(Model Making students, Harry, Thanos & Alastair carrying out final touches to Psycho model)

A dark and foreboding mood has descended onto the Model Making department this month as the students work hard to recreate a classic scene from Hitchcock’s Psycho.

(Finished replica of the Psycho house viewed from the Bates motel) 

Head of Model Making, John Lee said: “I chose Psycho due to its iconic status and because it’s one of my favourite movies to see on the big screen. The shot we’ve been trying to replicate is the classic view from the Bates Motel looking up to the house.”


(Still of the Psycho house view from Bates Motel from the 1960 film)

This is a collaborative module, so all ten students are working on the same model, which encourages them to work as a team. John explained: “It’s important that communication is really strong so everything fits together from the windows to the walls. The main challenge is making it look real. We chose a 1:33 scale as it forces the students to work accurately and crisply over the six week build. We’re trying to retain that iconic Hitchcockian mood and atmosphere by finishing the model in various muted shades of black and white to reflect the fact that the film was shot in black and white.”

(NFTS Model Making Diploma students with their finished model)

John continued: “It’s important to gather as much research as possible and in doing so we found the original production design drawings. Interestingly when you compare them to the actual film, there are some differences, then in 1983 when they made Psycho II, they made further amendments to the house. Our model follows references from the original 1960 film.

(Becky, Ellen & Emma fabricating landscape from Psycho miniature)

Applications are open for the Model Making for Animation Diploma until the 7th June and the course starts in September 2018 – apply now at www.nfts.co.uk/modelmaking