Needles, incubation tubes, backpack bombs, watches, fake blood, and bottles o' beer. What do these things have in common?
They're all PROPS on Mercy! When you open the door to the treasure chest known as the Props Department, you find rows upon rows of neatly labeled boxes holding whatever it is Mercy may need.
Before each episode shoots, the Prop Master reads through the script very carefully, making note of each and every prop that will be needed. This includes everything from a state-of-the-art piece of medical equipment Briggs is using, to a candy bar Chloe buys in the break room. Once the props are in order, the producers have a props "show-and-tell" meeting where they approve each prop for filming.
INSIDE SCOOP: Often, multiple copies of the same prop are needed. For example, if the script calls for a character to pop a red balloon, multiple red balloons will be needed, so that the balloon can be popped in every take.
HOW'D THEY DO THAT? How do we show a patient being injected with a needle? They're fake needles that move backwards into the body of the syringe when force is applied. And the tip of the needle? Dull. Super dull.
You couldn't break the skin if you tried. See?
Another fancy medical prop we like to use here on Mercy is the scalpel. They look so real on screen, cutting through the skin, all that instantaneous blood. Well, just like the aforementioned needle, the scalpel blade is verrrry dull. It also has a tube hidden on the back that holds fake blood which is squeezed out by the
actor doctor making the incision.
In order to make it look as though the skin is really being cut, we do different takes on fake skin that is already cut open. We then send all those takes off to our editors in Post Production, and they put together a graphic scene where the audience sees someone being cut open!
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: An object is determined a "prop" when a principal actor touches it and it becomes part of the scene. Let's take a watch for instance. Sounds like that could be considered a part of Wardrobe. But if the actor touches the watch, it becomes a part of the Props Department. Now let's take a shoe. Veronica is walking down the street to meet the gang at Delaney's. So her shoes would be part of Wardrobe. But all of a sudden, Veronica breaks her heel, gets frustrated, takes the shoe off and throws it. Now it's a prop!
We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! As you can see, the Props Department is a vital -- and very cool -- part of our production. Come back soon for more behind-the-scenes Mercy exclusives!