The Master of Paper Props


A lot of what you’re seeing on the screen was custom made by people like me…

All the patents
the book of secrets
course playbook
large books
travel documents
wanted posters
government forms
FBI reports
psychiatric files
agent identification folders…

Anything that’s made of paper I’ve made it one time or another.

You don’t just take a new book and slosh brown ink on it to make it look old.
You gotta figure out how it got worn, how it got dirty.
How old is it?
What kind of paper is it made out of?
How was the paper made?
Should it be made with carbon paper, should it be on onion skin?
Is some guy gonna pull out a rumpled piece of paper from his pocket or is he gonna pull it out of a file folder?
What color paper should it be?
Should it be yellow, should it be white, should it be ivory colored?
Who’s signing it? What does their handwriting look like?
What kind of ink are they using when they write it? What kind of pen are they using?
And then, because no letter is ever three lines, you have to write the rest of the copy of the letter.

Every page is filled out.
Every book has text on it, pictures.
Every paper in the file folder is a real document that’s filled out and created.

There are so many amazing things that start off with a piece of paper.

—Ross MacDonald, on making paper for movies and television

Many many thanks to Satsuki for sending this dream job our way!