Rules for Using Prop Money In Films

The World of Movie Props

If you have ever tried to use prop money for movies, chances are you discovered there are a host of rules that need to be followed. The rules for prop money in movies are complex and varied, which oftentimes causes indie filmmakers to accidentally break the law. For others, they are simply unaware of the rules surrounding prop money for movies and go about making their own props, not realizing how dangerous (legally) it is.

When it comes to prop money for movies, we understand all the legal features and requirements that need to be met. In fact, we have prop movie money that is designed with our unique, copyright method that has been approved by our internal legal team and the secret service.

So how do you go about finding the most realistic prop money for movies? Simple, buy it from us. Seriously though, legally making realistic prop money is difficult. There are dozens of rules that surround what you can and cannot do. Here is a list of some of them:

Rules Regulating Prop Money for Movies

First, if the money is an exact replica, it must be either 75% smaller or 150% larger than a normal-sized bill. Additionally, it can only be printed one-sided. That is a bit of a buzz kill rule for realistic movie props. If you are wanting to pull off a bank heist or an armed robbery in your movie, and next thing you know, a wad of over-sized cash is pulled out. It throws off the entire mood of the movie.

Here is another interesting rule, if a film wants to burn, destroy, or otherwise mutilate money, it must be fake money. You cannot destroy real money legally for a film. This is actually true outside of film making as well. It is illegal to destroy legal tender. That scene where The Joker is burning massive piles of cash? All fake money (of course).

Here is another interesting rule, for digital reproductions of bills, filmmakers must use a resolution of 72 DPI (dots per inch) or less. This helps ensure that nothing that is too realistic is made. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who will look for suckers out there and try to use fake prop money for real transactions. This isn’t easy to pull off in most stores now (due to anti-counterfeit tools), however in person to person transactions, it happens all the time.

Prop money cannot be made with the same materials as real money. Real money is made using a mixture of 25% linen and 75% cotton with random blue and red security fibers intertwined. Prop money for movies will never feel like real money, and it shouldn’t need to. Nobody watching the film will be able to tell that the money doesn’t feel the same, so this isn’t that big of a deal.

The last rule that must be dealt with when making money props is destruction. According to the law, “All negatives, plates, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof shall be destroyed and or deleted or erased after their final use in accordance with this section.” That can be a bit of a buzzkill too. All of that hard work that went into designing your fake movie money? Gone. Trashed.

All of these laws can be found by looking up “The Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992, Public Law 102-550.” This details each of the rules set forth and how to properly apply them.

If you are looking for the most realistic movie prop money around, give us a call. From custom designs to standard sets, we can help you find fake money to fit your movie production needs.

According to the Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992, reproduced bills must be either less than 75% of more than 150% the size of a real bill and one-sided.” — true ONLY IF it’s an exact replica of legal tender. Our props have been approved by our legal team and secret service since they are not replicas but instead our copyrighted designs.

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