How to Become a Prop Maker

Prop Maker Job Description

Prop makers create realistic looking objects for use in theatre, television and film production. This includes a wide range of objects, such as jewellery or weapons, depending on the script.


Successful prop makers must have a wide range of skills, such as carpentry, sculpting, casting, sewing, welding as well as skills which pertain to computer aided design.  



Typical Job Duties

• Fabricate and assemble props and sets for theatre, film and television productions

• Use of hand tools as well as a variety of woodworking and metal working machines and equipment

• Analyze sketches, blueprints and verbal instructions to determine the types of props and their various properties, as well as what equipment will be required to produce them

• Measure and cut materials

• Use of machinery such a drill press, lathes, power saws, routers and milling machines to fabricate parts

• Assemble parts into props using hand tools and equipment such as hammers, wrenches, welding apparatus and screwdrivers

• May rig and control moving or functioning elements of sets that depict action





Steps for Becoming a Prop Maker

Becoming a prop maker takes time and patience. Very few individuals find regular work as a prop maker or prop artisan right away. The companies and production shops that hire prop makers often don’t attend career fairs in order to promote themselves, so you’ll have to find them using more creative methods.


You can begin by searching the 'Motion Picture, TV and Theatre Directory' free online, and 'KFTV' for international listings, of which companies and shops are producing props. Also, check with your regional film commission, as they will often list production resources and crew directories.


It is a good idea to introduce yourself to the shops and production companies that you have found in your search, as they may not be hiring at the moment, but they prefer to have a large pool of people they can contact for short notice work. Prop making shops often find themselves needed someone to work at a moment’s notice, which doesn’t give them time to post a position online.


Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a call back right away, as many companies may not be hiring at the moment, but may be holding on to your information for when they need you.


Once you’ve done one job, you will have made several new personal contacts who know what you can do and who know other people and shops whom you can contact. After three or four jobs, you will have developed several sources for potential new jobs.



Top Banner Image: