Christina Loeffler: Props Master
We’ve all heard of props. Generally, they’re associated with stage productions—they are the objects actors carry around and interact with on the set that help them tell the story. They include dishes, brooms, chairs, and more.
On a film set it’s the same idea. Props are items that actors directly interact with that help tell the story. They are different from set decoration, however. To be a prop, an item must be handled by the actor onscreen as part of the story.
For example, let’s say there is a breakfast scene (like the one in Counter Column!). There are several plates of food, some silverware, a few cups of juice, and a dozen eggs. During the scene, one actor eats off his plate with a fork, another takes a swig of orange juice, and a third cracks and scrambles two eggs. These are the only items touched or used. The fork, cup of juice, and two eggs are props. But what about everything else—the other plates of food, cups of juice, silverware, and ten eggs? Those are merely set decoration. They weren’t used by an actor, so they are just there to set the scene and provide context.
On Counter Column, Christina was our Props Master, which means she was supervising all props, making sure they were present when needed (and not present when they weren’t!), watching for continuity (like refilling juice glasses for each take so the amount of liquid didn’t keep changing), and keeping them in a safe place when they weren’t being used so they would be ready for future shoot days. She worked closely with Brittany Polzella (our Production Designer) not only artistically, but also practically, as props can flip between being props and being set decoration, which was part of Brittany’s department.
There is so much detail and organization that goes into making a film! Counter Column was blessed to have Christina on board to make sure everything looked like it should. Below, Christina and Brittany prepare an onscreen meal for our actors. Some of these dishes are props, and some are set decoration. You’ll have to watch the movie to see which is which!