By - Steve Mezo
So you decided to make your own Indie Horror movie. You wrote a script, saved any extra money that you could get your hands on, bought a HD Camera, a decent microphone, and an editing program.
Now you're going to need to get a video crew together and of course your talent (sometimes they'll be both). Of course that's going to be more money, because if you can't pay them the polite thing you can do is feed them. Pizza places usually run specials and it's a low cost way to be accommodating to everybody.
You were lucky enough to secure your shooting locations and found a local Party Supply Store that carries fake blood (Unless you make your own) and F/X makeup supplies year round. But you still need costumes and props and you've just about used up all of your budget. What do you do?!
Well you go to the nearest Thrift Store and turn it into the best Costume and Prop House ever!!! Believe me I have allot of experience in this. I've supplied The Costume Shop, decorated haunts and made movie props with allot of the stuff.
Thrift Stores are the best because you can get great stuff at a low price, because the owners have a overhead and don't want anything staying for too long. And since these items are the owners livelihood they check everything over before it goes on the racks.
On top of that if you give the owners loyal business they'll give you deals allot of the time. I have a great friendship with everybody at "Bo's Attic" in Middletown and find allot of what I need there.
Where else are you going to find a full size prop turkey for twenty dollars?
Another Thrift Store I go to allot is "St. Ann's - Project Paul" in Keansburg. There's lots of cool stuff there too, but allot of people in town need what they have so I only go if it's a hard to find prop or clothing item.
Then there's St. Agnes Thrift Shop in Atlantic Highlands where the three story Victorian house it occupies is worth seeing alone. And there's even more in Matawan, Keyport, Red Bank that I go to.
When I'm in Cliffwood "The Good Will" is where if I don't get props I wind up finding really cool collectables.
Check out this really cool briefcase
I actually found and bought a matted and framed picture of Oderous there!
And check out my "Visible Woman" model kit! She's complete, but I have to still assemble her.
And if you keep a good relationship with the owners and employees they'll let you know about specials and keep an eye out for items you're looking for.
Outdoor Markets have allot of cool finds too, but you really have to know what you plan on spending and make connections. Because thanks to all of these Pickers and Pawn shows allot of the sellers at them become Antique dealers.
The best thing about getting wardrobe from a Thrift Store is they are perfect for horror movies.The clothes can get trashed and bloodied without worry, and make excellent zombie wear.
One trick I've learned is zombie suits and dresses can have that out of the grave look by spraying them with spray mount a section at a time. And when the spray mount is tacky dust it with baby powder then rub it with your hand. When you do that the spray mount gets all stringy and pilly so it looks like dried cob webs.
There's a ton more tips and tricks to age and distress wardrobe readily available on the internet, but that one was always a favorite.
And there is a ton of old toy water guns and sports equipment that can be modified to become all kinds of Sci-Fi weapons and outfits. And you can find more than enough computer and electrical components for set and spaceship interiors.
There is just about anything needed for just about any movie, all you have to do is look through the racks.