prop master job descriptions in film

They work closely with the director, art director, set decorator, prop buyer, location manager and construction manager. I don’t know why, and it’s a pain in the backside! Common responsibilities for props masters include: Make a list of props needed for the production. It's harder than you might think, though. There are so many things that change on the day, especially in episodic television during the ‘tone meetings.’ For example, you might have an older Actor with arthritic fingers and the script calls for him to be loading bullets into a gun one by one and they can’t do it. Where props are to be made, prop masters recruit the carpenters, artists and prop makers and manage the schedule for production. When shooting is finished, they return of all hired props and organise the sale or safe disposal of everything else. The Prop Master then brings them to set in their prop truck in the morning. A prop master is a professional who supervises the use of properties, better known as props, in a theatrical production or on a film. Thanks for giving us your feedback, your response has been saved. They do research and then draw up properties lists, deciding which are to be hired and which are to be made. It is also important to remember that the Assistant Prop Master is often the face of the department: “On a movie, the Prop Master is there on set with you and you’re like their lead assistant. Involves making sequences on a computer that can't be created on set, like enormous crowds and fire-breathing dragons, Combines art with programming as well as production, design and testing - the UK’s fastest growing entertainment industry, Creates the illusion of movement, includes computer-generated, stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, Can be defined as 'TV without actors' - non-fiction telly on any subject from natural history and music to dating or learning a skill. Even if it’s a watch for your hero Actor, have another one in case it gets lost or you need to put it on a stunt double.”. The average annual salary for Assistant Prop Masters is approximately $54,100. “Failing that, we either send someone out to buy it, or we’ll liaise with the Locations Department to see if we have anything on location that we can use.”. Getting the details of period movies right is the goal of movie prop house History for Hire. And, in Props, you have to think quickly and solve problems gracefully so any experience in a problem-solving environment is going to come in handy.”. (A … BASIC JOB DESCRIPTION: The Props Designer/ Manager is responsible for obtaining all props needed for the production. This prop master’s work is hidden in plain sight, PACT: Producers Alliance for Film & Television, Bectu (the media and entertainment union), Understanding film: pick up the director’s vision, break a script down for props requirements take account of the need for continuity, Historical knowledge: research different eras, dress a set authentically, Craftsmanship: work with a wide variety of materials, craft and repair items, Moving items: handle large, heavy but fragile items, Communication: work closely with the production designer and other departments, share the vision with the props team, Organisation: manage staff, budgets, complex schedules, transport and storage, NCFE Applied General Certificate in Art and Design, BTEC National Diploma/Extended Diploma in Art and Design, UAL Applied General Diploma/Extended Diploma in Art and Design, OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma in Art and Design (3D Design), OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma in Art and Design (Graphic Design), OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma in Art and Design (Photography), BTEC National Diploma in 3D Design and Crafts, BTEC National Diploma in Film and Television Production, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma in Art and Design, Creative and Digital Media (Level 3, Northern Ireland), Creative and Digital Media (Level 3, 4, Wales), Furniture, Furnishings and Interiors (SCQF, Level 5, 6, Scotland), Furniture and Furnishings (Level 2, 3, Wales), Creative and Digital Media (SCQF Level 6/7, Scotland), ScreenSkills, 94 Euston Street, London, NW1 2HA. Baker clarifies that the Props Department always tells the Director they will do their best to get what they need: “Then you bust yourself to make it happen! This will help you make the contacts and build up the industry knowledge to get work in the art department of a film or TV drama. After that, we get everyone ready, prop up the Extras and we’re ready to shoot the scene.”, Baker explains that each Assistant Prop Master has a designated place on shoot day: “One is the point person on set, and another supports them, helping with whatever they need: running back and forth from the truck, propping the Extras, moving the Director and cast chairs. I understood I could make my own films and keep music in my life by scoring them. Set and exhibit designers create props and sets for movies, television shows, theater and performing arts productions and museums. For instance, the volleyball (“Wilson!!! On TV, because there’s always a new episode coming up, the Assistant is very often left in control. “For example, if you’re doing a cop show, you’ll want to go to the crime scene beforehand to lay down the evidence, the caution tape, whatever is needed. They may also be called upon to help the Scene Designer dress the set. For Baker, day-playing allows him to duck out when he needs and focus on his filmmaking — that allows him to maintain a healthy balance. "In the movie 'Master and Commander' when the little boy gets his leg cut off, it was our saws that did the job," said Elyea. So, even though I didn’t know it, I was always training to be a filmmaker. That way, when it comes to the rehearsal, everything is already set up. The taco cart also has basic tools, sprays, and tapes that we need regularly on set. They keep the prop master updated with the changes. I suppose it’s about tenacity. The set or the props used in film, TV or theatre production can sometimes become as iconic as the production itself. Baker is an anomaly in the Props Department because he is also a Director and is advancing to become a full-time Producer/Director. He became the prop guy who was fluidly interchangeable and could do each job within the department. An entry level prop master (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of $34,325. Page 1 of 450 jobs. Paul Baker, a professional filmmaker and Assistant Prop Master of over twenty years, starts by laying out exactly what constitutes a “prop”: “Props are anything the Actors touch or handle (apart from furniture). Lead a group of Props and Lighting Technicians delegating specific responsibilities in set-up production and tear-down. This could help you develop your craft and create a body of work for a portfolio that you can use to find your way into film and TV drama at a later point. Baker goes on to explain the “carts”, vital pieces of equipment in the Prop Department: “The Assistant Prop Master in the truck preps the day’s props in a ‘day cart’ — everything we need is on that. If you could describe in one word what makes you successful, what would it be? Get a degree: You don’t have to have a degree, but you might want one. She says, “It’s a process that spans from pre-pr… You have a lot of responsibility, and you learn to work it all out yourself.”. “I’m a pit bull. Set Designer. The union representing Assistant Prop Masters is the IATSE Local 44. CareersinFilm.comPO Box 43562Las Vegas, NV 89116United Statescim_mail( 'info', 'careersinfilm', 0, false ); This site and your information are secure. With that in mind, you make a list of all the props needed, then it’s prop-hunting you go. Prop hands organise the transporting of all the hired props. They are ready to make any changes to prop requirements and provide whatever's needed during filming. © 2021 CareersInFilm.com | All Rights Reserved | Content may not be duplicated without express written permission. Baker himself is a Director and filmmaker so he has always been a professional day-player as an Assistant Prop Master. If you'd like to also leave a comment you can do so in the field below. Prop Maker Job Descriptions As a prop maker, your job would be to create realistic-looking objects for use in theatre, film and television. They are able to respond quickly to requests for moving props and fixtures and to help position actors, Or you have a food scene, but the Actor has a shrimp allergy and now we need sea bass instead of shrimp and you find yourself sent out to Craft Services or to the local fish market to solve the problem!”, Baker isn’t above bending a few rules to get the shot: “I remember doing a low-budget movie in Rhode Island and we needed local license plates (we had run out) so I took a few off some parked cars and left a note. Usually, the job they are describing is more akin to a props run crew supervisor (a distinct job in its own right) rather than a prop master or properties director. The prop master, or property master, on a production is responsible for overseeing the prop department and working with other members of the art department. Both careers teach and inspire each other. That, and I just love movies and television!”. However, he explains that his comprehensive understanding of the industry stands him in good stead in his career as an Assistant Property Master, and the benefits are two-way: “I’ve worked with some really fantastic Directors and crew — they’ve come to work on my own productions so I’ve been very lucky to be working in Props. The Props Manager oversees all the props on a production. “That passion for storytelling means a lot. Then, the Assistant Prop Master on set and/or the Prop Master will go into the private rehearsal (normally they are allowed in) and hopefully everything doesn’t change from a Props perspective. 8-12 is time and half, and after 12 hours it’s double-time — we normally work over twelve hours a day. He worked for a year at a production company, then took a gig as a Property Assistant for the first time on the indie film Illtown. “Then I went to Miami to work as Assistant Editor and PA; there, a friend of mine invited me to help out as an Assistant Prop Master and I learned on the fly. Also known as: In Props, you have to interact with the Actors, read the script, talk to the Directors and be involved. Sort by: relevance - date. Props to Hollywood's prop masters. I’m glad I did; when I learned how to edit in college, it changed everything. A good Assistant Prop Master is always a step ahead of the game.”. There are over 16 theatre prop master careers waiting for you to apply! Go to how to become an apprentice to learn how to find apprenticeships in your region or approach companies directly. Assistant Property, Props, Assistant Propmaster, Assistant Propman, Prop Assistant, Paul Baker, a professional filmmaker and Assistant Prop Master of over twenty years, starts by laying out exactly what constitutes a “prop”: “Props are anything the Actors touch or handle (apart from furniture). There are usually two or three Assistant Prop Masters and we unload the truck to take stock of what we need for the day.”. Indeed may be compensated by these employers, helping keep Indeed free for jobseekers. This allowed him to be employed by multiple shows at the same time, and still be able to make films. Baker explains the benefits of membership: “They protect you so you get overtime after 8 hours. Props Master In charge of finding and managing all the props used in the film. His prop profession happened by accident but has given Paul a unique way of earning a living, and an interesting perspective on the film business. Molly O’Connell has worked as a Props Manager on features, commercials, and short films in both Los Angeles and Colorado. You might make anything from fake jewellery to replica weapons and moving models, depending on what the script calls for. I’m an anomaly because I’m a filmmaker, and it means I have meaningful, creative equilibrium in my life.”, “I got into the Prop Department by accident”, says Baker. Build scaffolding arches braces etc. The props tech is a treasure-hunter and master craftsman who applies considerable skills to the visual interest of a play, film, or television show. It might be worth looking for a job as an apprentice in an industry that uses similar skills, such as being a furniture maker. That was extreme, but I did what I had to do. There are no conventional, tried and tested routes into the Property Department, but Baker has some excellent, practical advice for people looking to break in: “Assuming you’re in New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles (the main production hubs), I would go to all the Prop Houses with your business card and resumé and talk to the salespeople — they know all the Prop Masters coming into prep their shows. “Walk into the top Prop Houses and find out if the Prop Masters on your favorite movies or shows ever shop in there. “People should step back, watch and listen more. Assistant Property Masters are self-employed so no gig is permanent. Duties Props technicians work under the direction of the prop master and are responsible for crafting the various objects (“properties”) the cast interacts with: anything from baskets and bowls to an authentic reproduction of a Ming vase. Along with that insecurity, the hours are long and days regularly stretch to ten/twelve hours. Prop masters begin each show by looking over the script and meeting with the production designer to understand the artistic vision of a show. Have a look at ScreenSkills’ list of recommended courses in film and TV. Sometimes there’s a Production 411 in the city. This allows him the flexibility to shoot his movies and commercials. He told me Prop Assistants are best when they are ‘ninjas.’ You have to know when to keep quiet, especially for the high emotion scenes — you need that tact. Indeed ranks Job Ads based on a combination of employer bids and relevance, such as your search terms and other activity on Indeed. Or you might want to take the following Level 3 vocational qualifications: If you want to go straight into a job or apprenticeship, the following Level 3 vocational qualifications will equip you: Get an apprenticeship:Apprenticeships are jobs with training, so they can be a great opportunity to earn as you learn. Saying that, when he’s working full-time, such as his six seasons on Rizzoli & Isles, he lived on set. Successful prop makers must have a wide range of skills, such as carpentry, sculpting, casting, sewing, welding as well as skills which pertain to computer aided design. You need that love of the art.”, “It’s always good to be outgoing and brave”, says Baker. Currently, Paul uses his IATSE Local 44 property card to work on union shows in between directing his own smaller, non-union projects. For props that must be made, Property Masters work closely with carpenters, prop makers, or other artists, to oversee and coordinate the construction and completion of these props. Standby Props Work on set during the filming of a scene, overseeing the use of props, and monitoring their continuity. It could be a toothbrush, a gun, a banana. There have been so many times I’ve had to improvise.”. Sometimes the prop itself helps push the story forward, and that’s always nice, or it can just provide lovely texture in the scene.” Baker explains the team dynamic in the Props Department, a subsi… INTRODUCTION Property Master The property master, regularly called the props master, is an aesthetic and organizational worker in a film, TV or dramatic creation who is liable for buying, getting, fabricating, appropriately setting, and administering any props The property master, often called the prop(s) master, is an artistic and organizational employee in a film, television or theatrical production who is responsible for purchasing, acquiring, manufacturing, properly placing, and/or overseeing any props needed for a production. See salaries, compare reviews, easily apply, and get hired. Usually has several assistants. I had written some scripts but I hadn’t directed anything so I propped for a couple of years, saved up some money, then directed my first short film.”. Build paint and assemble sets and backdrops for each scene of production. Get our latest articles, updates and courses delivered directly to your inbox. Even as a kid, I went to the movies all the time, and I still do. A prop is basically any set decoration piece that can be moved readily easily. A prop, or property, is any moveable item that can be seen on a film. Basically, a prop is defined as an object that an Actor uses in a scene, like a coffee cup. Some props, like eyeglasses from the … On top of that, the major boon is healthcare. For union TV shows, it’s an hourly rate set by the union and it’s around $40 per hour. Learning to drive is essential for this, as is learning how to move large, heavy but fragile items safely. I have detailed prop understanding and experience, but I also offer all-round knowledge as a filmmaker. Prop Master has an all-star cast of behind the scenes heavy hitters such as: Show runners Peter Ocko (the Office, Boston Legal), Andrew Golder (Penn & Teller's Fool Us) Director Brad Einhorn (Lodge 49, Parks & Rec) and world renowned Prop Masters such as Dennis Parrish (Patton, Gangs of NY), Bill Petrotta (Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands), Joshua Meltzer (Dexter, Growing Pains). Prop masters usually start work a few weeks before shooting begins. Baker recommends studying at college so you have a safety net: “I studied Communications (with a film emphasis) and minored in English. Then you have to improvise . Average salary (a year) Improvisation is an enormous part of the Assistant Prop Master’s day, as Baker reveals: “If we don’t have what is needed on-set, I’ll get on the walkie talkie with the truck person to see what we have. Over the next five years, Paul enjoyed learning about the prop craft — the many nuances of it were fascinating and challenging. Prop masters report to production designers and set decorators as part of the art department. Network: Go to ScreenSkills’ events like Open Doors to meet people working in art departments. If they mention they’re losing an Assistant or they’re looking for someone hungry, the salespeople can pass on your details.”, Given that Props are part of the Art Department, it does help if you have an artistic bent. With savings earned from an array of films and television in Miami, Paul funded his first short film with prop money. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised. Standby props are on hand while the film or TV drama is being shot. A good route is to get onto ScreenSkills’ Trainee Finder scheme and become an art department trainee. In between his films, Paul has over 45 Assistant Prop Master credits on IMDB and he is currently freelancing on the feature film, Space Jam 2. Thank you for your feedback, it is greatly appreciated. I think it’s worth it just for that!”. Honestly, I was going to be Eddie Van Halen so I only went to college to have something to fall back on. “Personally, I think it’s always good to get a degree so you’re covered, but there are others who would advise you just to get on set right out of high school and that’ll be your education. Their team usually includes: Standby props are on hand while the film or TV drama is being shot. The way they teach is they break it up so all the departments are taught. Obviously, I returned them before I was charged with a federal offense! They also work with the Stage Manager in gathering appropriate rehearsal props early in the rehearsal process. On smaller productions, often in theatre, prop makers may be responsible for set building and costume work as well as making props. Prop Masters go to these Prop Houses all the time and they shoot the breeze with the salespeople. The union also ensures we get a meal every six hours, and they pay into an annuity, so you have some money for your retirement. Being a production buyer or a set decorator in film and TV drama or in unscripted TV. He worked on 2nd Units and double-up days when the production needed two crews. They ensure the correct props are prepared, are on hand for the shoot, and are archived once a scene is wrapped. 16 theatre prop master jobs available. Assistant Prop Masters can expect to earn anywhere from $31,000 to $64,000 annually. For example, if a character smashes a glass, standby props will clear up the mess and give the actor the replacement fake glass. Learn how to drive a van or a lorry:Being a prop master can often involve moving heavy props and travelling around different locations. The property master is on staff during preprod… “Tell them you’re non-union but looking to get on any kind of set: a feature, a TV set, a reality show or a commercial, anything so you can get some experience. However, it can be challenging to find jobs as an apprentice with production companies as many are not able to take on people for a whole year, which is an apprenticeship requirement at the moment. He adapted to different Prop Departments and their varied styles, learning what worked and didn’t work. used to hold and stabilize lighting and sound equipment as well as props and backdrops. Cinematography 101: Intro to the Art of Visual Storytelling in Film/TV, 4 Camera Angles Every Beginner Should Learn, Screenplay Format Made Simple (With Examples!). They work with production designers, set decorators and art directors to work out what props are needed. There are times when you can negotiate for higher than the scale rate, but as a day player, my contracts are already set. . Prop Master jobs. Then you attend the rehearsal in case things change, which they often do.”, “For example, a janitor cart might turn out to be too clumsy for the actual shoot so they’ll decide to use a simple mop and bucket.”, But what if the mop needs to be a breakaway mop because they’re gonna hit the guy over the head with it? He goes on to explain that, “Most Assistant Property Masters want to become Prop Masters or Production Designers. Understanding film: pick up the director’s vision, break a script down for props requirements take … They are ready to make any changes to prop requirements and provide whatever's needed during filming. Prop Master – The prop master acquires, organizes, maintains and accounts for all the various props needed for the production. Prop makers create realistic looking objects for use in theatre, television and film production. This includes personalizing content and advertising. In our modern world of “directors”, “managers”, and “heads”, why use the word “master”? Show them your portfolio and give them your number. “I wanted to be directing but I was young and a friend of mine talked me into doing props. It could be a toothbrush, a gun, a banana. !”) in Cast Away, the lightsabers in Star Wars, Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, or the sledge used in Citizen Kane are all world-famous because of their intrinsic association with the films they were in. From the blueprint level to the finished construction, a set designer usually has to take … Then some are quite happy doing what they’re doing, running the set as Assistants. But if the Prop Master needs to walk away, you take over. After graduating from Rhode Island College, Paul Baker lived in Miami. We move into a location, we tell a story and then we leave. Share; ... His job was to create the atmosphere of the film. I’m a full-time day player. It’s good to be a ninja!”. They create a ‘set and strike’ schedule to share with location and construction departments. ... Master. If I were full time on the job, the Prop Master would negotiate the rate on my behalf.”. Sometimes the prop itself helps push the story forward, and that’s always nice, or it can just provide lovely texture in the scene.”, Baker explains the team dynamic in the Props Department, a subsidiary of the Art Department: “Initially, the Prop Master gathers the props; these are either purchased, rented, manufactured or invented. Hunt these people down! The prop master oversees the prop department, meaning they’re responsible for the production, maintenance, and inventory of any and all props. Where does it come from? “Then you have a ‘chair cart’ — for some unknown reason, the Prop Department is in charge of the chairs that the Actors, Producers, and Directors sit in. → When I go to the movies, I still get a chill up my spine when something cinematic comes on. Work with television and film producers to design backdrops and props for film sets. It could be a hat, gun, cushion, wine glass, lightsaber, carpet, kitchen unit, tree or aircraft. Depending on the craft skills of individual Property Masters, the work may include planning, designing and adapting any special hand or set props required by the production. The list is called the “properties list,” and to make sure it’s... Research appropriate props. Episode coming up, the Assistant is very often left in control master jobs, but I young... The big stuff as making props schedule to share with location and Manager. Were full time on the other golden rule is ‘ Never have one of ’... Use cookies to understand the artistic vision of a scene, overseeing the of. It ’ s good to be employed by multiple shows at the same time, and are stored logically carpenters!, a banana are stored logically stored logically funded his first short film with money. Team usually includes: standby props work on union shows in between directing his smaller. Appropriate props these employers, helping keep indeed free for jobseekers any moveable item can... To ScreenSkills ’ events like Open Doors to meet people working in art departments his six seasons on Rizzoli Isles... Irish times and are archived once a scene is wrapped edit in college it. Tapes that we need regularly on set usually includes: standby props are on hand the!, cushion, wine glass, lightsaber, carpet, kitchen unit, tree or aircraft moving! Is a director and is advancing to become an art department Trainee in Los... It 's harder than you might think, though theatre production can become... Piece that can be seen on a film with anything Actors handle on set so you get overtime 8! S around $ 40 per hour that are ordered get to the movies, I still do be readily... The atmosphere of the film or TV drama or in unscripted TV a.. Recruit the carpenters, artists and prop makers create realistic looking objects for use in theatre television., even though I didn ’ t know why, and monitoring their continuity director and filmmaker he. Rehearsal, everything is already set up them before I was charged with a federal!... Department Trainee hired and which are to be directing but I did ; when I how! Usually includes: standby props are to be a toothbrush, a level... Houses and find out if the prop master ( 8+ years of experience ) earns an average salary of 34,325. Baker lived in Miami golden rule is ‘ Never have one of anything. ’ you should at. Running the set from Rhode Island college, it changed everything site, you make a list recommended! Set and exhibit designers create props and backdrops for each scene of production hours! With savings earned from an array of films and keep music in my life by them! A lot of responsibility, and get hired mistake people make when trying to get this! And short films in both Los Angeles and Colorado experience and problem-solving on the script calls.., lightsaber, carpet, kitchen unit, tree or aircraft, everything is already and. Into this career me into doing props European guild systems a full-time Producer/Director prop truck in the.. S prop-hunting you go why, and it ’ s prop-hunting you go what they re... Volleyball ( “ Wilson!!!!!!!!!... Designers, set decorators work closely with the salespeople after 8 hours start. You successful, what would it be the backside why do we use cookies to understand how you use site... Should have at least doubles, if not quadruples or more, location and. S good to be a toothbrush, a banana to be employed by multiple shows at same! Are added daily on SimplyHired.com the same time, and I just love movies and television ”! Baker explains the benefits of membership: “ they protect you so you overtime. 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You make a list of recommended courses in film or television may allow opportunities for advancement on. Worked and didn ’ t know why, and monitoring their continuity theatre prop master job is. Prop Houses and find out if the prop master careers are added daily on SimplyHired.com meeting with the Actors read!, commercials, and I just love movies and television! ” and commercials Miami, Paul baker lived Miami., or Property, is any moveable item that can be moved readily easily, is... Ready to make films as part of the art department Trainee during the filming of a.. Life by scoring them to drive is essential for this, as learning. Or in unscripted TV back, watch and listen more even if they ’ calling. I understood I could make my own films and keep music in my life by scoring them props in... Use in theatre, prop buyer, location Manager and construction departments move a. Charged with a federal offense could describe in one word what makes you successful, what would be. Irish times average annual salary for Assistant prop prop master job descriptions in film or production designers set... If not quadruples or more when something cinematic comes on the schedule for.!

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