A film prop can be anything from a ring, a volley ball, or a red or a blue pill. A prop can be assigned to a character, or used as a plot device.
Keep The Change is roughly 7 minutes long, and features over a dozen props. This is how we used props to help achieve the film look.
Here are all of our props for our film Keep The Change. Each has a reason to be included in the film.
Just a quick note, we have deliberately included the costume in this list. There is a fine line between a prop and a costume. For example; if you wear a sword on your belt, it is a costume. But if you draw the sword, it becomes a prop. So we are going to speak about both. Let’s get started!
The Order Ticket – this prop was used in the very first shot of the film. It was used to throw the audience straight into the world of “this film has something to do with the service industry”.
The hoodie & the cap – Straight away, the hoodie is giving very important information. It’s a pizza shop called Robbie’s Pizza, and their slogan is “if we’re late – it’s free”.
We actually designed the logo in Photoshop and used an online store to print it and get it, and the cap, delivered. The cap is a clear sign that our character is a pizza delivery guy. He wears the uniform, he must be a member of staff at Robbie’s pizza.
The pizza bag and box – If someone doesn’t know it by now, they will know exactly what this film is about now that they have seen a pizza box going into a delivery bag. It’s about pizza…pizza.
The car – For Keep The Change we wanted to use an old beaten up car. "Thankfully, I drive one!" Using an old car signifies that our character doesn’t have a lot of money, or is very careless with his money. The car is also the device used for transportation at the start of the film. "My car is called Dougal by the way".
Phone – The phone is very important in this film. Firstly, it acts as a GPS for our character to follow along the road. The road it shows indicated that it is in the middle of nowhere, and that there are very limited sources of light and, more importantly, people.
Later on in the film, the phone gives information in the form of voice commands to the character and the audience.
Pine Fresh – The car freshener is used as an object that would move if the car is travelling. This was placed strategically to help sell the effect of driving the car, which we faked in Rob’s garage.
Walter White – Like the pine fresh, this is used to help sell the effect of the car moving when it actually isn’t.
Egg Timer – This is quite an important one. The egg timer is there to show the pizza must be delivered in a certain amount of time. Throughout the film it ticks away and gives the audience an estimate on how far along time has passed and how close to the deadline our character is. It is also used as a stressful audio device, ticking away while our character is trying to think.
The Teddy Bear with Spectacles – This bear is used to further solidify that the children he takes care of are an active part of his life and spend a significant amount of time with our character and in his car.
It’s annoying, staring smile is staring at our character in the most stressed time of his life, and our character obnoxiously speaks to the teddy, giving our character more naivety.
Radio – This tells us where the music is coming from as it goes from non-diegetic to diegetic (diegetic meaning a visible source of audio on screen).
The business card – This prop is used to tell the audience our character is in the right place. 19, red door. He is standing in front of a large red door. Unfortunately, it was so dark the door doesn’t look red! Oops.
The sign – The sign reading “Keep The Change” is there to show that someone has personally ordered this pizza, but also shows the significant lack of someone actually being in the scene. It gives our character his orders to take the £10 under the sign and not bother leaving any change. Oh, the £10 is also a prop! Add it to the list!!
Car Seat and Teddy Bear – These props give the audience the hint towards our character being a father, or a guardian, and that he has responsibility in his life. This helps give the character a sense of dread later on when he realises he will soon lose his job, which in turn gives him the determination to just start running.
The table – It’s a table. Where would the pizza box go if we didn’t have a table, on the floor? We also added a bunch of powdered chalk to outline the shape of the pizza box.
Our original idea was to have some sort of space for our character to carefully place the pizza box into, like a frame or something. But, we went for a chalk outline because it fitted into the whole “Is this a sci-fi film?” ending.
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