For a long time, anti-counterfeiting laws made it illegal to show US currency in movies. Now you can show real money, but fake money is often preferred. Creating fake money that doesn’t break the law, but looks real enough for film, is a tough design challenge.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent invisible, I'm roman Mars There's a scene in the body caught we rush hour to storing Jackie Chan increase Tucker that takes place in almost biggest cause he allowed in the scene packaging character is in the unenviable predicament of having a small bomb stuffed inside his mouth. By availing, I hate it man is Jackie. Chance mouth is take shut, his hands are tied. He shoved to the floor of the casino about to explode. Fortunately, at the last minute, Jackie Chen's partner, Tucker, remove the tape from chains mouth and Chin spit the bomb onto on Youtube by roulette table where it go. About what
so in that scene, where the roulette table explodes money flies everywhere, thus producer Elizabeth Nakata and to create the scene and bunch of others in the movie filmmakers needed a lot of money, fake money. Produced a billion dollars of one hundred dollar bills, which is quite a bit of money and fourteen palette load of one hundred dollar bills, solid, forfeit by forethought cubes. That's great Nelson Junior, he's a ceo of ice as products that company that provided all the fake money for the movie He says. While they were filming rush hour to something strange, Japan? A full of men showed up to Milton's office. Well, when they showed up. They were saying that they were from secret service, provided documents indicating such and I thought it was being pumped. I didn't believe that it was a real situation. Do you remember how many people there were just two officers, but it got very serious, very real, very fast, the secret
Airbus was in Gregg Dozens office because during the filming of that seen in the casino some of the fake cash had gone missing. Some souvenir seekers and extras grab some of that money put it in their pocket in it subsequently started. Turning up is counterfeit over the next few days, people where chinese aid money. He has real money up and down the LAS Vegas Strip, which meant that group, with being accused by the secret service of counterfeiting This is a serious charge. People who counterfeit money can face large fines and even jail time which has made the use of private money in movies really complicated. Over the years we have been strict laws around the reproduction of U S currency which can be traced back to the mid. Eighty hundreds around the time of the civil war. There was a ton of counterfeit currently circulating in the United States, people say anywhere from the third to a half of all. Money was fake, the federal government wanted to give people faith and its currency, so they got serious about
cracking down on counterfeit money, all right actions of U S. Currency became a legal, including photographs of money. With the law that criminalize reproductions of money and enforcement agency was formed. The secret service has guys, with the earpieces black suits, protect president those guys. Today the agency falls under the Department of Homeland Security, but at it start in eating Sixty five, the secret service, was part of the Treasury department and only job was to fight counterfeiting, bickered bourbon operating from field offices have been constantly fighting the criminals who make only money as well as those who, as to the public. As from a film put out by the Treasury Department in nineteen forty five called doubtful dollars and accept money. It is well to remember that not all danger there, counterfeiters all out of bitter stranger,
learn to know your money and train yourself fell to them. A bill incline to Ok, so the ban on any photographic representation of money was in place for about a century, and this was a problem for advertisers and photographers by the letter of the law. They were specifically barred from taking pictures of money. The written before the invention of motion pictures. But when movies came along, it was generally assumed that film makers would follow the same rules as photographers. No money on camera, and so the early days of cinema when money was needed in a film producers had to get creative chosen, that's a scene from the nine tonnes, Gregory Hitchcock Film shadow of a doubt, and if you want movie and look closely. You can see the bills in the scene aren't american dollars there. Mexican pesos details
see that you're, a man who understands details of and their most important me most important- remember sand and mobilise all the way from the twenties and authorities in the forties up into the seventies. This is Peter Huntin. He's an author and expert on american currency, and he says you can see pesos in a lot of old movies. The reason for that is that after the Mexican Revolution ended around one thousand nine hundred and twenty some regional mexican money that was created during the revolution lost value and whistle for cheap the notes from the Mexican. It has to well out where punching via, held power or some of the most widely used in film. They were fully gorgeous because there were mobile cord, bad gold bags, black print, But the idea was that these things were quite money. There were real nice and slow studios bottom up them up we're trying to pass pesos off as american dollars. It was just all they had nobody's ever all by it. If you'd say this money,
go by and a movie. You know rather american or not because of course, you'd see that a block away, this half of the twentieth century. The government began relaxing restrictions on the rules around photographing currency and eventual. Became legal to film real money and real money is great. We're seems where you need close up. Shots like this scene from Nineteen. Ninety five movie dead precedents, Forgive me for this. One this kind of money you can buy you in in this scene, or of the characters have robbed and armoured truck, and our splitting up the cash the camera pants slowly over stacks of bills, but it can also be risky to have real money floating around on said, especially if you need a bunch of it. So a lot producers prefer to use fake money. These days, the government
does allow for some reproductions. Of U S currency. It is not very clear how real fake money can look it the pans, it sits very subjective, It's the same size as a current. U S! Currency note! its front and back and it's made in the likeness of our: U S currency, then we viewed as counterfeit. That's transteverin, an an assistant to the special agent in charge for our criminal investigative division of the secret service- and I can't The oversee are counterfeit operation section over is prop. Money in movies has begun to look more like actual money, sometimes too much like actual money, some companies, it and still do turn out bills that run a foul of the law, because to look good on screen, Fake money has to be pretty close to the real thing, The companies, like the have things, look as real as possible and that's where they start running into issues. Somebody
make bills that are the same size as real money, but with one or two small design changes, like maybe it says in dog. We trust in surviving God. We trust or has Benjamin Franklin, making a weird fail. Or their bills that look exactly like the real except their stamp. The small disclaimer. All of these would probably be unacceptable to the secret service. Remember Gregg Builtin from rush hour to he thought they had made their fake ills. Look different enough from the real thing. There's pro twenty five or twenty six separate things that are not when a real one hundred dollar bill has on it. But it was still to come to the reality for them to accept Nelson had a turnover this problem, money to the secret service to be destroyed, and then they took The stated and destroyed all the electronic files that were used in creating this money Ilsa a lot of money, not just a fake money, the real money it took to produce the fake money. Oh, it was well in excess of a hundred thousand dollars, just a paper stock alone to buy enough paper to produce a bill.
Dollars was seventy seven thousand dollars in the and all bills and really lost was money. He didn't happen. But a jail these days. He This they try to avoid using fake money at all. It's too hard to please but the secret service and the movie producers must not worth it. I'm not gonna break the law. Or a tv show a feature film or a producer that I dont even know that will. These are definitely not the only way fake money is making into the marketplace. Here's Trent ever it again from the secret service, but it's not that it's just leave out of production companies, but that's being so old on the internet, or anybody can purchase it, you can actually buy prop money right. Now on Amazon, even on prime free today, shipping, so, of course we ordered
That's producer! Katy mingle, opening up the package said the little stack about half an inch thick. It does look a good bit like money, since it doesnt feel that much like money, though it feels like to regular paper to me. Benjamin Franklin is making a really strange face. It's like they took his mouth and shrunk it and it says, for motion picture use. Only. But let me see if I can fool any my co workers at this Katy has about ten hundred dollar bills in her hands, which she's gonna say, have banned centres in the mail. Oh, my God gave fans with all this money, radio,
Your name is that so much that I love your work here, so something special people. How is this real embryo promotion to use only Ok, so Delaney could see was vague as soon as it was in her hand, but from Kabul Futile. The money, does look really convincing and trot ever told me there actually investigating some fake money. That looks a lot like the stuff. You guys bought from Amazon, currently we are investigating the motion picture know that has been popping up all over. I e sites, but it's too soon It is similar size. It is in the likeness of one hundred dollar. U S note and the only difference on it is that says, motion picture you saw so don't be surprised. Some secret service agent show up at the ninety nine p offices.
No charges, necessarily we brought on the person for purchasing it. They just start legally able to possess it. Just for the record the prison impertinent Katy mingle. Am I an g o? given how difficult it is to make money that looks real, but to real, It's hard to imagine who still wants to be in the business of creating and supplying fake money for the movies. But there are a few people still doing it, including Our g port, I'm rich, our J report and and a large airports we are a problem house fulfil. Television, music, three commercial and the entertainment industry, when I our joint work. He shows me around a huge warehouse. There are all kinds of different problem:
hospital bed, a prison cell, a futuristic machine with lots, knobs and buttons got joint control, perils like this, lights, spinning across circuit, red sand, flashing, OECD's and all sorts of interesting things. Aren't you spend in this business for years but he still seemed so excited by it. S almost like he's a kid playing pretend with all the perfect toys for instance, if somebody had to disarm this, it's the missile control. System not then get roses, guess the controls and gather a ok Getting a reworked now, the blue, while when we step into the with the proper money it's like seeing, bunch of movie cliche side by side there are. Acts and stacks of bills rat with paper bands like they just came from the bank, so I notice you also bring
case of money? Is one whole prop that you give out the brief case with the stacks of cash news? This entire prop ready to go, and we have other brief cases like this. Is a black leather briefcase. This is a brown leather briefcase. Sometimes we fill them with fake drugs as well. He says it took three years of back and forth between him and the secret service to agree on a design for prompt money that kind of isn't something the secret service normally provides by the way our J managed to enable an exception. We worked with us. Secret service and we went over all the laws of the updates all the changes, its its of. Very tedious process where you just doing original artwork from scratch: arduous as when he makes bills that our blank on one side, he can make them pretty realistic, but otherwise you to be really careful, jumped the return of hopes and even then sometimes the secret service,
I am asking you to destroy everything You made it so much ass. All that Ironically, there's no money in it. It's not a big money maker. No, no joke intended it's not the way that we make a living. It's really not. This is really just a service that we do for you. Islands and we know that they're gonna come back to us for something bigger and better, then we'll make a living on that. She has supplied money for a bunch of popular movies and tv shows like the Netflix Series Ozark, money laundering. So you come across a suitcase of five million bucks is seen as a montage than glued cash on the glass table, cash running through a county machine and cash. In the eye when you buy anything value. Tv and movies are full of characters who would come across suitcases full of money, but it's a fun plot device, but behind
This cash is someone like our J. Who is and through a meticulous design, process and years back and forth with the secret service, because for the film producers there's no sir, thing as easy money. You know: what's not on? U S, currency! A dollar symbol
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and rosy in time that Congress officially approved their use the dollars I started to appear, and so, where did the dollars on come from? well nobody's, really sure who first design the dollar sign and there's a lot of, bringing theories about how it came about. Some people have speculated that the S with the double in those two vertical lines over. It is actually a u superimposed on an ass, but with the bottom of the removal of. So it's supposed to be? U S as in? U S currency right, That's an appealing theory in theory, You mean it makes the dollars. I seem distinctively american, like a national symbol, but its widely believed to be false at this point. Is that one I bought? This is what's your favorite version of how the darts I'm came to be, will lose this rather epic theory that the dollar signed traces back to the pillars of Hercules on either side?
The Straits of Gibraltar, this famous straight, is effectively a threshold between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and, according to legend, the flanking pillars were once inscribed with the latin words nonplussed ultra, which translates as nothing further be. Always in once you read the Mediterranean Sea. There is nothing beyond their just the endless ocean right. This is the end of the world as we know it, and that motto ended up on old spanish currency It was later change from Christopher Columbus reached America. They actually dropped. The non part admit it please Alta, meaning further beyond to reflect this new realisation that, in fact, there was a lot more to the world out there and that spanish When is the motto was shown on banners that wrapped flanking pair of ornate pillars. So you have this kind of as shaped banner that wines down around a vertical call so in other words, with a pillar and a banner wrapped around it. It looks like the single line dollars on pretty much of it sorry, but the prevailing view is actually that the dollars.
It was never really about the new world. He wasn't something distinctively american. In fact, it all comes back to the spanish Pesos, and their plural abbreviation, which is p s. So, as I said before, pace. It was getting a lot of use in american businesses and seventeen hundreds, and the idea is that as it was getting written down over and over again and documents. The p started to overlap with the s and the curve part of the page has got dropped over time Oh, you end up with something that looks like the single bar dollar sign that vertical line going through and asked that we know today, and so that is thought to be the true story. It is thought by many to be the true story, and that is what the Oxford English dictionary claims is the true story, but you know we you never be sure. Ninety nine percent of visible was produced this week by Elisabeth Mokanna edited by senior browser, Katy, mingle Sharif use. If did the Tec production and Mix John Reality it was the music for coastal.
Is the digital director and the rest. The staff includes Delaney Hall. A reach off sure I'll turn mother and me roman moors. We are project. One point: seven K, L Debbie in San Francisco and produced on radio row in beautiful, downtown, Oakland, California, they show is part of radio Tokyo from your a collective, but the best most innovative shows in all upon casting. We are supported by the Night foundation sticker, loving listeners, just like you, you find any represented visible, enjoying discussions about the showing Facebook entreated me out, roman Mars in the show at ninety ninety org or an instagram. Ambler and ready to which want to read an article about car free cities or see our video bio mimicry that we made with box. You have to go to a website, it's ninety nine p. I dot org boom boom boom boom.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.