What are props?
A prop is basically any object in your movie that isn’t a person, a costume, part of the scenery. A prop is something a character can typically pick up or touch. They are a great way to visually tell your audience more about character or add a key part to your story. There are too many types of props to list, but they can be anything, such as an everyday object like a mug to a sci-fi object like a lightsaber.
How should I use props?
Props are typically used in two different ways:
- Action Props – A prop that a character uses or touches in a movie. This could be a phone, a candy bar, or an alien artifact.
- Background Props – These are props that characters don’t touch but are used in a scene to tell something to the audience. For example, you could include a stack of books letting the audience know your character likes to read.
Think about these questions when you pick a prop:
- What do I want to tell the audience?
- What story is this prop telling?
- How does this prop fit into my story?
- Do I need it for my story?
Where do I get props?
Sometimes it can be tough to find the exact right prop that you are picturing in your head. We encourage you to be flexible and review the questions above. If it helps tell your story, it is a good prop. Here are a few ideas to help you find the right prop for your movie.
- Look around the house – You can use everyday objects as a prop in your movie. You don’t always need to buy or make something new. Also think about how you can reuse an object for something new.
- Dollar store or thrift store – If you can find what you are looking for around the house, the prop you need might be at the dollar or thrift store. Both of these are great options for finding unusual objects.
- Make your own – Sometimes you just need to make your own props. This could be gluing together everyday objects and giving them a coat of paint to turn them into something new or build a prop from scratch using cardboard.
- Check out his video for an introduction to cardboard prototyping.