Technically speaking, props is the short term for properties which are the physical stuff used during a photo, video, or film shoot. Most of these props are the property of the producer or the company that is asking for the video to be made. Story props can be handy items like books, picture frames or they can also be pieces of clothing for the actors.

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Props often serve the purpose of dressing up a set in order to create a world where the story will evolve. For instance, if the scene requires that the newest kitchen product to be used by a wife,  then the kitchen must look and feel realistic. The actor must also be dressed properly but with the emphasis being on the new kitchen product and not on the actor.

Props can sketch and realize the most complex of worlds where real people or characters move in. Props are useful narrative tools in any given location. When it comes to foreshadowing or the use of objects and surroundings, the director should play with angles that he can use with the camera lens. Remember that the camera is like the viewer’s perspective into that world that you are creating so be sure to use it optimally.

5 Tips for Using Props Effectively in Your Next Production

Timing Is Everything

One of the aspects of props use is for the materials to have a powerful impact once they are set up; however, they will only be shot once so be sure to make a list of the requirements from the onset. It would be ineffective to set up the props only to take them down later on. This would be costly time-wise, or resource-wise.

Props can hook the viewers to the story that is about to be portrayed. When used well, props act to spur the imagination of the viewers, bringing a more concrete reality to the intangible world that they are about to see.

There are six rules to remember when using props for videos – 

  • First, do not use props just for the sake of having props. Remember that the props will only help tell the story – they are not the star of the video.
  • Use basic props as much as possible. The simplest props are remembered better  than the most intricate ones. Also, you would not want to dilute the video’s message so keep it straightforward.
  • Display a prop or two on the video thumbnail. This should elicit interest from the viewers.
  • Never have the props seen before they are needed on the set. The second set of props should appear only when it is visually in sync with your script.
  • Separate props that are alike as people tend to notice similarities. The  mind is so powerful that it can remember the placement of every prop and when this happens, your viewers will end up counting how many of the props are similar more than concentrating on the message of your video.

Just as there are dress rehearsals, practice using the props. Knock them down just as easily as you have set them up – that is the ideal scenario. While it is not easy to work with props, you need to master them so that the video shoot will go smoothly.

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