How Fake 💵 Money Is Made For Movies And TV (Video)


Prop money is everywhere in film and television, but people don’t realize how difficult, complicated, and risky it is to print prop movie money. Gregg Bilson Jr. is the CEO of ISS Props, one of the biggest prop houses in the world. In 2000 he got his biggest order for prop money ever: a trillion dollars for “Rush Hour 2.” However, after the fake money got into the hands of some extras who tried to spend it in the real world, the Secret Service ended up serving ISS with a cease and desist and confiscating all of the prop money from the movie. These days only a handful of companies print prop money because of the inherent risk. The companies that do still print prop money generally offer two major types of bills, “standard” and “high-grade.” The standard bills are printed on both sides, and they look great from far away. However, up close, the differences become apparent. So for close-ups, high-grade bills are used. These bills are identical to real cash, but they are printed on only one side so they can’t be used as real currency. Movies and television also occasionally use real bills on camera. Bilson and ISS lend out real cash as often as they can because it looks great on camera and it avoids issues with the Secret Service. However, the ultimate irony of printing prop money is that it actually isn’t very profitable.

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