14 Dec Hollywood movie money- What kind of prop money Hollywood uses?
One of the biggest multi-million dollar industry right now is the world of movies and entertainment! It is pretty easy to see why that is true because with such busy schedules people really need to find a way to let loose and just relax! That’s why movie and production studios spend millions of dollars to curate a perfect viewing experience for audiences to enjoy.
To truly understand how these companies and production houses make this such an enjoyable and real experience for us all, one of the most interesting aspects of this is the concept of motion picture money that was created for Hollywood! Yes, that’s right, while we may see fake prop money used in a ton of different ways nowadays, its earliest entry was in the 70s when motion pictures wanted to bring their art closer to life.
Something else that is pretty interesting is to know that while motion picture or Hollywood money as it is called, has become the norm in most TV shows, music videos, and reality shows that we see today, this fake money has not always been on the right side of the law. Before the ’70s showing fake money or any money that was shown to be the real thing was illegal as per U.S laws.
There are a few reasons why this may be a fact. The important thing to realize is that printing or bringing in phony or fake cash for the intent to make a purchase or strike a deal is a serious government offense in the United States of America and if an individual is found to be guilty of the above charges, then they might be liable to pay a huge fee or even be jailed.
Before we get into what kinds of prop money Hollywood uses, let’s talk about the idea of motion picture money itself!
So what exactly is motion picture money then? Following the boom of the entertainment industry in the ’70s and 80’s studios and creation houses saw what a lucrative business Hollywood and entertainment could be. So, to get a real competitive edge over each other, they started finding ways to make their sets, scenes, and movies bigger and better than anything their counterparts could bring to the table. One way to achieve this was to invest in more excellent sets and better-looking props.
This is exactly when the idea of film prop cash comes in as movies with prop money could delve into more realistic exchanges between actors and the audiences could relate to them more. The idea behind fake or prop money is that it tries to mirror and look-alike to the actual currency that we use in our daily lives. However, of course, the general idea behind this money is that it is fake!
This is a serious problem for Hollywood especially since there has now been a rise in the number of cases of people using fake or counterfeit banknotes and bills to make purchases at local shops and stores. This is where strict measures and restrictions come in properly sanctioned by the United States government.
According to the Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992, when making, producing, printing, or using fake money for non-purchasing uses especially in the US, all individuals involved need to make sure they are following strict guidelines. The most common way this can be achieved is by making sure that the money that is being printed only has the physical attributes of real money on one side. This means that it should be blank on the other end to avoid it looking like actual currency.
This can also be made easier if the prop money used is either slightly larger or slightly smaller than actual dollar bills. The first big-time incident with prop money that was printed on both sides in Hollywood, happened when during a scene in Rush Hour, 1 billion dollars was blown up in a scene. Unfortunately, some of this very realistic looking money evaded the explosion and thus was used for illegal means.
Not only did the authorities get involved, but this also was a good lesson for prop money makers and studios alike! Most makers of prop money for big-time production houses will make sure they are in communication with the right kind of government entities to make sure their products comply with federal laws.
So, now let’s look at some of the different kinds of prop money that Hollywood makes use of:
Most makers will churn out 2 different kinds of prop money for bigger studios; the first one is called standard grade and this is, of course, lower in quality which means that from a distance of about 15 to 20 inches away it looks real. However, if you get closer, this can easily be distinguished from real money. The other one is called the high-grade bills and this is made especially for close-ups.
The one for close-ups is extremely important to get that authentic feel to audiences and it is extremely high quality but it also might just be printed on one side to be within legal boundaries. The other standard kind can be printed on both sides but prop companies have a lot of loopholes to avoid that happening because they print them to appear real on camera but completely fake if you held one. They also have a cool optical illusion printed into them so there is no confusion.
There are other ways to make sure that their products comply with laws and the easiest way is to play around with the text because that takes longer to read and discover. Some of the most popular textual chances are that the place where there should be a signature might read something like “Not Real Currency” or the seal design might be different.
Other clever changes include a different artwork of the founding fathers, as opposed to the real pictures and words such as “Unreal Fake Currency”, which have been added instead of the real deal.
How does Hollywood ensure that their prop money is not real?
The most important thing to remember is that film prop money is just not made with the correct sort of security checks as real bills. This is the thing that storekeepers should look at when they feel something is off because the first giveaway is going to be touch. Of course, when a fake note is on the big screen we can’t feel it, but the paper used is of a very different kind than actual money.
Genuine bills are likewise extraordinary as they are added in with security filaments or strands everywhere on the bill which is the reason phony or prop cash can be effortlessly distinguished. Another simple method to figure out what is prop money is to check the color and tones of the sort of ink that is utilized.
While Amazon is unquestionably one of the biggest online retailers for selling film prop money, others are just as reliable. eBay is another really popular one but for bigger production houses that have the cash to spend on better alternatives, there are a ton of prop companies that can be sought out that take their trade very seriously.
The bottom line is that companies who have to use this prop money need to be able to tell it apart from actual money.
One of the biggest sellers of prop money is eBay and they have strict measures set in place to ensure that the prop money they sell effectively complies with government rules completely. As we mentioned earlier, course, the easiest way to ensure they are complying is to only print the money on one side and this means that the money will then be following the Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992.
An alternative is that if the bill is not a veritable duplicate of genuine bills then a full print is also acceptable. Another advantage of getting your bills off of eBay is that they will make sure you are not being duped as they make sure the seller for this cash effectively communicates that the item they are selling is a “duplicate” or multiplication and not genuine money.
Of course, there are more than one ways to ensure that you stay on the right side of the law and one way is to alter the text on the fake notes. So in many cases, instead of its saying “100 dollars,” it just says “100.” Even more nuances such as the colors of the ink used on the bill are additionally changed so there is no possibility of misrepresentation.
From the different signatures to slight adjustments in the way the founding fathers are placed, there are tons of ways to ensure that you are purchasing certified and legal Hollywood money. These actions are enough to guarantee that you stay on the correct side of the law.