Prop Money is just fake money that looks realistic. It’s used in countless industries! It’s also produced in different types to accommodate the needs of each industry. It’s important to take note of the differences between real and fake money. Here’s everything you need to know about fake money.
History of Prop Money
So, where did this fake money even come from? Well, counterfeit money appeared with the introduction of real money. Of course, the goal back then was not to impress an audience but rather fool that audience.
The prop money we know today is mostly used for entertainment purposes, which has a different history. The short film “The Great Train Robbery”, released in 1903, was the first film to use real money during production.
Unfortunately, the US government decided to ban the use of real money for film production due to the rise in counterfeit money production. During that time, an outdated Mexican currency was available for film production. But of course, the stock of this currency was used up rather quickly, resulting in companies seizing the opportunity and filling in the market gap. Then, many companies began producing fake money that looks real and selling it to the entertainment industry.
Nowadays, many industries use motion picture money, which only increased the number of companies that produce it.
Uses of Movie Money
Movie money is used in a variety of different industries! Of course, the largest industry in which motion picture money is used in the entertainment industry. From YouTube videos to movies to TV shows, prop money is a must-have.
Countless pranks on YouTube heavily rely on cheap prop money. Considering that some of these pranks involved amounts as large as 5 million dollars, they had to use replica money! Due to the use of such sums of money, they used blank filling stacks.
On the other hand, many social experiments also used replica money. However, due to using a much smaller amount of money, they relied on full print front and back prop money. Of course, due to people’s close contact with the bills, most of them recognized that they aren’t real.
2. Films industry
In addition, numerous movies and TV shows wouldn’t be the same without motion picture money. In films such as “The Dark Knight”, where approximately 5 billion fake dollars were burned, the producers had to invest in prop currency.
You may be wondering why film production tends to require fake money, even when the amount needed is small. Well, interestingly enough, under 18 US Code 333, it’s illegal to mutilate, cut, deface, disfigure, or do any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt. Consequences of such an action would include the payment of a fine and even imprisonment. Therefore, movies like “The Dark Knight” cannot use real money even if they could somehow afford it!
3. TV shows
Similarly, TV shows need prop bills to deliver their amazing scenes! TV shows like Money Heist use thousands of motion picture money stacks throughout the show. Yet again, they can’t use real money since they’d need over 2 million euros! Therefore, they resort to prop money too. Of course, involving such a large sum of money, have to use blank filling stacks as they’re much more affordable.
Due to the consistent requirement of prop cash in production, the entertainment industry is the largest movie money user.
4. Music industry
Aside from the entertainment industry, the music industry also uses prop bills. Most music videos that don’t involve the destruction of fake money can use real money. These music videos would include the money used in their budget as they don’t usually use large sums.
5. Fashion industry
The fashion industry also uses fake prop money for both photoshoots and outfits. Although it isn’t heavily used, there are many photos that require realness through the use of daily items, including money.
The education industry uses prop bills to teach children about different banknotes and their values. This is more known as play money. Also, the tabletop game industry uses fake cash for board games like “The Allowance Game”.
Last but not least, fake money is often used in magic tricks to fool the audience. Whether that be to rip a note in half, poke a hole through it, or even burn it, magicians need to use counterfeit currency.
Producers and creators would choose the type of movie money to purchase depending on how close the audience would be to the bills and what they will end up doing with the bills.