Discover your career path

Prop Master

Ensure TV shows, movies, and plays have all the props they need.

What does a Prop Master do?

Prop masters are responsible for everything on a stage that moves (aside from living beings). This can include telephones, cigarettes, historically accurate toy boxes, or even food found on plates; anything that’s used by the actors other than what they wear.

Prop masters begin each show by looking over the script and meeting with the production designer to understand the artistic vision of a show. With that in mind, you make a list of all the props needed, then it’s prop-hunting you go. Some props, like eyeglasses from the 1960’s, are easy to find in a boutique or online. Others, like a futuristic weapon, need to be designed from scratch.

This job requires a lot of patience, creativity, and an ability to work quickly under tight deadlines: A television set usually gives you a week to prepare for the next episode’s prop needs. You typically have more time on a movie set, but there you also have the job of maintaining continuity. This means that if the main character is holding a yellow umbrella in scene one, then you need to make sure he’s still holding it in scene two. This requires close attention to detail, as scenes are sometimes shot weeks or even months apart.

Last, but certainly not least, you make sure props are kept in good condition during filming and are in their spots when they need to be. So if you like collecting things and have a good eye for detail with almost OCD organization skills, then this position may be perfect for you.