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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Recent News: Movie Props

Source: Google News

Scammers Pass Fake Movie Money as Real Cash in Wash.
WTVC, August 28th

Renton detectives say the movie prop money involved in the Renton cases is very similar to an actual $100 bill. The most prominent distinction is on the top right front with the phrase "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY" in place of "THE UNITED STATES OF ...Read more

Underground Railroad movie being filmed at Boone County locations, including ...
User-generated content (press release) (registration), August 26th

Rick Glaz, a Civil War researcher from Michigan, who is the movie's prop man, stunt coordinator and historian, said Dinsmore provides the perfect setting for many of the scenes. “To find original sites that can be directly linked to history is...Read more

Original 'Star Wars' Stormtrooper helmet and Spock's spandex. Yours to buy
CNN International, August 26th

Whether you're a diehard "Star Wars" fan or an indie movie buff, September 23rd is the date to set for all film enthusiasts, as a global auction showcasing 450 of the film industry's most iconic movie props kicks off. Prop Store, one of the world's...Read more

Leaked Star Wars: Rogue One image shows primitive-style fighter helmets
Blastr, August 24th

Here's a leaked image from one of the stars, Donnie Yen, showing a trio of old-school Star Wars helmets apparently from the movie's prop and wardrobe department. The middle helmet is an obvious standard-issue stormtrooper helmet, flanked by what ...Read more

This NYPD Cop Car In London Has Got Everyone Confused
The Art of Gears, August 19th

enough, you too can hire an American police car to drive around in, in the streets of London. Conveniently enough, their service is called 'Police Car Hire UK' and their livery consists of various former movie prop cars that have made their way to...Read more

My ridiculous quest to drag home the 100-pound trunk from the Keanu Reeves ...
The Week Magazine, August 11th

It was the perfect weird movie prop to own, and there was no way I was going to pass on the chance to haul it home with me. So I had to figure out how I was going to do that. In a moment of idiotic bravado, I suggested that we'd only get the full...Read more

5th annual movie prop party in Toronto next weekend
blogTO (blog), July 30th

prop party Movie lovers, prop makers and collectors will unite at the fifth annual Toronto Prop Party, happening on August 8 at the Montecassino Hotel near Downsview Park. What began as an intimate event for hobbyists has grown into a public party...Read more

Towed 'Movie Prop' Helicopter Hits Bridge on 15 Freeway in Fontana
KTLA, February 20th

by a big rig hit a bridge and ended up blocking lanes Friday morning. The military style helicopter, which was described as a “movie prop,” came to rest on the southbound side of the 15 Freeway at Duncan Canyon Road, according to a tweet from Caltrans...Read more