The earliest reference to a prop of any kind dates back to The Castle of Perseverance, a morality play performed in England in 1425. Not long after, small acting troupes began pooling resources to purchase “company property,” rather than individuals merely furnishing themselves with specialty items and costumes. These days, props are far from mere set decorations or accessories. In some cases, they can be central to the main characters’ arc. In the entertainment industry, a hero prop is any object that will be held or used by the main actor. “Hero” indicates that the item will be high-quality, detailed, and available for use in close-up shots.
Hero Props Can Be Product Placements – Or Not.
Sometimes a hero prop is corporate-sponsored product placement. Companies may pay to have a logo clearly displayed on a shirt, package, or sign–either at the forefront of the shot or more subtly in the background. Other times, it’s advantageous to have the main characters using a fake “brand” that exists solely in the motion picture, so it blends seamlessly into a scene.
Hero Props Look More “Real” Than Reality.
To effectively communicate with audiences through the “third eye” in film, props must read well in terms of size, weight, functionality, color under bright lights, and durability. Though real items can be procured, it sometimes becomes necessary to fabricate hero props out of more suitable materials and finished to look realistic. The list of “fake” items that look more “real” than reality is long but includes food, guitars, glass, skeletons, gore, and more.
Hero Props Can Have Special Effects.
Hero props, particularly weapons, anything technological, or items for action sequences, may have special effects built into them. These can include depressible triggers, light-up display panels, or breakaway pieces. From breakaway bottles, smashing doors, and blood-spurting knives, to non-melting ice cubes, smoking artificial cigarettes, and burnable money– there is no limit to the many ways a good prop can trick the eye.
Unique, Custom Hero Props Live on Forever.
Many props are ordinary objects, but a special custom hero prop can take on a life of its own, particularly when it becomes associated with an iconic character. Take, for instance, Indiana Jones’ bullwhip, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, Marty McFly’s hoverboard, or Chuck Noland’s volleyball friend, “Wilson.” It’s hard to imagine Temple of Doom, The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Back II The Future, or Castaway without these hero props. There are hundreds of instances where the prop became a truly distinctive, memorable, and valuable part of the overall production.
Movie Prop Rentals Offers Premade and Custom-Designed Hero Props for Your Every Need.
Movie Prop Rentals owns a spacious warehouse in Miami, Florida, containing tens of thousands of items for rent, whether you’re producing a major motion picture, an indie film, or a theatrical production. If you can’t find exactly what you need, we’ll make it. No vision is too big or too small for our creative visionaries who specialize in 3D foam carving and fabrication. We ship anywhere in the United States and can provide seasoned set decorators and crew if necessary. Contact us to discuss your needs and get a free quote.