Behind the Scenes | What is a Prop Master in Film
We’re taking a closer look at the unseen roles of the TV and film production. This time, we’re answering, “what is a prop master?”
Were you also today years old when you found out that prop is short for property? Say yes.
Film and television does have its glitz and glamour, with celebrities and red carpet events. But, there’s a whole team of people working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the final on-screen masterpieces come together. We’ve already taken a look at what a best boy is, and what a grip does. So, let’s find out what a prop master is!
What is a Prop Master?
This role is slightly less enigmatic than others, due to it to not having a bizarre title. A prop, or property, is any moveable object you see on a film or TV production. So, it makes sense that the prop master is the person in charge of props and the prop department.
This department could store, transport, and even make the props.
What Do They Do?
A prop master’s role can be pretty varied, just as props can be super varied. You can go from dealing with a pint glass or water bottle, to a steam train or tractor.
Work often begins a while before shooting starts. They will work with the art directors, set designers and production designers to decide which props will be needed. From here, the decision as to which props are to be hired or made from scratch needs to be settled on.
The prop master will be in charge of hiring people to make any props, like carpenters and other makers. A schedule will also be drafted to ensure that props are made on time, to fit in with the shooting schedule. As with pretty much all management roles, the matter of budgets, logistics and personnel falls to the prop master.
Without props, productions would be empty and strange. Your average soap opera would look like something put together in a GCSE drama class, with miming menial tasks all over the shop. Without a prop master, even if props were somehow provided, it’d be mayhem. Maintaining order and keeping miming firmly at bay, we salute all the prop masters in film out there!