Sometimes props just start to gather dust and it’s time to send them off to a new home.
Modern Props, a large prop house that fits snugly between the 210 and the 118, will be auctioning off around 2,000 items in a couple of weeks. They have always had quite an eclectic inventory so it is particularly exciting for those who like unique pieces. None of their fabricated items will be a part of the auction.
All bidding and payment will be handled online and hosted by Billings Auction – this means Modern Props themselves do not have control over who gets what. As much as Ken would love to help you, he won’t even let ME nab this sweet lamp that caught my eye. It should be noted that you can, and SHOULD, stop by Modern Props to view the lots yourself before logging on for the sale. Physical auction preview will occur over the next couple of weeks, specifically October 14-18 and 21-25 from 10am-3pm.
There will be 2,000 lots available to bid on over the two separate sale days. All manner of lighting fixtures, seating and sofas, desks and more will be up for grabs.
Modern Props Auction Preview Times October 14-18, 21-25 10am – 3pm PST 972 Griswold Ave, San Fernando, CA, 91340
We open to our protagonist working (sort of) on her laptop in the evening with a glass of wine in hand. Suddenly her cell phone rings.
It’s her boss, there’s a big scoop, and she needs to get to the office ASAP, preferably an hour ago!
We finally get to the office where a security guard is sitting inside the entrance at his computer. They wave familiarly to each other as he buzzes her in and our character walks from this quiet first room to a large, open office buzzing with activity; landline phones, cell phones, monitors and television screens abound. It’s going to be a long work night.
The most common kinds of productions take place, more or less, in the here and now. The latest cell phones, laptops and television screens (to name just a few things) need to be present to set the scene. Sometimes the simplest of items can be hard to track down quickly and affordably, especially when you are talking about current technologies with current technology costs (I’m looking at YOU iPhone X).
On top of that, sometimes behind the camera a production needs current technologies. Wifi boxes (MiFis, hotspots), laptops, cell phones and more need to be available for a crew that doesn’t have those items themselves. Where do you rent modern technology, especially WORKING modern technology?!? Oh that’s right, Debbies Book can help with that.
Cell phones, cell phone plans (temporary and long term), laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots and routers. Airwaves is one of the two gotos for working, handheld and modern tech. They also carry laptops, smartwatches and more. Whether it’s for in front of the camera or behind they can get it to you.
Looking for some Blackberry’s, or perhaps some flip phones or at least phones with keypads? When it comes to “not new” cell phones LCW has you covered. Computer monitors, computers (from Ataris to more modern desktop towers), servers are available. They are also a great resource for the seemingly always needed “tech bench” with monitors and computers attached.
From PDAs, CRT Monitors and “folding computer pocket organizer” resource to futuristic faux technology with moving and blinking lights that do whatever you need them to. Modern Props is the go to for those and everything in-between. Check out their website and their new location!
What better place to get electronics than from a place that has been purposefully collecting and repairing them for decades? RJR Props, located in Atlanta, is an electronic repair company turned prop house. From servers to computers and more they’re a great resources, especially for the South and East Coast.
The Hand Prop Room
Cell phones, televisions, radios and office equipment, many rigged for production. They aren’t called the Hand Prop Room for nothing!
Wireless for All
Cell phones, Go Pros, tablets, screen protectors, accessories, plans and more. If it needs to be modern and working, they will work with you. On top of what they have in their inventory, they repair items too. Specializing in screen repairs, they can make that cell phone look like you never dropped your glass water bottle on it.
Woody’s Electrical Props
Need wallmounted computer panels, levers, servers, and more? Woody’s has been providing Control Panels and Consoles for years. Modern Industrial, Antique Industrial, Mission Control, Air Tower, Computer Room, Military and Fantasy Sets have all included Woody’s creations.
Honorable Mentions: Omega/CP Two – Rooms of tech, both working and non-practical. Give them a call, they’ve got it most likely. Sony Prop House (Off Lot) – Computers, gadgets and more from over the decades. Universal Studios Property – Laptops of various decades, gaming consoles, desktop computers, monitors and more. Warner Bros Property – Old school floppy drives to modern laptops and desktops. They even have laptop cases!
There ain’t no rest for the wicked, and apparently many prop houses too, for the coming Monday before the 4th of July!
For specific prop houses, check out the list below. All of the following will be open for at least partial hours starting in the morning:
For a longer list of prop houses on Debbies Book, you can check it out here:
May everyone have a fantastic 4th of July! Specifically for those lucky few where it’s an option, may you enjoy your four day weekend!
EDIT – Since this posting Modern Props has moved to their new address: 972 Griswold Ave San Fernando, CA 91340
Well wouldn’t you know, after 20 years Modern Props is moving! We’ve heard through the grapevine that a major player in the prop house circle is picking up their inventory and moving to a new location.
Q: Where are they moving to?
A: They are moving to the city of San Fernando off the 118. The address will be announced later when the move is complete.
Q: Now the important information, are they holding on to their entire inventory?
A: Yes! The new location will have just as much space for all of those gizmos, gadgets, artwork and more that you’ve come to know and love.
Q: If they are moving now, when will they be up and running again?
A: They are not closing during the move. There will, undoubtedly, be some downtime (they ARE moving an entire prop house). The move begins February 1st, will take a couple months and there will be limited access to all inventory. You can be sure they will do their best to minimize the disruption of business.
You’ve finally landed on the distant planet. Something you’ve dreamed of since you were a child. The camera slowly rolls past your shoulder too look through the viewport. All the eye can see is vast, uninhabitable terrain. You’ve trained for this moment, your colleagues have too. There’s just one more thing missing before you step out on that new planet toward the unknown. You’re going to need a spacesuit.
Of course the kicker is that most places don’t carry such unique suits, let alone shuttles and other NASA dressing. If only there was a resource that helped track down the unusual, the hard to find, and occasionally the simply odd.
Oh that’s right. Debbies Book:
Action Sets and Props/Wonderworks, Inc.
Space shuttles and space stations, expertise in working with realistic effects, miniatures, spacesuits, NASA dressing, and rovers. If your next shoot involves anything space, this is where to start. From realistic replicas to fabrication of futuristic pieces Wonderworks will get you there and back in time for supper.
Global Effects is always a great place to stop for costumes, props and miniatures. When it comes to space, that is no less the case. Realistic and futuristic costumes abound along with creature effects, makeup effects and more. They also have some great suits of armor and other historical items.
LCW Props is known for being eclectic, and never in a bad way. They have a large selection of aerospace parts and test planes, and other pieces perfect for dressing a scene that needs them.
From the useful (think space shuttle hardware and computer panels) to the out of this galaxy (such as their pulsating futuristic lamps and passkey controls) they are perfect for getting your set to look right. They even manufacture items perfect for a spaceship bridge and assorted terminals. You will never regret stopping at Modern Props, and even less so for dressing from contemporary and beyond!
N.S. Aerospace Props
This spot is filled to the brim with rocket engines, hardware, industrial parts and much more. From newer models to antiques it is a great place to grab a lot of hardware in one place. You may not get the whole ship there but you will have plenty of parts to work with inside of a ship!
Space scenes have very specific needs, so why not go to the places that have those specific items?
Sometimes you need a life sized statue of a busty woman in a blue slip. Other times you need control panels and sonar displays.
Well if you guessed Modern Props you’re right. Everyone should swing by their place at least every once in a while to check out some of the cool stuff they have. They fabricate all kinds of futuristic props (that often having moving parts and fancy blinking lights!) and also have a rather large selection of furniture from of many styles.
You never know who’s going to be hanging out at Modern Props these days, sometimes just crashing in one of their great chairs.
MoPro has always been known for their hi-tech modern space ship panels, complicated computer set ups, and crazy hi-tech ‘beam me up’ cylinders. Something a lot of people are just starting to figure out, however, is that they offer more than the fantastical and futuristic!
Rows and rows of multiples of all kinds of items; contemporary sofas and chairs, telephones of all time periods, and even some Egyptian dressing. One of the big selling points is their large quantity of multiples in the same color, a hard sought characteristic of prop houses.
But if you haven’t swung by to check out what’s new you may want to zip over for a walk. But don’t let the mounted dinosaur heads get you!