Art Department

Film Crew Position: Props

What does a Props do?

The Props position in filmmaking refers to the professionals responsible for managing all the physical items that appear on screen, which are not wardrobe, set pieces, or scenery. These items, called "properties" or "props," range from the furniture in a room to the personal belongings of a character, like a character's phone or a distinctive weapon. Props are a subset of the Art Department, playing a critical role in enhancing the authenticity and visual storytelling of a film or television production.

What role does a Props play?

A Props professional is tasked with sourcing, creating, maintaining, and tracking all props needed for a production. This includes reading scripts to identify all necessary items, collaborating with directors and set designers to ensure props align with the artistic vision, and working closely with actors on the use of the props. The Props team must be attentive to detail and continuity, ensuring that each item is consistent throughout the visual narrative. They often oversee a prop table or cart, where items are organized and stored during filming, and are accountable for the proper handling and safety of the props.

Do you need to go to college to be a Props?

Entering the Props department typically does not mandate a college degree, although some may find it beneficial to have a background in art or design. More important than formal education are practical skills and experience. Many props professionals start in entry-level positions within the art department and learn on the job, gaining experience through a variety of productions. Those with a passion for craftsmanship and a portfolio of creative work may also find opportunities to join the Props department.

What skills do you need to be a Props?

Critical skills for a Props professional include a keen eye for detail, creativity, and strong organizational abilities. The position requires someone adept at research and sourcing, as they often need to find period-accurate or unique items. Hands-on skills in crafting and modifying props are essential, as is the ability to work under tight deadlines. Strong communication and teamwork are also vital since the Props team must collaborate with multiple departments. Problem-solving skills and adaptability are equally important, as unexpected challenges frequently arise on set.

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