We Bet You Didn’t Know The Fascinating Back Stories Behind These 6 Iconic Movie Props!
A good prop goes a long way in making a movie memorable, that much has always been clear to wizards involved in the creation of onscreen magic. After all, attention to detail in a film can make all the difference between entertainment and engagement.
And to prove my point, here’s a look at the fascinating back stories of 6 props that went way beyond the movies they were created for and became iconic in their own capacities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you cinema’s most celebrated objects.
1. The Snitch, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone
According to J.K. Rowling’s description, the golden Snitch is the size of a walnut with fluttering silver wings, that are hidden when not in flight. Concept artist Gert Stevens used a golf ball as a starting point when creating the illustration. The final sketch was then brought to life by Pierre Bohanna’s prop team. It was a delicate piece of mechanical engineering. The deep narrow channels curving across the surface that appear as decoration secretly hide the wings.
2. The One Ring, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
Tolkien described the ring as being a simple golden band that when heated revealed a phrase in Black Speech:
“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”
Jens Hansen, a local jeweller in New Zealand, was chosen to make the ring. The wedding ring of one of the producers, Rick Porras served as a reference. It was well proportioned, bulbous and had a ‘historic’ look. It was also simple enough to carry the phrase on its external surface. Apart from the final version, another ring was made from magnetic metal so that when dropped on the floor inside Bilbo’s house it would not bounce and appear heavy.
3. The Golden Ticket, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
The ticket was made from a kind of foil-covered paper. The props men would hand them to the child actors with great reverence: ‘Here is your golden ticket.’
Today, it’s a catch phrase.
4. The Heart Of The Ocean, Titanic
The necklace needed to be heart-shaped and made beautifully. An expensive, semi-precious stone was chosen for the locket. It had to be deep, and it had to have definition. John Asprey, who ran Asprey & Garrard Limited made it. A duplicate was made so it could be thrown into the water.
5. The Mockingjay Pin, The Hunger Games
Because the pin was illustrated in the book, a lot of technical things had to be worked out to get it just right. It began with very hard wax carved into the likeness by hand. The bird and ring are made of cast sterling silver. The arrow was made out of 14-karat gold for strength. Then, it was all gold plated.
Without the arrow, it would just be a pretty bird. The arrow adds that extra element of fighting back. It makes it a symbol of courage and strength.
6. The Batarang, Batman
The Batarang was created trying to fit the symbol of Batman. A rough design sketch was created and handed over to special effects supervisor, John Evans, who made all the gadgets. The idea was to have everything Batmobile-looking. All the gadgets echoed each other.
Who knew that the stories behind the making of these props were as fascinating as the stories they helped tell?
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