What Is Dressing Props?
- Setting up props on sets and locations before filming
- Hanging curtains, installing flooring, furniture and machinery
- Making sets look realistic for filming
To do this role, you will need to:
- Be physically fit
- Have a full driving licence
- Have a specialist HGV or forklift licence.
- Be multi-skilled eg in sewing, ironing, plumbing, carpet fitting, upholstery
- Be able to carry out all types of DIY – Be able to take accurate measurements
- Have good IT skills
- Have an eye for interiors
- Have excellent spatial awareness
- Have good creative problem solving abilities
- Have good attention to detail
- Have good communications skills
- Be a good team worker
- Be able to work under pressure
- Be able to maintain a positive attitude
- Understand the film making process
- Understand the relevant health and safety laws and procedures
What does a Dressing Props do?
Dressing Props are brought in two to three weeks before the shoot begins. They are briefed by the Property Master*, Production Designer and/or Art Director. If Set Dressers are involved, they supervise the Dressing Props team. Dressing Props usually work in teams of two or three. In this case, the senior member of the team is referred to as the Chargehand.
The Dressing Props and the Props Storeman* take delivery of the props needed to dress sets or locations. They work to very tight deadlines to transform the site to meet the design brief.
Their work can involve a range of tasks from hanging curtains and laying floors and carpets to plumbing. On an exterior location, if there is no Greensman*, the Dressing Props may also deal with foliage and greenery.
Once the Dressing Props team has finished at one location, they move on to dress the next location, while filming takes place on the previous site. When filming is over, Dressing Props return to the previous site and strike the set. They have to restore locations to their original state. They deliver the props back to the Props Storeman, and move on to the next location or set. Many Standby Props also work as Dressing Props, and vice versa.
Will I need a qualification?
You don’t need a specific qualification, but some training or experience of design and construction is needed for this role.
What’s the best route in?
You can start out in the Props Department in a junior role, as this is not an entry-level position. You will need to get experience on several feature films to work on big budget productions.