Often unnoticed to the untrained eye, props function as the glue that holds a movie together. Whether it is a Civil War battle or a futuristic alien invasion, prop masters are charged with the task of making sure every detail on the screen appears historically accurate and realistic.

But what is a prop? It seems like a simple question, but it is not so easy. A prop is anything a character can pick up, be it a magazine, weapon, or lamp. This can include food items and, depending on production, even decals, such as those on the sides of ambulances and police cars.

A prop is not, however, the vehicle itself. It is also not the furniture that the lamp sits on or the uniform that goes with the weapon, although jewelry can be considered a prop. So while Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” pulled quite a prize at auction, they aren’t props. Nor is Orson Welles’ pinstriped shirt from “Citizen Kane,” but the sled called “Rosebud” owned by a young Welles in the movie would be considered a prop, and was bought at auction by Steven Spielberg in 1982 for $60,500.

When it comes to collecting props, there are two types: those that were actually used on a movie set during production, and replicas, which may even be licensed by a studio. Like autographs, it is often extremely difficult to fully authenticate a prop. Studios have even been known to sell props post-production claiming they were used on set, when the piece in question was actually a less collectible re-creation.

Getting your hands on authentic props can be difficult. In older movies, props were often discarded after the film because the studios didn’t have space to store them. In other instances, props were left in the possession of the prop master, which is why such individuals are usually the best sources of authentic props.

Acquiring props from recent movies is no easier. Because studios pay for the props in a film, they often maintain possession of them after production. In recent years, studios have started to hold on to props so they can be used in sequels, potential or planned. In other instances, studios will hire an auctioneer to sell props immediately after filming has ceased in order to recoup some of the movie’s production costs.

The prop collector also needs to keep in mind that many props are not what they appear to be on screen. For example, if a character in a movie that’s set in the 18th century is r...

For the most part, props from the most memorable movies are the ones most sought by collectors, be it a blaster from the original “Star Wars,” a pair of dice rolled by Marlon Brando in “Guys and Dolls,” or the “Witch Remover” sprayer used by the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.”

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Source: Google News

Art A-Team unleashed in Michelangelo bronzes probe at Fitzwilliam Museum in ...
Cambridge News, July 6th

Working with them have been experts from the University of Warwick – an anatomist, engineers and imagers – metallurgists from Birmingham University, and even movie prop-makers from Pinewood, all of them trying to understand how the two mysterious ...Read more

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There's no sense whatsoever that any of the environments the game presents to the player could be actual real-world locations. Almost everything within its environments resemble a movie prop. It's quite painful to say this too, since the gameplay...Read more

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Consequence of Sound (blog), July 2nd

Everything my six-year-old self could have ever wanted — video games, action figures, movie prop replicas, Hill Valley recreations IRL — has come to fruition. Naturally, because I can't stop … won't stop being a child at heart, I've enjoyed a few...Read more

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson Tour 'Hunger Games' Exhibit in NYC
Entertainment Tonight, June 30th

"There's the bow that I hit myself so hard in the chin with that I flew backwards," Jennifer told ET at The Hunger Games Exhibition at Discovery Times Square when she spotted the familiar movie prop. The exhibit includes costumes, props, photography...Read more

Is this the new 'Ghostbusters' proton pack? It looks like a downgrade
CNET, June 30th

Wait until the final film is released...then you get to complain about it. sanenazok 5pts. Is this article on a technology news website or some sort of movie prop specialty publication. This is basically a promotion for the film not journalism. Buster...Read more

Woman Uses Movie Prop Money at Goodwill Store
WHKY, June 29th

The Hickory Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a woman who attempted to pass fraudulent currency at the Goodwill retail store, 1877 North Center Street in Hickory. The incident occurred on June 22. The woman used money ...Read more

'Jurassic World' shows just how weird product placement has become
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A Jurassic World visitor's pamphlet used as a movie prop is loaded with logos for FedEx Office, Coke, Starbucks and Samsung -- the latter of which has its logo on every phone, tablet and TV, as well as the park's "Samsung Innovation Center." The...Read more

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The Warner Bros. movie prop archive is top-secret. Located somewhere outside London (we can't tell you where), the unlabeled, nondescript warehouse is home to invaluable treasures from series like "The Dark Knight" and "Harry Potter." It's under 24...Read more