Category Archives: Prop making

Graphic Props for Urban Myths: Paul McCartney

Acme were once again asked to create Hero Props for the Emmy-nominated comedy anthology series Urban Myths. Last season we worked on the ‘Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grundy’ episode, based on the infamous Bill Grundy interview on the Today programme, this season saw us design and make props for the ‘Paul McCartney’ episode which explores the story behind one of their greatest hits: ‘Yesterday’.

Vintage Beatles magazines created by Acme.
Vintage Beatles magazines created by Acme.

Some of the props were created to support the plot, whilst others were recreated from iconic images which included vintage signs based on a photograph that depicts Jane Asher smoking in the doorway of her room in the early 1960s. Among the signage and magazines, we also designed and made the vintage record sleeves including the hero Bobbie Skiffle record prop. This hero prop was pivotal in illustrating the influence Skiffle music had on the Beatles in the early days of their careers.

Skiffle record cover.
Skiffle record cover.

Graphic Props for ‘Inside No.9’ Halloween Special

On Saturday our latest crop of graphic props were showcased on ‘Inside No.9’s’ live Halloween special. The award winning series famed for it’s dark humour, produced a unique episode full of surprising twists and thrills.

The episode begins with Pemberton’s character returning home to Flat No.9. A number of Acme props and graphics were used in this sequence including all of the food packaging. Bread packaging is often a prop that art directors are wary of using; however we have mastered the art of creating a realistic prop that would not look out of place at your local supermarket.

Bread-visual

Along with all the food packaging we made a number of signs; everything from the brushed aluminium signage, to the large vinyl lettering.

 

Acme Make Metallic Beer Can Props!

Acme Graphics has designed countless beer graphics over the last 25 years. Prop beer and wine graphics are one of our most popular requests. Why? Because alcohol product placement can be a logistical and legal nightmare. All of this can of course be avoided with the use of bespoke drink props.

Metallic beer can graphics wrapped around non-alcoholic beer
Metallic beer can graphics seamlessly wrapped around non-alcoholic beer

Prop beer is required by many productions, some of our own designs are so frequently featured that you may be mistaken in believing that they are in fact real. Everyone knows the major brands so it’s important that the fictional label is not going to infringe on any copyright laws yet is still relatable.  Having recently introduced metallic cans to our repertoire; our graphic beer props look like they have come straight off the supermarket shelf.

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Action props created for a new production

Graphic Props for ‘Urban Myths: Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grandy’

We work on a diverse range of jobs here at Acme; anything from a vintage prop cigarette case for a period drama to a crest  for an international campaign. Our recent graphic props for the latest Urban Myths episode – aired on Sky Arts – has to be one of our favourites. ‘Urban Myths: Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grandy’ tells the reimagined story behind The Sex Pistols’ infamous appearance on Bill Grundy’s show in 1976.

We recreated a variety of graphics, one being the 3D patterned flats seen in the studio background of the notorious interview. We created the vector graphics that were then used by a CNC router, this created an almost identical replica of the original. In addition to creating signage and logo’s we also recreated posters and newspapers using original archived imagery.

On the left is the original paper from 1976
On the left is the original paper from 1976
An almost identical replica of the original posters
An almost identical replica of the original posters

Acme Hero Prop in HSBC Advert

Another day, another advert aired featuring Acme artwork. This time, Acme was asked to make a number of different props for the latest round of HSBC commercials, including some hero props. HSBC’s latest commercials are fronted by Comedian Richard Ayoade, who lends his classic dry humour to the world of banking.

Some of the hero props requested included an array of bank cards, these were a combination of specifically designed cards for HSBC and pre-existing cards taken from Acme’s extensive library of artwork. With over 20 years of experience in Film and TV, Acme have accumulated a vast library of artwork ready and waiting for any of your productions needs.

A contact sheet of Acme designed cards
A contact sheet of Acme designed cards

BAFTA Winners Announced

The 2018 Bafta TV Awards have been announced. This year Acme Graphics had the pleasure of working on a handful of nominated shows, Murder in Successville being one of them. The surreal comedy won the Comedy Entertainment Programme Award, Acme made a number of graphic props for the production, including a magazine action prop.

Murder in Successville won the Comedy Entertainment Programme award.
Murder in Successville won the Comedy Entertainment Programme award

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway received a nomination for the Entertainment Programme award. Acme was asked to create pub signage and props for Robbie Williams’ pub prank.

Digitally Painted Pub signs illustrated & printed for Robbie Williams on Ant & Dec
Digitally Painted Pub signs illustrated & printed for Robbie Williams on Ant & Dec

Catastrophe star and co-creator Sharon Horgan was also nominated in the Best Comedy Actress category. Acme created a variety of props for the show, including signs and window vinyls. Continue reading

Mcdonald’s Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Big Mac

The latest Mcdonald’s commercial celebrates the 50th Birthday of the Big Mac. We were asked to make some graphics to illustrate the shoot through the decades of 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. We made some carrier bags, van graphics, tax discs, and a backlit menu.

 

carrier bags, prop bags, mcdonalds
Retro 1980s Clothes shop design & prop make Bag design  for Mcdonalds Commercial through the ages of Big Mac customers
prop make plastic bags, retro record bags, Mcdonalds, prop make bags
Retro 1970s Record Bag design and prop make for Mcdonalds Commercial – designed and printed by Acme Graphics 
prop bags, plastic bags, action bags, prop makes, record bags
1970s design plastic bag with vinyl detail for prop bags for Mcdonalds commercial for Big Mac

We make MONEY…prop money!

Nothing symbolises wealth more powerfully in a movie than a stack of money. Due to the nature of sets, using real money is too much of a liability so the industry relies heavily on prop money. There are numerous laws surrounding the reproduction of prop money that need to be followed– these rules can be found in the Bank of England guidelines. Below are some the regulations stipulated by the Bank of England Guidelines.

  • Reproductions must be one sided only.
  •  Reproductions must not be the same size as actual banknotes. They must be at least 25% smaller or at least 25% larger.
  •  Reproductions may not appear in an offensive or inappropriate context or in such a manner that the Bank, in its sole opinion, believes would undermine the integrity of the currency.
  • There should be no distortion to the Queen’s image (apart from an enlargement, reduction or slant).
  • Reproductions must be printed on a material clearly different and distinguishable from materials used to print current series Bank of England banknotes.
prop money, printing prop money, graphic props
3D hero money prop made by Acme Graphics.

These strict rules often require us to think of enterprising ways to create a prop that not only adheres to the rules but also creates an authentic aesthetic. Acme has produced realistic prop money for countless productions over the years.  This 3D hero prop was created not with individual notes but with large square prints mounted onto a cube to give the illusion of individual notes. We adjusted the graphics to create shadows and topped the cube with £20 notes that stipulate a large quantity of money. View more movie props here.

This vast quantity of notes was used to resurface a room for a rap video.
This vast quantity of notes was used to resurface a room for a rap video.