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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

Securing Props and Costumes: Tips for Preventing Theft On Set

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Whether you’re filming a period piece or a contemporary thriller, props and costumes are the lifeblood of your production.

Well, so are your cast and crew—but that’s not what this post is about.

This article will focus on theft prevention on TV and movie sets. In 2022, masked thieves stole about $330,000 of props and equipment from the set of Lupin in France. This doesn’t have to be your production, though.

Together, let’s outline how to secure your props and costumes, and ultimately prevent unauthorized access to your set. Here are some strategies to consider.

  • Get serious about inventory

With the renewed film incentive program in Michigan, crews are flooding the Great Lakes State. Highly-trained production staff can help keep your set safe by monitoring the storage of your props and costumes. To do this, they should track every item from the minute it arrives on set to the day it’s returned. Frequent inventory checks are essential here.

  • Restrict access to your set

This may sound like a given, but only authorized personnel should have access to your set and storage areas. Security cameras can help monitor sensitive places with a higher risk of theft, but badging systems and regular ID checks are important too. Motion sensors and alarms are yet another added layer of protection that can help deter thieves.

  • Educate your cast and crew

Contrary to popular belief, cast and crew members can’t just take props home with them after wrap. (Many of them still do.) Nonetheless, by educating your team about the value of your inventory, people will be more likely to resist the urge to steal. It’s important that everyone respects the costumes and props that play such a key role in your production.

  • Transport props and costumes carefully

Props and costumes should be transported with care. Cast and crew members should seek permission before they take these items, and only designated people should move them around. This is where a chain of custody document comes in. This important record will track each transfer, offer accountability, and reduce the risk of theft.

  • Connect with local law enforcement

By working alongside local law enforcement or a Michigan-based security team, you can prevent theft and recover stolen items. If something does go missing from your set, plan to provide detailed descriptions, photos, and serial numbers. This will help these agencies track down stolen merchandise. You can also raise awareness by encouraging crew members to report theft ASAP.

The film industry is always evolving, and props and costumes can be challenging to secure. With a well-thought-out security plan, you can protect your assets and eliminate theft. We’re confident that a safe and appealing production will make your stay in Michigan more enjoyable.

Contact Umbrella Security Services Today

Umbrella Security Services works with film crews on a regular basis. We’d love to connect for your next production here in Michigan and make sure your team has the safe and positive experience they deserve.

Please contact us for more information or to schedule your free consultation.

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