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

Jurassic World motorcycle up for auction
3News NZ, July 26th

A motorcycle ridden by Chris Pratt in dinosaur movie Jurassic World has been put up for auction, with the proceeds going to charity. Three Triumph Scrambler Bonneville models were made for the hugely successful sequel. One of them went to Pratt after ...Read more

Southern jewel of a city rich with history
Poughkeepsie Journal, July 25th

That bench was just a movie prop that's now in the Savannah History Museum, but the spot where it was located for filming is a favorite among visitors with cameras. Those on walking tours could hear a local trolley full of tourists yell "Run, Forrest...Read more

Harley Fat Boy a bestseller
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 23rd

Email; Print; (0) Comments. Far more than a movie prop, the Fat Boy has held its own in a competitive motorcycle market where bikes are pulled from product lineups when sales slow or they've lost their original luster. © 2015, Journal Sentinel Inc. All...Read more

Build your own Back to the Future hoverboard for less than £30
Express.co.uk, July 21st

The DIY movie prop costs some $50, around £30 – significantly less than the official Mattel version which retails for around $120, or £77. To build the iconic hoverboard, the YouTuber uses a plank of wood, some coloured foam sheets, screws, plastic...Read more

How High Def Is Changing Your Brain—and Driving the Prop Master Crazy
Bloomberg, July 20th

The human eye needs to see images projected at 18 to 26 frames per second in order to register film or video as continuous motion. That's our built-in refresh rate—below that, the illusion of motion breaks back into a series of individual images...Read more

'Dukes' General Lee at LeMay museum in Spanaway will keep its Confederate flag
TheNewsTribune.com, July 19th

The museum has several other movie prop vehicles including the DeSoto from 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” and a presidential limousine used in the Clint Eastwood film “In the Line of Fire.” Through TV magic, viewers were led to believe the General Lee ...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

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