It’s no secret that making movies isn’t an inexpensive process. That is why it’s so important for filmmakers to stick to their budgets. But when it comes to props, it can be difficult to get good props for a low price. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways you can stick to a prop budget.
Buy props from reputable prop houses: While it may seem like buying movie props from cheap sellers is a good idea, it can actually cost you more in the long run. Cheap props can break easily, leading to needing to buy a replacement. And buying props from sellers who don’t know the law can lead to legal trouble. When it comes to things like prop money for TV shows, there are strict regulations. The Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992 states that fake money that looks real has to be either more than 150% or less than 75% of the size of a real bill. If certain regulations aren’t followed, you could end up in serious trouble.
Make your own props: Some of the best-looking props in film have been made from random, inexpensive objects. For example, the recording device Jake used in Avatar was a simple book light and the high-tech I.D. scanner featured in Star Trek was a Dyson Airblade hand dryer. So even if props look awesome and expensive, they don’t have to be. So if you have stuff laying around your house or can even repurpose old props, you’ll save tons of money when it comes to your prop budget.
Plan out which props you’ll need: One of the easiest ways to stick to your prop budget is to know which props you’re going to need ahead of time. So make a list of all the props you’re going to need, whether it’s custom prop money, vehicles, animals, clothing, or any other props. Knowing ahead of time which props you need to buy can help save money down the line. If you try to simply buy props as you go along, you could end up going over budget way too early on and not be able to afford additional props.
Whether it’s prop money for TV shows and movies, vehicles, weapons, or any other prop, you don’t have to break the bank to get good props. So keep these tips in mind to ensure you have awesome props while sticking to a budget.