Props are used for theatre and film to create a realistic vision of the time and genre of the scene. Actors use props as we use objects in everyday life, however props differ in that they are specifically designed for theatrical use. Although you can use real objects from time to time, there are many cases when props have to be designed for reasons of ease or safety.
An example of this might be weapons on stage or in film. As you can imagine, if an actor has a scene involving a gun, knife or anything similar then it is a serious risk to health and safety to have real life objects in the scene. Therefore actors use special props that are manufactured to look identical to the real thing but that function safely and without causing any harm or risk to others, for example a plastic retractable knife, or a crystallised sugar sheet that shatters like glass.
Props must look so natural that the audience barely notices them. Indeed their use on stage or behind the camera should look as normal as everyday life. Where props may become too noticeable is in cases where the props themselves are not of the correct design. In other words if you are watching a 1920s scene and the actor is holding modern gas lighter, or a western film where a cowboy has a modern day gun. These may seem like small considerations, but they make all the difference.
Gathering the props you need for your production can be difficult when trying to source all items individually. Hiring props from a professional supplier will give you access to a massive range of props and help you create the realism you need.
At Keeley Hire we are one of the UK’s leading prop suppliers, and have everything you need for your theatre of film production.
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