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There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash
August 6, 2014 8:25 AM   Subscribe


 


Yay props!

One of the advantages of doing theater in a city where there is a very sizeable Asian community is that you can get easy access to hell money, which hits a sweet spot between "realistic enough to look good onstage" and yet "unreal enough that only an idiot would try using it".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:37 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Fascinating. Thanks for posting. For anyone interested in these and related issues, I highly recomend Lawrence Weschler's Boggs: A Comedy of Values.
posted by googly at 8:40 AM on August 6


lol @ "In Dog We Trust"
posted by tonycpsu at 8:45 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


I wonder at what point digital effects will allow a director to realistically superimpose images of dollar fronts on what is actually blank slips of paper, which would obviate the whole business of movie money in the first place.
posted by Bromius at 8:51 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Bromius: "I wonder at what point digital effects will allow a director to realistically superimpose images of dollar fronts on what is actually blank slips of paper, which would obviate the whole business of movie money in the first place."

That time is now
posted by boo_radley at 9:07 AM on August 6 [2 favorites]


When I lived in Hollywood, you could by giant stacks of movie money at the various supply houses for next to no money. I was always temped to buy great ridiculous stacks of the stuff and put it in suitcases or whatever and then just walk around, suitcases popping open in the streets and blowing money everywhere, paying bills off of great wads of fake thousand dollar bills with a few real five dollar bills on top, chasing my girlfriend down the street throwing bound stacks of money at her and shouting "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? IS THIS WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO FINALIZE THE DIVORCE?"

Never did, because it was Hollywood, I would probably have gotten murdered for my fake money.
posted by maxsparber at 9:18 AM on August 6 [25 favorites]


I wasn't even thinking about just adding the image to it entirely, but my first thought was, they could just print the things in entirely the wrong color scheme and then just change that. Because nobody in their right mind would accept a bill that was pink, right? Aside from the fact that this still wouldn't pass muster officially, though, you could still pass such things off if you had reason to know that the person receiving the bills was colorblind. How complicated. I guess it's no wonder the requirements are so strict.
posted by Sequence at 9:20 AM on August 6


What if the fake bills are color inverted? Pretty sure colorblind people can still see that.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:24 AM on August 6


You mean white ink on green paper? Yeah, it'd be fake, but it'd be too obviously fake for an audience to buy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:38 AM on August 6


which hits a sweet spot between "realistic enough to look good onstage" and yet "unreal enough that only an idiot would try using it".

Plus, you know, you can send it to your ancestors in the afterlife when the show is done, so it's very efficient.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:51 AM on August 6 [6 favorites]


Well, per the previous comment, you could just redo the color inversion in post-production and get realistic looking bills.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:01 AM on August 6


But that will also invert the shadows.
posted by RobotHero at 10:06 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


We should go back to using those big sacks with $ on them to represent money.
posted by elizardbits at 10:08 AM on August 6 [8 favorites]


Wrong thread, elizardbits.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:13 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]


More recently I'd just been figuring that all these movies with 9-figure budgets were just sending an intern to the bank to take out a suitcase full of a million dollars.

Then at some point Jim Cameron uses it as napkins
posted by shakespeherian at 10:31 AM on August 6


We could just come up with a generic design that means "US CURRENCY" in movies/TV, like we have done with 555-1234 phone numbers and Oceanic Airlines.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:13 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


More recently I'd just been figuring that all these movies with 9-figure budgets were just sending an intern to the bank to take out a suitcase full of a million dollars.

That's where the term "money shot" comes from. Back in the day, the 'briefcase full of money' or 'vault full of cash' shots were the first thing they'd shoot...and they'd use the whole budget of the film, in cash, before any of it was spent. Bonus: actual armed guards to do double duty as extras.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:48 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Wow porn is really confusing
posted by shakespeherian at 12:01 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


"That time is now"

Have you ever gotten a detailed image of US currency into Photoshop and then used it? You should try it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:37 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


My son cajoled me into printing a GIS $20 "close to real size" after making him tons of obviously fake tiny money (he's six) and my HP color printer stopped halfway through and printed for me a URL to learn what sort of trouble I could get into passing off the "money" in various jurisdictions.
posted by aydeejones at 2:11 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]


I can't find the URL now, but the dimensions were about 0.5" smaller (X and Y) and I tried it for giggles at a much higher size (maybe 130%) and also got the warning. The site indicated that even just playing around in your own house is sufficient to get into hot water and that it would be best to knock off whatever prompted me to get pointed to the URL.

I hadn't tried either size previously and suspect it was largely due to the printer being color -- the B&W printer never generated a warning, but I was fitting 10-15 "bills" on a standard letter-size paper.
posted by aydeejones at 2:16 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


aydeejones, that'd be Eurion your printer is detecting.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:12 PM on August 6 [4 favorites]


Most color laser printers and copiers output an array of fine yellow dots which may contain your printer's serial number and other information. Generally unnoticed by the average user, but hell on us copier techs trying to clear up a toner scatter problem. (Science at home! Shine a blue LED or other blue light source on one of your pages and watch the yellow dots appear dark like magic!)

Before you try making fake money at the office, beware that a growing number of copiers and printers, upon detecting attempts to copy, scan, or print bank notes, will either refuse, or may even go into an error state requiring a repair tech to reset. (Busted!) If you want to play around, stick to your b&w-only printer.
posted by xedrik at 8:03 PM on August 6


We could just come up with a generic design that means "US CURRENCY" in movies/TV

I have a proposal for the design.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 1:00 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


an error state requiring a repair tech to reset. (Busted!)

I just mentioned this to Markarian. "Some of them are programmed to break down and require service," I said.

"Secret service," he replied.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 11:25 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


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