I could never just fully watch a movie in its entire glory. No matter how engaging, exciting or magnificent the movie is, my eyes and mind inevitably start to wander and wonder, observing things such as product placements, hair and makeup, props and set.
I wouldn’t really call it a fascination, just a mild dose of curiosity on those little things that movies are made of.
When I was at the Props Department on a visit to Warner Brothers’ Studio in Los Angeles, I got to see first hand just how intricate and seriously extensive the props movie business is.
I used to think that when sourcing props for a movie, it would just be something like, “Hey guys, do any of you have an old lampshade at home we could use for tomorrow’s shoot?” Yeah, kind of like how we used to do it in school when we had to do a play or something?
Ha! It’s a lamp you’re after you say? Here you go!
Every piece of furniture/fixture you can think of? The props department has a whole AREA of it! Arranged in colour, shape, size, make, probably even time so if you are making a historical or a set-era movie, it will be easier for you to obtain a piece.
It is literally like a library of OBJECTS- Any object under the sun that you can think of. All are labelled and recorded. So movie staff borrow specific objects from the props department, check them out (with a deadline, I presume), and promptly return it when done, as you would with library books.
There seriously were times when I felt like I was at a furniture / lighting store! All objects are fully functional and must be returned in good condition. Otherwise the movie producers will have to take it off their budgets if there are damaged props or worse, if they go missing.
And here are some things which I’m sure you will recognise from your favourite TV Shows and movies:
and of course, let’s not forget one of the classic favourites:
Anyone recognise this beat-up powder blue car which somehow, managed to fly?
And the two creepiest paintings on the set, of which I spent quite a long time trying to remember (until now!) which movie I saw it from:
I loved the quiet morning I spent in this department. It gave me a whole new appreciation in watching movies. To not just see movies as they are presented, but to think of every carefully borrowed and laid out object in every movie I see!