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I always wanted to do this for a living. Making creatures and all sorts of scary things. I know I have a lot to learn. Can anybody point me in the right direction? There doesn't seem to be any schools here in Virginia that deal with this type of art; or jobs for that matter. I'm not sure what to do or who to ask.
 

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I am in the same boat. I got lucky and worked for a company that puts on a Halloween event every year but they also have year around activities and a Christmas event. But, I am now living in Portland and looking for work. SO I am in the same boat any ideas anyone.
Dana
 

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I'll start by saying I know absolutely nothing about the industry. I don't know the margins on props, whether your target market should be home haunts, pro-haunts, movie/stage props, etc. That being said, I would find several companies that do what you want to do and contact them. My guess is most are small businesses, you can probably speak to the owners, and they will be happy to share information about how they got started/lessons learned. Of course now is not the best time of year to be calling since they are slammed because Halloween is so near.
 

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Get some experience by working at a local pro haunt. There are many skill areas such are makeup, costumes, pneumatics, electronics, construction, sound, lighting, programming, and more. Even if you start as Zombie #3, that's a start, then show your interest in other areas and they will hopefully encourage and support you.

Don't be discouraged if they already have people filling certain jobs. Most folks like to take someone under their wing to teach them.

If that doesn't pan out, then do what most of us do, start from scratch. Look at the Tutorial section for How-To's on building all sorts of things. I tell you, I have no painting talent, can't cut a straight line, and all I can do with a solder iron is get one wire to stick to another. But this site has so much inspiration and guidance, it's hard not to learn from it.

Or, just do what a lot of us do, build what someone else has built. You'll find your skills improving with each prop, and soon you'll create something amazing!
 

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This isn't exactly the kind of thing you can make a career out of. You have to think about what goes into the making of a prop, it's not just one person, it's an entire group of people. So if anything you have to decide which of those people you'd rather be. Do you want to design the look of the prop or the packaging? Are you more interested in animatronics? Are you into marketing? Decide which you're more attracted to and go from there. So if it's design, find a good art school. If you're more interested in animatronics look into electrical/robotic engineering. Get a degree in whatever and apply to companies that create Halloween props/decor. Just realize that you won't always be working on Halloween. You could always go off and start your own business, but I'm guessing that would cost a hell of a lot of money.
 

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To me, the ultimate job would be working for someone like Scare Factory or maybe Disney....Working for yourself would be extremely long hours and not much pay starting out but there are exceptions....Finding your niche product in the Halloween market would also be a challenge....Good Luck....ZR
 
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