Craft Descriptions - Property

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 A veteran member once defined Property accordingly, "Anything on the set that isn't nailed down -- other than the actors -- is Property." His definition points to the fact that the skilled Property members in Local 44 actually work within several specialized classifications which literally "cover" a wide area: Property, Upholstery\Drapery, Carpeting/Floor Covering, and Greens.


 Set Decorators, Property Masters and Prophouses staff their crew with "Property" persons.

 (1) Property Personnel on Set Decorator's Crew

 While the Set Decorator is a specific craft distinction (see "Set Decorator" section for a complete discussion of this craft), the Set Decoration staff includes the Lead Person and Set Dressers, who are all Property personnel.

 Once the physical walls of the set are constructed or the location has been chosen, the Set Decorator is responsible for bringing in the surroundings and objects known as "set dressing" -- furniture, rugs, lighting fixtures and the like -- which contribute to telling the story and support the vision of the Production Designer, Writer, Director and Producer. The Lead Person and Set Dressers in turn support the vision of the Set Decorator.

Lead Person/Property (contractually classified as "Gang Boss"). Assistant to the Set Decorator, responsible for logistics and personnel

• Arranges logistics of staffing the Set Dressing crew.

• Maintains the allocation of manpower (generally referred to as "man days").

• Handles call times, and notifies crew members where to report.

• Ensures that the Set Dressing crew is provided with location parking.

• Arranges meals for set dressing crew in an appropriately-timed fashion (to avoid meal penalties).

• Collects and submits time cards for processing. Sometimes responsible for initially approving them.

• Rents a "Box" or "Kit" which contains moving equipment, tools and other supplies required by set dressing crew.

• Coordinates pickup, warehousing and return of all set dressing (Note: Set Dressing must not be transported in personal vehicles).

• Manages paperwork for pickups and returns.

• Handles Tagging System. As the Set Decorator chooses furnishings in prop houses, the Lead Person places "Hold" tags on the items which state pickup date and set location. (Important: As shoot dates change, a crucial function of the Lead Person is to change pick-up dates so that the prop house items aren't released back into available stock and potentially rented to another production).

• Works with accounting to arrange for purchase orders and check requests.

• Manages petty cash.

• Assists with coordination of the time necessary for prep, dress and wrap for the sets on location.

• Coordinates with transportation the number and type of needed vehicles and crew for required tasks. Also orders special transportation equipment for Set Dressing Department, such as Condors and forklifts.

• Coordinates with Gaffer and Set Lighting Department on rigging of set dressing practical fixtures.


Set Dressers/Property (also known as "Swing Gang"). Responsible for the physical pickup of items and dressing in of sets under the supervision of the Set Decorator.

• Pick up set dressing items from prop houses.

• Unwrap props and place in organized fashion off-set.

• "Rough-in" furniture and items into place, based on sketches or directions from Set Decorator.

• Execute more detailed placement instructions upon Set Decorator's arrival to set.


Set Dresser Assigned to the Set. The Set Dresser Assigned to the Set represents the Set Decorator during actual shooting once the Set Decorator leaves the set.

• Works under the supervision of the Property Master during actual shooting, and represents the Set Decoration Department on set.

• Verifies that reference photos have been taken for redressing the set, if necessary.

• Ensures that items are redressed in their proper places if set dressing items have to be struck for any reason.

• Notifies Lead Person if there is a change in schedule, or if shooting on a particular set hasn't been completed.

• Protects the set and covers necessary items. Works with the Assistant Director to protect against accidents by preventing eating and drinking on any set.

• Places "Hot Set" signs on a set in progress so set dressing is not moved, which otherwise might disturb the continuity of the scene.

• Locks up valuable pieces once shooting for the day has wrapped.


(2) Property Personnel on Property Master's Crew

As with Set Decorators, Property Masters are considered a distinct craft (See "Property Master" Section), but their crews are staffed with Property personnel. Property Masters are responsible for the design, selection, acquisition, placement and disposal of all Props required for a specific motion picture, television show or commercial production.


Assistant Property Master. Carries out duties assigned by the Property Master. Duties may include any combination of the following and more, as mandated by the production requirements:

• Assists in obtaining and returning Props.

• Helps to ensure Prop continuity during shooting.

• Maintains condition and security of Props.

• Arrives with minimum Property Tool List (see below)


Property Assistants. The Property Master may staff additional Property Persons to provide needed support in the Property Master's Department.

(3) Property Personnel at Prophouses

The Prophouse member is often the direct conduit between a Set Decorator or Property Master and the needs of these busy department heads. If the right property is found but alterations are needed (for example, a chair needs to be reupholstered in a completely different fabric to match a specific set), he or she is able to make arrangements with appropriate personnel. Crew members should have extensive knowedge of period, contemporary and futuristic pieces.

Another great challenge for any Prophouse member is keeping up with an ever-expanding inventory. At most studios, as productions wrap, purchased or manufactured props are sent to the studio Prophouse. Many houses have turned to bar-coding to keep track of the plethora of props.

Prophouse Worker. The duties of a Property member working in a Prophouse are as follows:

• Assists Set Decorators and Property Masters in finding needed set dressing and props.

• Maintains Prophouse inventory.

• Inspects returned props for damage.

• Handles all paperwork during the performance of the above duties.

• Arrives with minimum Property Tool List (see below).

PROPERTY TOOL LIST is as follows:

• 12 Oz. Claw Hammer

• Side Cutter

• Pliers

• Screwdriver

• 6-8" Adjustable Wrench

• Tape measure

Tool boxes require proper identification: "(Name)" and "Property Craftsperson - Local 44"



These talented Property craftspersons handle all upholstery and drapery requirements for production needs as well as for studio facility work. In production, Upholsterer/Drapers will be called upon to create anything from 19th Century lace curtains to modern Venetian blinds, to reupholstering an antique couch with period fabric or repairing tuck-and-roll naugahyde car seats. The work often extends beyond the traditional definition if special items are needed.

 Department members will go from working on a production shoot one day to upholstering a chair in an executive's office the next.

 Upholstery/Drapery Person. Responsibilities may include any of the following:

 • Assembles all hardware and materials and fabricates window dressings to specifications of Set Decorator.

 • Installs, strikes and stores all draperies and drapery effects.

 • Measures material in bulk or bolt to completed product, which includes all covering, slip covering, recovering and repair of all furniture and accessories lined with fabrics, cloth, leather, leatherette and drapery and/or upholstery (including benches/built-in units, beach chairs, swings, baggage or luggage, caskets, cushions, pillows, pads, umbrellas).

 • Responsible for upholstery/drapery of vehicles of any kind (including aircrafts, automobiles, boats, railroad coaches, buses). Selects materials and upholsters required items to specifications of Set Decorator.

 • Works in studio support buildings as needed to install or repair draperies and upholstery.

 • Arrives on set with necessary tool list (See Below).



 • Tack Hammers

 • Side Cutters

 • Pliers

 • Cordless Screw Driver

 • Awl

 • 12' Tape or Longer

 • Chalk Line

 • Scissors or Shears

 Tool boxes require proper identification: "(Name)" and "Property Craftsperson - Local 44"


 Property Sewing Person. Assists in Drapery/Upholstery departments with all tasks requiring sewing. Sewing persons:

 • Measure, cut, prepare, sew, embroider, applique, construct, handle and repair all draperies and drapery effects.

 Draperies and Drapery Effects. May include awnings/canopies, canvas appertaining to draping, cellophane, portieres, shades, curtains, tapestries, wall hanging, banners, pennants flags, bunting, fabrics and wall coverings. Sewing persons are also responsible for fabricating ship sails.


 • Shears

 • Small Cutters - Nippers

 • Ruler - 6" - 12" - 18"

 • Tape Line Rule

 • Thimbles

 Tool boxes require proper identification: "(Name)" and "Property Craftsperson - Local 44"


The Carpeting/Floor Covering persons literally "ground" the show in reality with the appropriate materials required by production -- anything from the installation of industrial carpeting to the manufacture of exquisite Oriental rugs. These specific Property members also work in non-ceramic tile and sheet vinyl.

In production, the goal is to install the selected floor covering so that it is able to withstand the expected abuse of foot traffic and camera dollies and cable -- yet the floor covering must be installed in such a manner that it can be struck fairly easily when the shoot wraps.

The permanent studio floor-covering work --for executive offices, the commissary, and such -- requires greater precision of measurements and more refined techniques for lasting installation. As a result, this type of work goes to persons who possess the skill and experience to handle the job.


Carpeting/Floor Covering Responsibilities. Responsibilities include the following:

• Arrives on set with all necessary tools for the job at hand.

• Installs floor covering for production.

• Strikes floor covering after shoot wraps.

• Execute work orders for permanent studio floor-covering applications.



Greens crews, led by the knowledgeable Greens Foreman, dress the production sets with appropriate plants, whether real or synthetic. Real plants may include anything from a 100 acre field to a delicate African Violet.

Sometimes Greens are used to subtly enhance the look of the show: potted flowers on a table, or a rose bush in front of a location home. Other times, as with jungle-themed shows, Greens become one of the most important and pervasive facets of the show.

Skilled Greens members work with a variety of real and fake plants. The real plants can pose a challenge when Greens crews are working with several different kinds of plants at once -- all of which require different methods of maintenance that range from constant watering to occasional sunlight (thereby requiring periodic removal from the darkened sound stages).

Many Greens people work with silk plants. Their work can be so detailed and realistic that it is virtually impossible to distinguish whether the plants are real or not.


Greens Foreman. Supervises and staffs the Greens Department:

• Orders needed plants.

• Ensures plant upkeep, watering, pruning, etc.

• Purchases silk plants.

• Acquires "backing (netting covered with plants)."

• Makes tree bases.

• Consults with the Construction Coordinator regarding the topiary underframe.

• Handles assigned studio maintenance responsibilities, such as maintaining a backlot street of homes with front yards, plants and gardens (NOTE: The general distinction is that the Greens Department maintains any permanent plants installed as part of a production during the course of shooting -- once the crew permanently strikes the exterior location, the responsibility for upkeep reverts back to the studio).

• Rotates plants in and out of the set as necessary.

• Strikes set with the help of Greenspersons.


Standby Greensperson. Acts as the on set representative to the Greens Department during shooting:

• Rotates plants in and out as necessary.

• Places plants as needed to camouflage lighting and production equipment.


Greens Person. Follows the orders of the Greens Foreman:

• Sets up, and temporarily plants all greens as required by production.

• Rotates plants which need special attention, such as light, into and out of the shooting set.

• Tends to plant watering and fertilizing during production.

GREENS TOOL LIST is as follows:

• Hand Pruners

• Nail Apron or Pouch

• 16 Oz. Claw Hammer

• 7" Side Cutter

• 5 Pt. Hand Saw

• 10' Tape

Tool boxes require proper identification: "(Name)" and "Property Craftsperson - Local 44"


DEPARTMENTAL INTERACTION. Since the Property department covers such a broad base of operations, they interact with the entire crew on a regular and varied basis. Specific crew interactions should be sought out in the other craft sections within which Property members work.

QUALIFICATIONS. A Property member is recognized by Local 44 according to classification. Recognition under the Property Craft umbrella, takes one of two forms--

(1) Traditional entry:

• Candidate accrues 30 work days with one or more than one IATSE signator company within the last 365 days as a Property Person, Property Sewing Person, Upholsterer/Draper, Floor Coverer or Greensperson (Note: It is possible to qualify for multiple classifications) ; and

• Candidate pays the required initiation fees and dues, and is sworn in by Local 44 as a member.



(2) As a result of the Union organizing process:

• A non- union candidate is recognized by Contract Services Administration Trust Fund (CSATF) as having worked for 30 qualified days under any of the previously listed classifications in the Property department on a show which is has been organized by the Union; and

• He or she pays the required initiation fees and dues, and is sworn in by Local 44 as a member.


LICENSING. The Contract Services "Aerial License" for Condor Operations is strongly recommended (see "Contract Services - Industry Passport") and all necessary Firearms permits are essential for work in these specific areas.

MINIMUM PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS. Because Property is actually a group of specializations, generic standards apply:

• An appreciation of the Property Craft's tradition and all that it entails -- if you don't know, ask a veteran.

• An understanding of all the Craft Departments under which one might be called to work.

• Initiative to seek out and learn skills from senior members who are able to pass on the various crafts.

• A lifelong interest in the education and refinement of one's craft.

• Adaptability.

• A sense of pride in one's work.