Indie sci-fi filmmaker looking for much needed advice


New Member
Hey everyone,

I'm currently in the meat of pre-production on a major sci-fi short film project. The film will require some serious costume and prop work, so I'm looking for some advice from people who actually know how to build stuff.

We've got a great team of concept artists, a good costume director, and an eager (if inexperienced) prop maker, but none of us have ever carried concepts this complex to completion. So I'm wondering if anyone here has some tips or advice for achieving the quality level we seek.

Here's the most updated concept for the primary costume (you'll see some obvious influences, and we're still refining it):


And an older concept sketch for a sidearm the main character uses (it's advanced since this point, but this is the most refined sketch we have at the moment):


I've seen some of the stuff made on here, and the craftsmenship is often stunningly top-notch. I figure if you all can create replicas of existing props, you might have insight into creating some new ones.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the project, check out it's website: Novos film blog



Master Member
none of that looks fairly too difficult but its always time vs money being the two that never get along. Id suggest you look into snowboard padded clothing as there are many existing off the shelf items that would work quickly and cheaply as opposed to fabricating that costume. For example:
Demon Flex Force Long Padded Pants

The gun is a design similar to Star Trek, its just a strait build up. If you wanted to put some money into it the claw type sections could be made out of acrylic so the edges would light up. Do the shell sections in clear or vac formed clear and you have a light up function that fx in post can work from. It will also give ambient light on set if lite bright enough.


Well-Known Member
vacuum form the body armor from .090 ABS sheet if a 'hard armor' look is what you're after. Mold boot lowers in flexible urethane foam and bond it to an existing boot to keep the weight down. Other details of the costume would also work well molded with flexible foam.


New Member
Everything you two both just wrote went right over my head -- but hey, that's why I came here!

I have budgets for both the costume and prop, but as mentioned, it's always a time/money thing. The film shoots towards the end of July. What's a reasonable expectation for how long things like this take to make?


Sr Member
Awesome endeavor! My plan is for a sci-fi short also, so can't wait to see your progress. Good luck, wish I were closer.


Master Member
I don't know how well this will help out, but Indy Mougl's Backyard FX has a good tutorial on how to use foam floor mats to create Sci-Fi armor with.
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