Prop money comes in all shapes and sizes, the production of it constantly needs to be slightly modified. This fake movie prop has to be carefully crafted, meeting United States regulations for movie prop money while still appearing realistic on screen. From 1970 to 2000, 270 different types of prop money were produced with nearly 2,000 subtypes among these. But each of these different variations of fake movie prop money is delicately made to look both wildly realistic and clearly fake at the same time.
The first thing to know about the creation of prop money is that you cannot copy the design of real currency. You have to create your own design for the prop money, designs that may at first seem quite similar. But as you look. But as you look a little closer, you will see slight changes they have made in the design. Though it follows a similar format, often words are changed or small alterations occur in the depictions on the money. But if you aren’t looking for these small differences, you could go your whole life thinking the currencies are identical. There is a huge reason that these small details usually go unnoticed.
Custom prop money is created depending on the needs of a film, specialized for what is needed. For example, a lot of fake movie prop money is made with the consideration that it will be seen from afar. Knowing that the money will not need to be viewed up close by the audience, an optical illusion of sorts can be created where from afar it appears perfectly real, but when brought closer to the eye it is clearly just a prop.
Another trick often used is the cut of the money, which is usually slightly larger or smaller than the cut of legal currency. This small change in size isn’t noticeable on camera, but when held up close or compared to other bills it becomes clear that the currency is fake.
Creating prop money is no simple task, various precautions are taken in ensuring that it can not be used in place of legal currency. But these precautions can’t be too obvious on screen or the illusion of the movie is ruined.