View Full Version : Bokken to use as prop katana

10-04-2010, 07:26 AM
Hi all,

We got a small shoot coming in two weeks, for a music video, that features a close-up on an actor using a (supposed) black katana. We already got two bokkens as props, made of wood. They're entirely black, and for medium/wide shots or fast action scenes, that would work.

But as it will be a close-up in slow-mo, I'm afraid the black colour won't hide the fact that there's no sharp edge to the sword.

The question is : other than cutting/sanding the bokken (could be dangerous ? may fragilize it), is there a way to enhance the prop and make it looklike a real cutting katana ?

As we got two, we can test a few things.

Any input is welcome.

10-04-2010, 06:31 PM
Maybe you could paint it silver,and put a LOT of gloss on it. a well placed reflection off the blade (due to the gloss) may hide its "inadequacies".
or check out a local flea market, prob get a metal katana for 35 bucks

10-06-2010, 07:26 PM
are the swords making contact in the slo-mo shots...
if not then creative camera angles will keep the actors safe using a cheap flea market katana with the edge ground off.
also a small bit of silver paint on the edge of the bokens will help sell that the blade is sharpened.

10-09-2010, 05:14 PM
I'd go to the army-navy store or a martial arts supply shop - they sell "wall hanger" katanas/swords that can look quite convincing usually in the $40 range - they are usually sold unsharpened but they are still real metal blades and should look sharp on film (I just bought a pair actually) - conversely painting them silver with gloss could work or you could maybe put in CG blades if you have a VFX artist.