Ideas for movie props

movie set

Set design and prop making are an art form.

That means having realistic props are a key aspect of making a great film or show. However, buying them may be out of your budget.

Thankfully, it’s sometimes possible to buy the materials, make the props yourself, and still come up with an excellent product.

In this article, we’ll present innovative movie prop ideas, specifically prop supplies you can make from plastic and steel drums, as well as intermediate bulk containers (IBCs).

How to create your own prop barrels

The great thing about using barrels as movie props is that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Whether you’re an avid movie fan or a casual TV watcher, you’ve likely seen barrels used in many different genres.

Although some are authentic barrels bought for the production, many were likely repurposed from steel and plastic shipping drums.

While numerous suppliers can sell you prop barrels, you can probably recreate the same product at a fraction of the cost.

The result may even be more aligned with your vision for the set and film.

Prop barrels can be used in many different genres of film and television.

If your film includes a scene set in a warehouse, factory or junkyard, a prop steel barrel repainted with warning signs and covered in caution tape is an authentic addition.

Conversely, a scene set at a circus or carnival can feature brightly coloured barrels holding other props or carnival games.

A period drama involving ships or pirates may include prop barrels painted brown or covered to replicate a wooden exterior.

If you’re producing a horror film or psychological thriller, you’d be remiss not to include an automated prop steel barrel.

With the expertise of an electrician, you can rig the container to jump off the ground, open its lid and spew smoke or ooze liquid for added special effects.  

Yet, the use of plastic and steel drums as prop supplies is not limited to prop barrels.

Several elements of a set can be made from them.

Prop steel barrels can be repurposed into furniture, such as tables, chairs, bars, and rubbish bins.

If you want to include plants or a garden on set, plastic drums can be halved, filled with soil, and used as planters.

Using IBCs in films

Intermediate bulk containers or IBCs can also be used as prop supplies in films.

Typically used to carry liquids, they can provide a similar purpose on set.

In a factory or warehouse scene, characters can shuttle fake toxic chemicals or other liquids using an IBC.

Another movie prop idea worth exploring is using an IBC to dispense liquids.

Whereas purchasing a functioning drink dispenser or installing plumbing for a scene can be expensive, using an IBC to store and dispense liquid behind a façade can give a similar outcome for less money and work.

Contact ITP Packaging

An IBC, plastic drum, or steel drum can be redesigned to fit numerous backdrops for movie prop ideas.

Contact ITP Packaging today, so our team of professionals can advise you on the best products for your next blockbuster.

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