The Role Of A Set Designer

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set designer

The video production process can be challenging one as it requires many people to work together to bring about a single vision. The production team consists of many role players including a director, filming crew and even post-production editors. One role that is often less prioritized and recognized is that of the set designer. Set designers are a crucial part of the production process, but not many people know what they do. Here we take a look at what a set designer’s day looks like during the three stages of production.

What Is A Set Designer?

A set designer, also known as a production designer, works with the director and cinematographer to determine the look and feel of a film. They give life to the cinematographer’s vision and creates the world that the audience will see and by into, this means that a lacking set design almost always results on a lacking experience for the audience – giving the feeling that something is missing. Set designers can be required to do anything that will serve the vision of the film or production. These individuals are artistic and know how to create things to give a film texture and character, this can involve anything from painting a wall to creating an element of a room essential to the story that is being portrayed.

What Does A Set Designer’s Day Look Like?

Set designers are an essential part of the production team and as a result, have busy days. They work throughout the production process and not just in the beginning, but instead remain a central part of the team until the production has reached completion. A set designer’s day will look differently depending on what stage the production is at. Here are some of the central parts of their job during each production phase.

  • Pre-Production
    Pre-production is the hard work that happens before work begins on your film. It involves developing a concept through writing, graphic design and determining a timeline for the production. It is during this stage that a set designer enters the production team. During pre-production, they are to meet with the writers and directors and start by studying the text or script. They are required to be at most meetings to ensure that they have insight into the characters, story and the non-verbal themes that need to be portrayed in each part of the film or story. During pre-production, a set designer’s days are mostly spent doing research into their new project to determine how they will give life to the story being told.
  • Production
    During the production phase all the planning done during pre-production is implemented. This is when the actual capturing of the film takes place. During production, set designer’s days are extremely busy. Set designers are expected to be on set daily and they often work long hours to make sure that the set has been set up correctly. This is when they must implement all the planning done, create the set and work closely with the cinematographer and director to ensure that the set is a coherent part of the film and add to the production – not taking away or distracting from the overall message that the production aims to portray.
  • Post Production
    During post production, everything that was captured during production is edited and assembled. It involves adding the finishing touches to the film and packaging it in a way that brings about the objectives set out during pre-production. This is when all the fine tuning takes place such as adding music or doing voice overs. As post production involves editing what has already been captured, it does not require the set designer to be around. Instead, the set designer’s job can end on the last day of filming once the set has been taken apart.

At The Michael Group, we pride ourselves in having an all in one production team that can meet all your production needs This includes set design, to ensure that your production vision is brought to life.


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