, is your house. Student homes have an array of prop opportunities, from a big ugly rug you never use but your film character would, to an ironing board for a character’s daily routine. Sourcing props from your own house is a cheap and effective way of keeping your film budget low!
Next place I would go for free props are two on-campus sources that you may not even know of yet, or never knew you could use as a source of props. These two places are the on-campus scene dock in the television studio and the drama props cupboard. The scene dock have many useful props for tv shows, but also some that can be used for film productions, so it’s always worth asking the technicians if you can borrow something. Additionally, the drama room’s prop cupboard, located in the art centre, is a great place to find both costumes and other set pieces!
If you still can’t find everything you need from those places, it’s time to head down to your local charity shops for some interesting bargains. Charity shops are a treasure trove of miscellaneous items which work amazingly in production. For example, for my 3rd-year film production, we had a room with boring white walls, so we went to the charity shop and found a roll of yellow Laura Ashley wallpaper, which works with our script and amazingly as a feature wall.
If you’re still having no luck check out Poundland and other cheaper shops. Poundland have a huge homeware section which is perfect for prop buying. For one of my production I purchased, pillows photo frames, fake flowers, and kitchen items from there. Poundland is a great prop resource which you should check out!
Finally, if you still haven’t found exactly what you’re looking for Amazon or eBay may be the answer for your problem. If you’re ordering online, remember to check where the item(s) you’re buying are coming from as if it’s coming from somewhere like China, for example, the item will take weeks or even months to arrive, which is not ideal.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it a bit useful in finding your production’s prop. Just remember it’s not about how much you spend, all that matters is how good it looks on camera. Thanks for reading.
Until next time!
Film/Show of the day: Derren Brown: Miracles for Sale (2011)