Movies often market the stars in them, but maybe it's time they gave more consideration to the props in them such as diplomas?

Often when we watch our favorite shows or movies, it's the little things that bring a scene to life. Take into consideration, a moment where the star of the show walks in their manager's office. On the wall, hangs his manager's certificate which is nothing more than a diploma prop.

Although we may not focus a lot of our attention on that prop, it's important because it make the manager's character seem more credible. Without a diploma could he still be a manager? Sure. BUT it makes him look more official, his character more believable and his ability to pull off the manager's role easier.

As a movie going audience, they want us to feel like we are a part of the story, that what is happening is actually happening. Only then when we are drawn into the experience do we start to appreciate it.

Although the talent of an actor must shine, without the elements around him, his character can get lost. Consider a lawyer without a suit, no jury, and no judge near him. Does he look like a lawyer? The same can be said about people know to have diplomas and no diploma being there. Sometimes a diploma prop can make all the difference in the world.

Just look at the first minute of the video below from a popular Australian show. As the scene shows the lawyer's office, look at the office wall to see the carefully placed certificates by the props department.

What type of movie prop is a diploma?

Movies put a lot of time into props including set dressing such as curtains, set props, hand props such as gloves being worn, a personal item prop like a watch the character is famous for wearing or gag props. Â Even though novelty diplomas are often sold as gag gifts, for the purposes of movies they are set props.

A good example of this is the 2005 movie Herbie Fully Loaded. In it, Maggie graduates college and hangs her diploma up on the wall. We see several shots of her holding the document, showing it off to friends, etc. Of the school featured on the document is not that of an actual university, it was made up by the movie makers. Still, the diploma looks realistic enough to pass as a legit one, making it seem believable that Maggie graduated.

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How would somebody like me buy a diploma prop and what else can I use it for?

Often to achieve realistic looking props, production companies will turn to websites that sell custom printed novelties. On example might be Diploma Company, where they make fake college certificates that can feature unique and dates. They make documents from schools all over the world and big Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Had it been the case, they could have ordered such a document from here, ask to put Maggie's name on it and request it for the school mentioned in the movie.

The diploma was never actually used and it was nothing more than a novelty. Fact is, there are many people who purchased these sort of diplomas for the exact same reason, whether it’s too boost their self-esteem, replace a lost document or something else.