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The hero and heroine are at a Mardigras celebration with ten other people (12 in all). There is a Mardigras cake cut into twelve slices with a token, and the winner of the token gets to be king/queen of the event. Naturally, we want the hero to get the token.

How might this be effected? One way is that if you keep doing the exercise long enough, the hero will eventually get the token after enough cakes are cut. Another way is that you somehow "mark" the token so that the cake-cutter will know which slice to give to the hero.

What do movie makers usually do under these circumstances?

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The marking idea is right. The propmaker who makes the cake will make a clocklike diagram to be put under the cake and will mark the "hour" the token is at so the one who places the prop (mostly the same person) will place it so the hero gets the right piece while being correctly framed. Right before they start filming and after instructing the actor they will remove the diagram and voila, they're ready to roll.

The multiple cake cutting depending on luck won't occur because props will always be made as ready as possible to reduce time spent filming/preparing which costs considerate amounts of money. It's better to pay the propmaker(s) a couple more hours for getting the props right rather than paying everybody involved at the set.

Source: Been on sets with similar props and arrangements.

Tip: If you're researching moviemaking, getting (legal) access to a set in one way or another will answer a lot of questions you might have. Good luck.

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    Or... there's nothing in the cake, and when they cut to a shot of the slice, someone puts the token in the slice. Then it doesn't matter how the cake is baked or cut. – PoloHoleSet Sep 9 '16 at 16:53

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