COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 18:
MAKING PROPS & SET DRESSING
“In the property-maker’s room lives the wizard of the studio. He is an inventor, a chemist, a bit of an artist, and an engineer.” — Edward Carrick
The first thing you need to know is what the difference is between Props and Set-Dressing…
Prop is short for Property – suggesting that an actor will somehow use such an item as their character’s property. A phone, a compass, a gun, a camera are all Props IF the character uses them in the scene.
BUT if the character does not interact with these items, and the phone or the camera just sit on their desk in their office they become Set-Dressing – these items are not pivotal to the action of the scene but help to make the environment more realistic.
This cool video essay, Why Props Matter, takes a look at the hidden power of movie props. And how filmmakers use those everyday (and not so everyday) objects to enhance cinematic storytelling.