Why are Movie Props important?
When we think of iconic movies, most of them feature iconic movie props. Be it the horse head in The Godfather, the Golden Ticket in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the lightsaber in the Star Wars films, or the viewing stone in Parasite, movie props can become one of the most striking elements of a film.
The term ‘movie prop’ is short for movie property and refers to any inanimate object used in a movie. Movie props are bought, designed and created by the props department. They can be used to define characters, advance the storyline, indicate the time and place of the story, define the film genre, or used to symbolize the theme of the film.
Characters and Storyline:
Main characters are often associated with specific props. They help define the character and become extensions of their identities. Be it the staff of Gandalf, or the shield of Captain America, they help in fleshing out a character and communicating their personality to the audience.
Interactions of characters with props also help in furthering the plot or changing the course of the film. For example, the red and blue pills in The Matrix symbolize the choice that Neo has to make, which will determine how the rest of the story shapes up.
Setting: Props can be key indicators of the setting of a film. They help in providing visual cues of the time and place in which the story is set and is an economic and immersive way to communicate the same to the audience. These are particularly important in period films.
One of the most essential uses of movie props is to symbolize the central theme or concept of the film. These are generally used repeatedly throughout the film, and they help in reflecting, solidifying and reiterating its central theme.
The above are the most important functions for which movie props are used. Props can be the most memorable takeaways from films, and aspiring filmmakers should never underestimate their importance.