Introduction: Cardboard Props: How to Make a Movie Camera

About: I'm an un-repentant mess creator... I'll turn my hand to anything and providing i get my fingers back... I'm happy.

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

Step 1: 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

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!

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

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!

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!

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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 :)

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