What do I need to do to become a prop maker?
For this job, you'll need to be good at solving problems and able to pay close attention to detail. Your creative talent and skills will often be more important than formal qualifications to start in this job. Courses such as art and design, prop making or technical theatre can help you to develop the skills you need. Practical experience is very important.
In the theatre you would typically start as a props assistant or technician. In film or TV you would start as an art department trainee. The key to finding a job is to gain practical experience and to build up a list of contacts within the industry, with people such as set designers, for example.
Student productions, amateur theatre, festivals and events are useful ways to gain practical skills.
You might study for an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas:
- prop making
- scenic arts
- production arts
Other useful degree subjects include art and design, fine art and 3D design. You may also be able to get into prop making after training in related areas, such as graphic design, furniture making or model making.
You'll usually need:
a foundation studies diploma in art and design
at least 1 A level for a foundation degree
2 to 3 A levels for a degree
Universities across the UK offer courses in this area; look carefully at the content of each course to ensure it meets your needs and interest. Some providers include:
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Greater Brighton Metropolitan College
University Centre Grimsby
University of Hertfordshire
You could study for:
Level 3 Diploma in Production Arts
Level 4 HNC / Level 5 HND in Performing Arts (Production)
Foundation degree, or HND in prop making, technical theatre or set design