Looking for Props for your next movie? Check out After Halloween Sales!
I was at my local department store shopping for a storage bin and I stumbled upon my biggest pet peeve this time of year, The Nightmare Before Christmas a long row of Halloween items on sale while Christmas music blared happily overhead. I always wish we could have a rest from exposure to both of these over-saturated events between Halloween and Thanksgiving, but I'm also a savvy shopper.
Goodies Galore - and Not just for Fright Night or Horror Films!
Anyone who makes videos that might need movie props or makeup should consider the Halloween sale aisle.
- If you have a fake fight, you'll need scars or makeup.
- If you have an ethereal fairy or wizard making magic, you'll need tiaras, wands and maybe even fairy wings.
- This time of year you're going to find wigs, fake swords, zombie makeup and more all at 50% to 75% off. What a deal.
- Facial scars, skin putty and glue.
- fake teeth even fake blood.
- Most Halloween props are all on sale and you probably won't find them again until next year.
- Seasonal Halloween specialty stores will offer a bigger selection with much better quality props but they often have their half-off sales only on the day after Halloween and then they pack everything up for the next year. But your other variety and department stores will have them on sale much longer - and soon, much cheaper at 75 to 90% off!
- Costumes are on sale a-plenty this time of year... are you working on a Renaissance or other period piece?
- What about that 50's era piece? You might have the scarves and jeans, but saddle shoes and poodle skirts? Now's the time to gather costumes.
- Think about other gruesome props you might find at a Halloween sale: severed limbs, spiders and bats, skeletons and bones, cauldrons, tombstones and an assortment of props meant to indicate mayhem.
Just in Case
This year I got a couple wigs, a very real looking tiara and an awesome velvet and satin cape at the Halloween store for half off. I have no need for any of these items, but the wigs are very real looking and the cape or tiara might come in handy for a show of some kind later on down the road.
- The makeup, though, that was a great find at my local department store. For 75% off I got four different looks packaged together complete with diagrams and instructions on how to make a realistic-looking zombie, hag, clown and vampire. You never know when your video production calls for one of these wondrous characters.
- I saw a gallon of vampire's blood, but couldn't figure when I'd ever use that much, so I passed it up, but at 75% off, it was a tough decision!
Seasonal Props aren't Just for Halloween!
- If you're thinking of ways to build a DIY set, and ever have need of creating fog in your production, I've seen fog-machines on sale after Halloween. And purchasing a prop or tool like this isn't just about getting it on sale, you might not be able to find it after the holidays unless you contact a Hollywood prop and special effects store.
- From pirates to cowboys; robots to monsters; masks to makeup; jewelry to wigs, the props are already designed, all you have to do is add the accessories to flesh out the blueprint and create the style in the picture you see in your mind.
- But don't stop at just Halloween props for ideas for video production uses for seasonal goods. Christmas time has a good variety of things you might use elsewhere, especially lights. Those twinkle lights are good for so many things and you'll only find them around Christmas time.
- I've used Christmas twinkle lights to wrap along the branches of trees for a festive look and to give some depth to a dark background.
- I've trailed them along walkways for the same reason, they define edges of gardens well for a night-time video shoot.
- You can even make them look like stars, if you drape them right and shoot them with a soft focus.
- Fake snow is also good... are you going to be shooting a winter scene in the middle of July?
- What about that collection of fake leaves for some autumn falling leaves shot? You're not going to find this stuff in April!
- I found a great blue and red flashing DJ light that works great for the spill of an off-camera red and blue rotating police cruiser light.
- Spring holidays brings other props that might be useful. I've used that bluish or pink cellophane that's used to wrap Easter baskets on windows to change the color of the spill when I didn't have any proper gels at my disposal. A pink gel lower and an orange gel on the upper edge of a window splashed a lovely spill of color on a wall that surprisingly made for a nice sunrise feel.
- And Easter grass [safely tucked in secured baggies] makes great packing material.
We've used many of my eclectic collection for props for video or photo shoots here at Videomaker, I have an exceptional accumulation. I'm like a school-teacher, I see multiple uses in everything, and next time you're shopping the bargain aisle, you should too. Anything might be a great prop - finding the space to store it is a different issue!
- Jennifer O'Rourke, Videomaker's Managing Editor