Props, short for properties, are items used by the talent or subjects of a production that enhance the set and the content.
Imagine watching an advertisement for a cookware set. Let’s imagine that this cookware ad doesn’t actually include any video content of the cookware. That’s not very effective, right?
Now imagine that at the end of the ad, there’s a call to action. A number pops up on the screen and the speaker urges you to call fast to receive a discount on your order. An actor pretends to call in on an invisible phone mimed by his thumb and pinkie finger.
While the viewer may understand the implications of the actor’s actions, this version of the advertisement is definitely less effective. Why?
Props place actors in reality. When viewers see them completing tasks, those tasks resonate with them as things that they themselves could be doing.
In addition, the combination of voice and visuals helps viewers make connections and remember the information given to them.
The Importance of Good Props
Just like the set and costume design, props should help place actors and actresses in a time or place. You wouldn’t find a cell phone on an episode of That 70’s Show, and you probably shouldn’t see a corded phone in a modern video.
The perfect props give subtle hints about characters, setting, mood, and tone. They also help with clarity so that the audience knows exactly what’s going on.
A small item can make a huge difference.
Props at ECG
No matter the project, we’ve got props to fit it and if we don’t, we’ll find them.
Props can be hugely necessary, especially in advertisement situations like the one we discussed above. Viewers want to see your product in action.
Plus, visuals keep the viewer engaged. Consider this orthopaedics commercial. It’s loaded with props.
Sure we’ve got some orthopaedic equipment thrown in, but there are also other important items that allude to the life that good orthopaedic health can lead to.
These include a jump rope, football, soccer ball, swingset, and more. Viewers are engaged by the constant action. Plus, they now associate the mundane doctor’s appointment that they never got around to with potential outdoor fun!
If props can set the tone for a commercial, just imagine what they can do for character development. In this book announcement, the main character is scene preparing a rifle while smoking a cigar.
Right off the bat, we know who this character is. He’s an assassin and a gentleman rolled into one. He loves a glass of whiskey, fine cigar, and, of course, a high caliber rifle.
No matter what the goal of your production is, props have the subtle power to help you achieve it.
If you know the props you need to make your next production a success, count on ECG to source them! Reach out today and we’ll get your props needs covered.