Rich “RJ” Rappaport said at beginning of phone interview; “I just got out of a meeting with the Secret Service. I’m still in the parking lot”.
The reason for the meeting was a discussion about fake money.
Rappaport is a movie prop company that specializes in faux cash for filming that is used in “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Ozark” & “The Fast and the Furious”.
However, printing money is an accurate business which required staying in touch with men in black.
“I wanted clarity about laws and regulations. Most other companies that make prop money are actually producing illegal prop money, and that can get a show shut down and someone fined and jailed”
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Fake money in US technically adhere to strict federal rules include include being printed on one side only besides being larger or smaller than actual currencies.
During filming “Rush Hour 2” in LA. In 2001. $1 billion was blown up during a scene. However, some bills ended up in circulation after escaping destruction. That’s when Secret Service involved.
The Secret Service wants moviemakers to return bogus money that looks so genuine people are spending it. Bills with phony face values totaling about $1 billion were blown up during recent filming of the action movie “Rush Hour 2” in Las Vegas.
RJ speaks with the government directly in order to comply with federal rules during creating the best possible fake dollars.
Two types are made;
- one for close-ups
- one looks real from about 15 inches away
“Our standard grade prop money is printed on both sides, but has an optical illusion built into it. It looks realistic at an arm’s length, but when you start bringing it closer, it actually changes over and it reveals itself as fake”, trick said is to make it look real on camera. We also have a high grade type, better known as close up money. That’s the one you use for a close-up scene, or if somebody is counting money and putting it in someone else’s hands. That looks fantastic. But since it looks so real, we can print it on one side only”, trick said to make it look real on camera.
Modifying the design for making reproduction money is not allowed by federal laws which forces RJR Props to create own designs.
“We start from scratch. We start with blank paper. We get a paper that looks incredible. Some of our paper has a color change as you move across: pink-yellow-pink or green-yellow-green. We’re the only company in the world that does this because it’s very expensive, but we want our money to look right”, Rappaport said.
Words under “100” in top left corner called “Unreal Fake Currency Reserve” is used instead of “United States Federal Reserve”. Scratches were the inspiration of the artwork of Franklin’s face without having his name underneath it.
The two signatures of the seal read “Ima Not Real” & “Not Real Currency” instead of USA treasure names that’s changed into “Treasurer of the Treasurer” in addition to changing Secretary of the Treasury into “Secretary of the Secretary”. even “United States” spelled with a “W” despite “U”.
“It’s very difficult to make, harder than people would imagine. It’s made by hand. Every bill is wrinkled, creased, stained, cigarette-burned. Everything that you might find on money in circulation, that’s what we do to it. It’s a difficult process, usually requiring 15 or 20 people sitting around a table”