I also made this branding iron (and a larger pile of artificial coals.) The branding iron was made by using a very powerful flashlight as the handle to light a heat-formed flourescent plastic iron.
Artificial Glowing Embers
Figuring out how to make artificially glowing coals and a branding iron was tricky, but I eventually learned that I could create fake embers that looked realistic by embedding RGB LED strip lights in spray-insulation foam, painting the tops of the foam flat black, and then adjusting the knobs to create a flickering ember-colored light effect.
A typewriter needed to type on its own in a ghostly manner, so I cut a hole in the desk and attached steel rods to the internal mechanism of the typewriter so that the keys could be operated from below. I then spent a couple hours under a desk typing out ghost messages as the camera rolled!
Breakaway Beer Bottles
…and a beer bottle needed to break to reveal a knife inside, so I learned that breakaway bottles can be cut open and then glued back together if one has patience and a steady hand. I cut the bottle open with a fine x-acto saw and then glued it back together with super glue.
I also needed to make a “hot-dog-sized-coffin.”
Grape Soda Mouth Dispenser
…and someone needed to dispense grape soda from their mouth, so I bent some automotive brake line to form a hidden pipeline (here’s a test:)
…and someone needed to swallow some dynamite, so I made a few different sizes of the prop to help create the illusion that the dynamite was being swallowed.