5 Rules for Using Prop Money in Films | Movie Prop Money Experts

5 Rules To Add On-Screen Authenticity With Movie Prop Money


Making a movie come to life, often involves high-quality movie props. Able to add depth and drama to an on-screen story, movie props such as fake money and imitation firearms must be used in accordance with the law and a series of rules and regulations.


If you’re thinking of using prop money, you should be aware of the rules and regulations regarding the production and use of fake money before contacting a movie prop supplier. Since hyper-realistic notes run the risk of being used to fool business owners and members of the public, there are several laws in place to prohibit the printing and mass production of bills for the film industry. Owning prop money is not illegal, but if it’s being used as real money by you, your film crew, or could be stolen from your business and used as real cash, this is when you can find yourself in a lot of trouble.


To make sure your film crew doesn’t break any laws when shooting your next big scene, get ready to discover 5 golden rules to add on-screen authenticity with movie prop money.


 Movie prop money in film production

1: Identical Bills Are Illegal


Prop money can’t be made completely identical to authentic currency or legal tender. If the bill design is an exact replica of real notes, it must be either 75 percent smaller or 150 percent larger than a regular note or bill; otherwise, it could be easily used as counterfeit money. Most people will be able to easily spot fake money by the shape and size of the bill.


Another way to tell prop money from fake money is by checking both sides of the note. Movie prop money is often only printed on one side of the bill to prevent it from being mistaken for a real note. This allows film directors to capture a hyper-realistic shot of a stack of bills on camera without running the risk of the money being passed off as genuine currency.


While this can be a challenge if you need to film a scene involving money being dropped, thrown about, or even blown up, it’s often a good method when shooting within a casino or bank, and will give the illusion that there is a lot of cash just lying around, without having to bring in real money. Since the camera and audience will never see the other side of the notes, it’s a smart movie prop trick and can help cut down the cost of buying prop money too.


By printing on one side of the bill, you can also make sure the notes are exactly the right size as a real bill. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want when shooting a bank heist or armed robbery in an action movie is for the main character to pull out a wad of oversized cash. It will completely ruin the entire look and feel of the movie, right!


Another way to get around this requirement is to alter the design of the bill slightly. This can be done by changing the color, shading, picture, hologram, and serial numbers.


 Movie prop money in film production

2: Real Cash Can’t Be Blown Up


Let’s say you want to film a scene that involves a significantly large amount of cash being blown up, burnt, or completely destroyed. Well, that’s going to make a big impact in the movie and might say a whole lot about the mental stability of one of the main characters, but before you start destroying the cash, make sure you’re using fake money over the real deal. Always remember, you can’t destroy legal tender for a film or media production. In fact, this rule also applies outside of film production too. If you think back to the scene from The Dark Knight, where The Joker burns a massive pile of cash, that’s all hyper-realistic fake movie money!


Movie prop money in film production 

3: Printing Money Is Restricted


Digital reproductions of bills must be produced with a resolution of 72 DPI (dots per inch) or less. This helps prevent realistic fake money from being made and used in movies, TV commercials, and online. Could you imagine if realistic fake money could simply be printed on demand! That’s why it’s so important when purchasing movie prop money to find industry experts. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who will still try to use fake money to buy goods and pay for services around the world, putting businesses and members of the public, at a huge financial risk. While there are plenty of anti-counterfeit tools used in-store to catch this criminal activity, person-to-person transactions are still a major liability.


If you’re found to be involved with the production and printing of counterfeit money, you run the risk of a significant fine and/or a prison sentence.


 Movie prop money in film production

4: Movie Prop Money Must Feel Different


If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. But if you want to double-check, feel the bill and see if it resembles a real note or not. This is another technique to differentiate fake money from prop money.


Real money is made using a mixture of 25 percent linen and 75 percent cotton, with random blue and red security fibers intertwined. Movie prop money is made differently and so will never actually feel like real money. While no one watching the movie will be able to tell the difference, everyone on set will instantly feel the difference between a real bill and fake money.

 Movie prop money in film production

5: Destroy All The Evidence


As if you were in a high stake spy thriller, all evidence must be completely destroyed when producing movie prop money. According to the law, all negative plates, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the production of the illustration that contains an image of the illustration, or any part thereof shall be destroyed and/or deleted/ erased after the final use. After such time, dedication, and hard work has gone into producing hyper-realistic movie props; you can’t keep printing money as and when you please. So, unfortunately, everything needs to be destroyed.


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In accordance with the Counterfeit Detection Act 1992, reproduced bills must be either less than 75 percent or more than 150 percent of the size of a real bill and one-sided, only if it’s an exact replica of legal tender. At Prop Movie Money, our movie props have been approved by our legal team and secret service. They are not replicas but instead are copyrighted designs specially made for film production. So, if you’re looking for the most realistic movie prop money, that you can get your hands on, feel free to contact our team today.

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