The Props, sounds like things like umbrellas for Gene Kelly's singing in the rain, but when you make a video you will almost certainly interact with some object, whether it is demonstrating it or presenting it in some way, or just using an everyday object. In this blog we look at some of the objects you will meet and how to display them better.
What is a prop?
A prop is something that you pick up touch move or otherwise manipulate in a video. It is not part of the basic scenery or location but it is something that actually handled and used.
Props can be anything you use or work with in a video. And these are usually essential to what you are doing in the video.
How to use a Prop
Usually the prop is something important so in a way we treat it like another Talent.
Clear everything else out of the way that may distract from the thing you are showing.
Adjust the lighting to reduce the reflection off of the surface.
Move the prop around and check that it doesn’t pick up light reflections anywhere in the shot, because unlike in a picture in videos objects can move too.
Clean the item so that it looks as good as it can unless of course you need the object to look that way.
Adjust the camera so if you are examining the prop it is not distorted by the camera.
Using a Prop example
Let take an example of a mobile phone in a video.
Maybe it is going to be used to call someone.
First lets introduce the prop. Pick it up from where it is, in a pocket, or on a table. The camera shows it is being picked up.
The we are going to call someone, so we want a close up of the phone to show the action.
Then we want to see the person calling so we see the prop - the mobile phone being moved so the person can talk or text or whatever you want to do. This will be a wider shot - possibly just the head a phone showing the phone arriving by the ear.Props to avoid distraction
There is another very practical use of props and that is to put it in somebody’s hands to stop them waving their hands around. If you watch many people who don’t have something in their hands, then they tend to wave them around quite a lot. But if you put something in their hands then they can’t wave their hands around as easily and if you give them something that they need two hands to hold then this is a very effective way of stopping them looking silly.