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
Original Han Solo 'Star Wars' Pistol On The Auction BlockThe Inquisitr, December 5th
A company called Profiles in History is auctioning the movie prop gun, the DL-44 blaster, in Calabasas Hills, Calif., on December 21. The estimated selling price is in the $200,000–$300,000 range. According to the description of the item, “This non...Read more
Maltese Falcon film prop auctioned for $4.08mThe National, December 4th
Catherine Williamson, the director of Bonhams' entertainment memorabilia department, said the eye-popping sale price could be explained by the statuette's “tremendous significance”. “The Maltese Falcon is arguably the most important movie prop ever and ...Read more
You Can 3D Print Your Very Own Movie Prop From The HobbitGizmodo India, December 3rd
If you fit into the piece of the Venn diagram between "Fans of The Hobbit," "Microsoft Users," and "Folks Who Have a 3D Printer," Microsoft and Warner Bros. UK have a treat: On December 13th, when the second Hobbit movie debuts, you'll be able to ...Read more
5 movie prop shockers - How much would you've paid for Walter White's ...CITY A.M. (blog), December 3rd
Perhaps another sign of global economic pickup, as recent movie prop auctions see people splashing out big time on their favourite memorabilia. Here are five movies (well, four films and one adulated TV series) that illustrate the point: Game of Death...Read more
Price of Maltese Falcon prop soars at NY auctionDerby Telegraph, November 27th
A MOVIE prop inspired by a statuette at Chatsworth House has fetched more than £2.5 million at an auction in America. The item from 1941 film noir classic The Maltese Falcon is considered to be one of the most important film props of all time and was...Read more
2015 Acura NSX To Spawn Convertible Version: ReportMotor Authority, November 26th
Having appeared briefly as Tony Stark's ride in the movie The Avengers last year, this Acura NSX Roadster movie prop may end up spawning a production version. Honda confirmed to Autocar that a convertible version of its new NSX was being considered, ...Read more
'Maltese Falcon' movie prop sells for $4 million at auctionMassLive.com, November 25th
maltese falcon.jpg Humphrey Bogart holds the "black bird" in the 1941 film classic "The Maltese Falcon."Warner Bros. NEW YORK (AP) — A statuette of a bird featured in the classic 1941 detective thriller "The Maltese Falcon" sold for more than $4...Read more
Which movie prop would you like to own? 25/11/13ABC Online (blog), November 25th
and one of the items sold was the horses head from the Godfather movie ... it sold for an "undisclosed" figure. Would you buy it? If there was one movie prop you could buy, what would it be and how much would you be willing to pay for it? Tim Cox spoke...Read more