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Here Are the Unsung Props that Make Movies Great

Shining a spotlight on how Tarantino, Scorsese, and Hitchcock made characters out of things.
Pulp Fiction, Screen Grabs by Author

Rishi Kaneria is the master of supercuts, splicing together our favorite movies in order to show them to us in a new way.  He’s focused on facial expressions, use of color, and sound, but his latest video extols the virtues of the under-appreciated movie prop.

“A good prop can help a film’s believability,” in narration he begins simply, “while a bad one can pull you out of the experience.”  Why Props Matter continues to rise in intensity and complexity. Familiar scenes from familiar movies build on one another to the background noise of popular songs, some from films themselves. Each sentence coincides approximately with a film clip: “A prop can show a character’s unique gift [Rain Man counting toothpicks]. Or a character’s unique madness [Mommie Dearest's wire hangers].  And sometimes a prop can actually BE a character in your film [Cast Away's Wilson].”


Kaneria expertly mixes scenes of similar color, construction, and especially movement to make a video that is cohesive. Lasting 10 minutes, the speed and approachability of the work makes it flash by quickly and enjoyably. Never again will you be fooled by the ubiquity and simplicity of the prop. As Kaneria points out, “the greatest trick the prop ever pulled was convincing the world it didn’t exist.”

See more of Kaneria’s videos here.


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