loading
Picture of Cardboard Props: How to make a Movie Camera
SAM_1573.JPG
So this is my last Prop I'ble of the 2011 Chester Gangshow... In one scene they needed a modern looking movie camera.... For about three weeks I stared at the words on my props list in disbelief... NOW, I have seen Cameras... I have even used them... but I didn't have the foggiest idea on how to construct one out of a few sheets of card... But, well I *think* I FINALLY succeeded.

If you like it, rate it, and if you make it, show me :D
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
As for ingredients this one is an easy one.
  • Cardboard ( I used a thin box because i'm lazy)
  • Glue gun
  • Grey Fur
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marker Pen
  • Craft Knife
  • Cardboard tube
  • Plastic tub
  • Black paint
  • Black Duct tape

Step 2: Body

Picture of Body
SAM_1530.JPG
SAM_1531.JPG
I was lucky enough to have a rectangular box about the right size I needed... What I did here was cut out two rounded sections, one at the front corner and one on the long edge (which will be where it sits on your shoulder)

We will come back to this bit later... also I used the section cut out from the leng edge later on (so don't chuck it out!)

Step 3: Fill in them holes!

Picture of Fill in them holes!
SAM_1539.JPG
Since we have just cut two massive holes in our rectangular body, It would be sloppy of us to not cover them... I used a thin corrugated cardboard (like you would use in packing parcels) as it is very flexable. Just cut a sectionto size and glue in place :)

For the under section I used the wavey edge outwards to give it some texture

on the 'top' hole I used the smooth side

Step 4: +--| |-- - Battery Box

Picture of +--| |-- - Battery Box
SAM_1533.JPG
SAM_1534.JPG
SAM_1535.JPG
SAM_1536.JPG
SAM_1537.JPG
Now to craft the batery box... On all the pictures I saw, the battery box sticks outwards from the back of the camera, this is how I did it

I cut a strip of card that was roughly as long as (but 2cm's thinner) than that of the 'body' end section of the camera. I decided that I wanted this 'battery box' to have a sloping top section, so I cut two triangular sections and added them to the side peices.

I essentially made a box shape and just hot glued the top into a triangle... I'm not feeling very eloquent today so you shall just have to see the pictures to get an idea of what i'm on about

When you have constructed your box, glue it to your camera

Step 5: Now Focus!

Picture of Now Focus!
Okay here I glued a section of cardboard tubing to form the long lense portion of the camera. I wanted this wide enough for the person in the scene to hold it and make it look like they where changing focus...

We shall come back to this bit in a minute :)

Step 6: Recycle your cut offs!

Picture of Recycle your cut offs!
SAM_1544.JPG
SAM_1545.JPG
SAM_1546.JPG

Using the offcuts from step 2 I folded them into a 3d Circular(ish) shape, that I could fit a plastic lid inside.... The blue plastic lid eventually gets used to house the lenses... This cardboard shape acts like a sun shade for the lens.  I had to manually manipulate the cardboard for it to take on the circular shape i wanted... it's hard to explain but you can see it in the last picture.

You then need to affix the flat back part of the lens shade onto the cardboard tube you added in step 5

Step 7: It's all about the small detail

Picture of It's all about the small detail
SAM_1548.JPG

This is a simple little bit of detailing that probably no one will ever see but i added, because i knew without it, i wouldn't like the piece... I took some of the corrugated packaging cardboard that we used in Step 3, cut it to half the width of the cardboard tube, and as long as the tubes circumference. I then glued it down... this acts as the twisty doodad thing that camera men use to zoom in or change focus, or whatever.

Step 8: Eye seeeee yoooo


Sorry to non-pro members who have difficulties seeing multiple pictures, but i have to explain this in one step (seriously go pro, it's REALLY worth it)

Now this is a tricky one to explain so bear with me... in this step i make the part that the camera operator would usually look through, i know nowadays they probably use little screens, but i'm an 80's kid, and i always remember camera men on tv with their eyes to a little eye... thing... *shrug*

I started by cutting out several circles of card, I drew around a sewing thread bobbin, just because im rubbish at drawing consistent circles. These circles are used as supports to keep the shape of the tube. I made sure i flattened one edge of the circles so that i had one flat side to the eye tube.

Taking the corrugated packing card, i cut a strip, wide enough to reach round the circumference of the rounded part of our cardboard circles, and long enough so that it will sit out far enough from the camera when it is attached so that someone can comfortably use the prop as if it were a real camera.

I then began glueing the circles into the tube, i found that i could place the circles in the groves in the corrugated card, it made placing them and glueing them a lot easier. It's fiddly to glue them but you will get used to it.

After glueing in my disks with a small gap in between i made a 90(ish) degree angle in the corrugated card and glued in place... this forms the L shape you would associate with the eye viewer.

Once all the disks are in place, i then cut a piece of cardboard to close in the viewer. And then glued it onto the front of my camera. In the last picture you can see that i have boxed in the viewer where it joins the camera, so as that it looks like it's all one unit.

Step 9: Can you 'Handle' this?

Picture of Can you 'Handle' this?

This is an easy step... cut out a handle shape out of cardboard and attach it to the top of your camera.

Step 10: Almost there

Picture of Almost there
boom.JPG
SAM_1561.JPG
SAM_1561.JPG
SAM_1562.JPG
This step is in two parts, here i made a microphone/ boom attachment, and added a panel to just give the side a little extra detail.

The microphone is simply a thin paper tube attached by a small piece of cardboard to the side of the Camera, to help demonstrate this because of a lack of an actual picture i have drawn something up in paint for you.

We will finish the mic in a later step.

Step 11: Lense

Picture of lense
SAM_1521.JPG
SAM_1545.JPG
SAM_1562.JPG

Using the blue lid from step 6, I traced arround the edges onto a plastic tub to make a flat lense for the camera. You may not need to include this, i did it because it would make the camera look a bit more real on stage.

Cut the plastic disk out and put to one side for a later step.

It is now that you need to glue your plastic lid into place on your camera (as indicated in step 6)

Step 12: Paint it black

Picture of Paint it black
SAM_1564.JPG
SAM_1565.JPG
SAM_1566.JPG

For this step i suggest you go outside put on some old clothes and go nuts with your choice of spray paint... I had grand designs of doing all manner of paint effects but i unfortunately ran out of time, so just sprayed it all in the cheapest black spray paint i could find. Cardboard REALLY drinks up the paint, so you may want to give it a few coats.

I would also leave the camera to air in a garage shed or similar, as the smell of the paint can be quite over powering.

When the paint has dried, remember to put your plastic lense from the last step in place (you may want to secure it with a small amount of glue)

Step 13: BOOOM

Picture of BOOOM
SAM_1569.JPG
SAM_1570.JPG
In step 10 i introduced the microphone attachment to you, it is here that we finish the detail. Using a rectangle of grey fur, wrap the top end of the cardboard tube (and glue in place) leaving some hanging over,  using the remaining fur that is hanging over, tick it inside the tube forming a seamless end to the camera. I can't eloquently enough describe what i did but my pictures show it :)

I made sure that the glued seam of the fur was on the side that was closer to the camera itself so it couldn't be seen by the audience

Step 14: A final note and slight appology

Picture of A final note and slight appology
SAM_1571.JPG
SAM_1566.JPG
SAM_1565.JPG
SAM_1572.JPG
Well that's the camera completed... Enjoy...

Now, for my apology. This Instructable has been the bain of my life... I started writing it over twelve months ago and have not really been bothered to update it... every now and again i would dip in and maybe tweak something... so if you noticed that a few of the steps are a little vague and not in my usual concise (haha!) style, I whole heartily apologize..

Thankfully this is now posted.... The prop however is probably all soggy and moldy in the prop store room in Chester... Oh well... it was fun to make anyway :)
ImKailaBear6 months ago

Do you have other videocamera props? that is easier

Awesome!, I also want to make a cardboard camera for school, the Ultra Panavision 70mm or mgm camera 65 that David Lean used in some of his films. Now I know it can be done. Don't have the exact measurements however - not that matters much. Thanks.

alexis.robinsonfrizzell made it!11 months ago

Thanks for the tutorial! I needed a prop for April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a TMNT themed kids party. This worked beautifully! I was in a bit of a hurry, but the 5 and 7 year olds didn't mind a few imperfections. Thanks again!

IMG_1838.JPG
JT_Garbo made it!1 year ago

I have made this awesome creative object, which is a movie camera, all thanks to Biggsy, for the inspiration. I have made two of these ! Really good thing to build :D

20140524_130435.jpg

I am going to make my first instrucatables of a photo camara!!!

kfc1 made it!1 year ago

Hello again Biggsy.
My name is Kareem I am from Panama, and my mom also prepares hot chocolate ,north americans used to live here XD

I am very thankful for your instructable, you really saved my live. I acted in four shows this weekend . Everyone told me how awesome my camera was! I made added a few personal touches < Led lights! flashlight. !!

Some parts looked patched up , but not noticeable from far. The eye viewer didnt come up as neat to me :S but i tried :D

Again, You are the best my friend!!
P.S, Please send me your email for more pics and story. :)

Now for the pics:...

IMG_20140316_160810.jpgIMG_20140316_160832.jpgIMG_20140316_160929.jpgIMG_20140316_161019.jpg
Biggsy (author)  kfc11 year ago
Wow that looks fantastic welldone Kareem. I love seeing people recreate my projects and add theirown twist.

You can send me an email via instructables :-)
kfc1 kfc11 year ago

more pics

IMG_20140316_161055.jpgIMG_20140316_161039.jpgIMG_20140316_233139.jpgIMG_20140316_233153.jpg
kfc1 kfc11 year ago

and more ;D

IMG_20140316_233204.jpgIMG_20140316_233238.jpgIMG_20140316_233308.jpgIMG_20140316_233322.jpg
kfc11 year ago
Hi Bigsy,great awesome tutorial!
I will be making a prop cam like this one for a theatre performance.

My question is what are the dimensions of the box you used for the body of the camera?and maybe the front lens if you can.

Thanks un advance
Biggsy (author)  kfc11 year ago
The lense (just re read my ible) was the diamiter of an options hot chocolate lid (if you are british you should know what im on about) but you could probably draw round the lid of something like a jam jar or peanut butter lid
Biggsy (author)  kfc11 year ago
Im really rubbish at measuring things.. i just went with what felt right... also i think the lense cap was just a random bit of plastic i had in my bits box... it might have been pringles lid sized? Im sorry it was quite a while ago... send me a pic if you make one please! Good luck :-)
kfc1 kfc11 year ago
P.S. Urgent emergency XD
ArtistZ3 years ago
Nice 'ible! Looks real! I was always very fascinated in movie-making, perhaps I'll make one myself when I can save up a stock of cardboard!
Biggsy (author)  ArtistZ3 years ago
Just go to a supermarket, or local store and ask them for some cardboard boxes... They're always happy to give it away as they hae to pay for garbage removal/recycling.
ArtistZ Biggsy3 years ago
Really? Sweet, I'll ask my local Pick N Save.
Biggsy (author)  ArtistZ3 years ago
No problem, if you ever make one, be sure to send me a picture
Biggsy (author)  ArtistZ3 years ago
I also made an I'ble for a boom microphone it's in my feed
schumi233 years ago
Thats great!
Though, i'll never do it, as i got an actual old VHS Camcorder for free :) Since i cant think of anything to do with it, it will probably survive intact, or at least the outside.
Biggsy (author)  schumi233 years ago
errrm... rightoh :) Thanks for the comment
caitlinsdad3 years ago
Cool!  I made the handheld and stationary one on rolling tripod for my kid's school play a few years back.  Cardboard and takeaway containers.
portable.jpgcamkid.jpg
Biggsy (author)  caitlinsdad3 years ago
Don;t know if you spotted it but i also made a boom microphone to go along with it, it's also in my ibles feed
Biggsy (author)  caitlinsdad3 years ago
Thats pretty awesome :)
michaelko3 years ago
pretty
Biggsy (author)  michaelko3 years ago
Thanks
michaelko3 years ago
самые смешные анекдоты
That is fantastic!
Biggsy (author)  jessyratfink3 years ago
Thanks :)