Rich “RJ” Rappaport

By Grace Huseth

With the film industry booming in Georgia, prop warehouses in Atlanta are getting extra attention, especially if they have thousands of unique military, medical and sci-fi ready props.

Atlanta prop expert Rich “RJ” Rappaport, says that if filmmakers need a prop, RJR Props has it. Inside their warehouse, thousands of props ranging from aircraft interiors to x-ray machines have provided unique props to nearly 150 feature films, television, commercials, and music videos for more than eight years.

Rappaport created the cockpit electronics in the drama Sully, out Sept 9. This biographical film recounts the heroic landing of the US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River, also known as “Miracle on the Hudson.” The feature stars Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney and is directed by Clint Eastwood.

“We collaborated with the very talented set decorator and lead man team to come up with an amazing cockpit set,” Rappaport said. “We re-engineered a variety of electronics to come alive and look realistic by experimenting with the right colors and luminosity. That set is essential in the film, and it looked great!”

Chances are if you seen some of the latest movies including Captain America, Containment, Allegiant, Passengers, Miracles from Heaven and Fast and Furious 8 then you’ve seen items provided by RJR Props. Other popular TV shows and Netflix series including NCIS, House of Cards, Rectify, Sleepy Hollow 3 and the Walking Dead used set equipment as well.

While Rappaport is proud of his futuristic props – especially for Captain America – he can’t disclose any details, as many of the props were placed in scenes crucial to the storyline.

A mock-up of the cockpit for the film “Sully” created by RJR Props.

Rappaport’s widely varied background includes 26 years in the military, medical, computers and engineering field. The RJR crew has even more diverse skills, making them leaders in the technical prop industry.

“In this industry we need to be experts in many fields,” he said. “Having a medical background helps us provide the right looking medical props, engineering helps us design the props, and military helps with planning military props, including our airplane.”

Rappaport enjoys creating props for all genres, but has a specialty in computers. RJR custom-built a Huey helicopter cockpit for The Walking Dead season 3 premiere and custom-designed electronic props for a number of major sets in Ant-Man.

“I really love the challenges of making computers look right on film and making high tech security gear that amazes viewers. We provide computers from any era from the earliest days to the latest super computers,” Rappaport said.

Those interested in the film industry, or fans who want to catch a glimpse of their favorite movie’s set design, can sign up for RJR Prop’s monthly newsletter. Each month RJR Props announces new props, ideas and projects.

For more information, visit rjrprops.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.