Using real money in films can involve a lot of legal concerns. While it may seem like actors are using real currency on the screen, they’re probably actually using prop money. Hollywood film money has been around for years, allowing filmmakers to use, film, and even burn “money” on camera. But what can filmmakers use real money for and when is fake money that looks real required?
First off, it’s important to note that filmmakers can use real money on screen. There is a law in the U.S. code that states that real U.S. currency can be used in the making of motion-film pictures. However, when it comes to destroying money on screen, that’s a different case.
Because destroying U.S. money is illegal in several situations, it only makes sense that it’s definitely against the law when used in films. Burning real U.S. currency is illegal under 18 USC 333, which states that burning or mutilating currency is prohibited. So if a film requires burning money, like so many of our favorite action-packed flicks do, filmmakers have to use Hollywood film money.
And if filmmakers want to make their own prop money, there are several strict regulations they have to follow. There have been instances in the past where prop money was recalled and apprehended because it was too close to looking like real money — and civilians who got their hands on some of the prop money were trying to use it as real cash.
Fortunately, prop houses are able to supply sufficient Hollywood movie money for today’s filmmakers. Following strict regulations, they are able to print money that looks real on film, but is definitely noticeably different from the real thing.
So yes, real money can be used on screen. But when it comes to destroying money, filmmakers have to use prop money. Overall, Hollywood film money makes filmmakers’ jobs a lot easier because they don’t have to worry about legality issues with using real money.
Prop Movie Money can provide all of your prop money needs for upcoming film projects. Call us today to learn more about the products we offer.