Property masters, the individuals responsible for creating iconic props from movies and cinema, such as Rosebud, lightsabers and Captain America’s shield, have a new professional association, which launched Monday to provide professional educational opportunities and cultivate future generations.
The inaugural class of 78 Property Masters Guild members was established this month.
“The Property Masters Guild has long been a dream for many of us in the craft,” PMG President Joshua Meltzer said in a statement. “The Property Master is arguably one of the most important people on a film set. I have no idea why it has taken so long, but I am honored to be part of the first organization dedicated to elevating our craft and educating the industry and the public on the essential contributions and varied skills Property Masters possess.”
The mission of the Property Masters Guild is:
— to raise awareness of the craft of property masters to those within and outside the entertainment industry;
— to educate its members to maintain the highest quality of standards within the craft;
— to cultivate, inspire, and train future property masters, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds; and
— to foster a greater collaboration among property masters and their craft.
The Property Masters Guild was started by four people — Meltzer, Gregg Bilson, Hope Parrish and Chris Call.
“For far too long, the Property Master has gone unrecognized in film and television. Props are the objects of life, we all have them, cherish them and use them to help express who we are. In film, it is the Property Master, working with creators, the director and the actors that help define their character through their possession,” Call, a PMG Board member and Property Master, said in a statement. “On set, it is the Property Master who maintains the integrity of the artistic design created by the art department. When the camera is about to roll and the director or an actor is struck with an idea to help tell the story — it is the Property Master they turn to who pulls the rabbit out of the hat.”
The Property Masters Guild is a 501 (c) 6 nonprofit corporation. As of 2021, it is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“In cinema, the curation of props is as critical as the casting of actors. While often overlooked, the art of the Property Master is as important as any other role in the collaborative medium. Imagine your favorite films, but randomly swap out all objects those characters interact with. It would be like recasting the movie. Props are the result of incredible talent, countless hours, and teams of artists working to make them seem — like a great performance — inevitable,” director and producer JJ Abrams said in a statement.