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  • Writer's pictureKathie Hartmans

Lights! Camera! Movie Prop Books from QBS!

Prop book for movie Marshall

If you’ve watched Marshall with Chadwick Boseman, you’ve seen our behind-the-scenes craftsmanship! We created a prop reporter notepad for the legal drama featuring award-winning Boseman in the role of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

From Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Spell Book, to the Hocus Pocus Spell Book to Beetlejuice’s Handbook for the Recently Deceased, book props add drama and delight to a movie’s story. We only wish we’d brought these three famous books to life!

Prop Book for Mob Movie

Yet, we’ve had the chance to create other movie prop collectibles like the large bound journal of mob-related newspaper articles for an NYC mafia movie.

Also, we were commissioned to do all the books for the Chicago Theater Writers Guild Museum.

Writer Books for Museum

And currently, we are creating a unique movie prop book--for an upcoming movie filming in Western New York. No spoilers allowed!

Our bookbindery is considered a prop buyer’s source. Prop makers call us to make objects for films, TV programs, and the theater.

They use their expert knowledge of suppliers and hire companies like Quality Bindery Services to fabricate original props built to the script’s specs. We work our magic from books to boxes to tables to whatever needs to be custom-designed and created.

So, how does the Production Buyer or Prop Buyer do their job? When the Set Director of a movie reviews the shooting script, they develop a list of props needed—like prop baby, prop lamp, prop comic book, etc. These are called “dressing props.” They give a certain sense of period to a place, or they may play a vital role in the story--like the box of chocolates in Forrest Gump. Then there are “action props” like bottles to break during a barroom brawl or, say, a spinning chandelier in a horror thriller.

The prop buyer typically finds what they need at a prop rental house or from the studio’s warehouse in sourcing items. But it’s when they need an item that is rare or hard to find; they seek experts in the item’s field—like a seamstress for a particular dress or a book bindery to fabricate a unique book prop. In addition, the film’s special effects/art department may add to the authenticity—like aging a book.

With a prop commission, we work directly with the prop designer—as they have researched to ensure the prop meets the set director’s needs. It often includes photographic or illustrated references for us to follow.

Film producers and set decorators place a great deal of trust in the property master’s ability to be discerning and selective in finding the right vendor for original prop creations. But, as we’ve said before, at QBS, we’re ready to use our talents to serve individuals, organizations, and now the film, theater, and television industry!

After this peak behind the camera, it should come as no surprise why some props take on a life of their own. Maybe ours will someday too!

If you have an upcoming project, feel free to call us to consult on creating your props at (716) 883-5185.

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