To start your career as a prop master, you should work in the art department on a production as an entry level position. While it is possible to begin this type of work without a film or television education, an understanding of production as well as physical arts such as sculpting or machining can be beneficial. Once you’ve made your way into a production’s art department, you can start learning about the realities of working on a film or television set, as well as in a theatrical production. You should then express your desire to work in the props department of future productions in order to advance your career as a prop master.
On a production, the prop master, also known as the property master, is in charge of overseeing the prop department and collaborating with other members of the art department. Props are anything that isn’t an actor, isn’t worn an actor, or isn’t background that is seen on screen or on stage. In general, there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a prop master, though experience with entertainment productions may be advantageous. Because prop masters work in film, television, and theater, you can work in any of these mediums and still gain art department experience.
You can start working your way up to becoming a prop master once you have a general education or understanding of basic production elements. You should look for productions that are looking for entry-level art department workers, though you can gain experience as a production assistant or even an intern. However, getting into the art department is critical for gaining the experience needed to become a prop master. Even if you’re assisting with costuming or set design, you can still make contacts in the industry to help you get work on future productions.
After that, you can start working your way up to becoming a prop master. You should express your interest in props in the art department and try to get a job in the prop department of a production. You may be asked to help with machining props, locating furniture and household items to help dress sets, and other initial duties that will allow you to gain experience and network with other prop masters and production managers. If you have enough experience, you can work as a prop master on a production looking for productions that need prop masters and demonstrating your skills.