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A degree level vocational training in professional prop making leading to potential careers in theatre, film, television, window display, model animation, community arts, museum installation and replication work.
Central’s Prop Makers develop into highly technically skilled, creatively inventive individuals, able to contribute effectively and professionally to any production and its team, or work independently. It is rare to make the same thing twice and, as such, the Prop Maker has to be ingenious, quick-thinking, enjoy problem solving and have a love of materials and all things three-dimensional.
You will gain experience through working with a broad range of materials and techniques from intricate, hand-held reproduction props, to large scale structures requiring excellent artistic and creative skills. You will also undertake industry placements and participate in the final year exhibition.
You will attend classes and workshops in design interpretation, technical drawing, sculpting, mould making, casting, fibre glass and plaster work, vacuum forming, paint effects, construction, welding and polystyrene carving. Working with professional designers and as part of a production team, you will produce props for public productions at Central, or an external industry event. You will also develop text analysis and research skills, and an understanding of the wider context of the practice.
This year covers sessions and workshops in body padding, advanced mould making, silicone and resin work, advanced sculpting, fabrication and model making. You will further develop your skills in design interpretation, time management, self-management and budgeting, and also head a team to develop management skills. You will undertake further industry placements and continue to develop research skills.
You will take on the role of Head of Department, managing fellow students producing props for productions and continuing to coordinate with other members of the creative and production teams. You will have the opportunity to develop a personal project to showcase at the summer term exhibition and extend further links with the industry through placement work. The focus will be on developing specialist skills to inform strategies for future practice beyond Central, including developing a strong media profile.
Through placements from the second year, Prop Making students work on a range of outcomes including film work, theatre, community arts, museum installation, television productions and window displays. You will benefit from established links with some of the best prop making and associated companies and entertainment practitioners in the UK and beyond, including English National Opera, MDM Props Ltd, The Unicorn Theatre, Madame Tussauds, Elstree Studios, Royal Opera House, Emergency Exit Arts, Kinetica, Asylum Models & Effects, Chameleon Visual, Millington Associates, Neil Corbould Special Effects, Manta Ray, and Whetton & Grosch.
Previously, students have engaged in festivals and events such as Glastonbury, The Rio Carnival, WOMAD International, Thames Festival, London 2012 Olympics, and Hatton Garden Festival, as well as museum installation work in the UK, Germany, Sweden, USA, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Television and film productions include Doctor Who, Harry Hill, Thor, Snow White And The Huntsman, Louis Vuitton, and The Avengers. They have found placements at venues including Circus Space, the Roundhouse, Royal Opera House and Elstree Studios. Students have also worked in window display, including Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Ted Baker, and with professional designers working on Central’s public productions. Many opportunities come through the network of graduates already well placed in theatre, film and television.
Prop Makers, English National Opera, WOMAD International, English Touring Opera, Barbican, Emergency Exit Arts, Birmingham Ballet, Pinewood Studios, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Arcola Theatre, National Theatre, Watford Palace Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Madame Tussauds, Warner Bros., Boomtown Festival, Robert Allsopp & Associates, Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal, and The Imperial War Museum.
3 A Levels at BBC, BTEC ND: DDM.
Offers may vary from this, depending upon expected grades and performance at interview. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement but demonstrate appropriate potential at interview and via their portfolio may be accepted. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio.
For information on alternative entry requirements please see www.ucas.com.
Find out more about the interview process for this course.
Beverley Webb (2008) Prop Maker for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Mould Maker for Madame Tussauds.
Bryony Tyrrell Prop Costume maker for film and television such as Thor, Avengers, Snow White And The Huntsmen.
Liam Harrison Prop Maker for Royal Opera House.
Jack MacCabe Company Theatre Manager, French Woods, USA.
Charlotte Mausdley Company Director, Props Unlimited.
View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to see their CV.
View profiles of the Class of 2014 for this course. Click on each student to see to their CV.
The course is not only about the practical work – learning about new materials and how to manipulate them – but about being exposed to the wider context of performance on projects like London Walks and the Tableau Project. Also, you get to experience the possibilities that are open to Prop Makers in their career first-hand on the placements in theatre, film and television.