If you’ve ever seen a piece of furniture, artwork, or décor in a movie and gone “I must have that”, you are one of us. Here's one interesting read for you.

It probably isn’t just us. In the business of movie and television production, it is far more cost-effective to use an existing set and fill it with real products than to craft everything from scratch for a brief scene.

This is true even for big-budget productions and it also means there’s a good chance you can purchase the same Barcelona chairs you might have noticed in Casino Royale, for example. We probably won’t find the very same chair Daniel Craig briefly rests his behind on though – that particular one is probably priceless.

I must have that chair… for my living room. Image source: 007.com

Those who live and breathe twentieth-century furniture likely don’t need any help recognising that one-time pedestal for Daniel Craig’s rear as the iconic Barcelona designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the 1950s.

With the aid of the online resources we’ll describe further ahead, we’d then learn that Knoll is the only authorised manufacturer of the original Barcelona chair, and from their brief appearance in Casino Royale, that these chairs should be priced lower than the coveted originals upholstered in distressed leather.

This matched pair of circa-1960, triple-signed, first-generation Knoll Associates Barcelona chairs, for example, would sell for around RM40,000. - Image source

Where to Start Your Search

FilmandFurniture.com is a useful starting point for any for your search. They’ve talked about some of the most popular films around, they’ll name what you’re looking for, and they sell movie memorabilia.

FilmandFurniture.com hosts a few dozen seasoned designers who share the love of movies, and the site itself has won the 2019 Best Design Inspiration award for interior design blogs with their diligent picking apart of some 320 beloved movies and television serials for our benefit.

We first encountered FilmandFurniture.com while looking for the Ovalia Egg Chair – a piece of furniture that, as older readers will recall, had a very memorable supporting role in the first “Men in Black”. - Image source

If you couldn’t find what you were looking for, or if a movie wasn’t listed, we’d recommend taking the search to Spotern.com – a site that supercharges the premise of FilmandFurniture.com with the power of crowdsourcing to link every product ever shown on a screen with a brand name, if not to a store where it can be bought.

Thanks to Spotern.com, we can buy everything shown in Bruce Wayne’s lake-house in Batman v Superman – everything except the house, of course. - Image source

The primary driver behind Spotern’s impressive database of objects seems to be the cash incentives given to users who dedicate their experience and time to spot exact matches between on-screen objects and real-life retailers.

The Spoterns are so prolific that they’ll go beyond showing you where you could purchase all the hats depicted in Peaky Blinders – really, all of them. - Image source

These incentives are the reason why Spotern’s database is presently unmatched in terms of reach and depth when compared against any other online resource described here – the only way we could do better is by harnessing artificial intelligence.

If the future is indeed going to be AI-driven, then TheTake.ai is the next logical step – at least once the technology has been expanded to work seamlessly on more than just one brand of webOS-enabled smart TV and the current handful of TV networks.

This could drastically change the ‘Netflix and chill’ experience for all of us. - Image source

This being a new idea, as in delayed-by-the-pandemic recent, we might have to wait a little while longer before the effort that goes into linking seen-on-TV products with retailers is taken out of the hands of the masses.

In the meantime, we’ll have to do most of the leg-work manually. This means going over to other online resources. With some keywords and names attached to whatever we’re looking for, we’ll increase our chances of finding more affordable replicas or reproductions on sites such as carousell.com.my or secondhand.my – if you absolutely have to have the original, head over to 1stdibs.com.

Even if the prices of originals induce heart palpitations, 1stdibs.com is possibly the best place to discover the names of designers and manufacturers behind museum-quality pieces of iconic furniture or décor – if not for a crash course on how to spot a knock-off.

1stdibs.com is likely not your last stop, especially if you’re willing to sacrifice provenance for affordability, but that’s basically how we’d go about bringing a piece of the cinematic realm into the real world for our enjoyment.

(Written by Kevin Eichenberger, 4th August 2020)