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Production Design

Interior designers work in a variety of areas and different disciplines or specialties. One of the more popular areas is production design. These designers use the same skills and are responsible for the same thing as they would when working on a home, but work on film sets. There are even some design schools that are making this a major or concentration for those who want to work in this world after graduation.

Production designers give the setting of a production its specific look. They may work in television, on movies, or in commercials. There are others that work exclusively on music videos and some that work with photographers or advertising companies to set up the sets for print or film work. These artists have a number of responsibilities and duties that they must perform on a regular basis.

When a director decides to start work, one of the first calls they make is to the producer. It's the producer's job to find the production designer and get them involved in the filming. The production designer sits down with both the director and producer to discuss what needs to be done. This is referred to as the pre-production period.

During pre-production phase the production designer learns exactly what it is that the director wants in terms of ideas. For example the director might want a haunted house for a horror movie shoot. The designer then sketches out a few ideas and plans and lets the film crew see what those ideas are and get feedback. Once a final idea is decided on, the product designer needs to work with others on the set to get the look and feel.

Prior to the shoot, the production designer works closely with the art department. This crew of people is responsible for delivering the things the designer needs to create the look. In the haunted house example, the crew might bring in antique furniture, fake spider webs, old paintings, or gargoyles that look like they belong in a haunted house.

An offshoot of production design is the individual acting as the set decorator. The set decorator puts together all of the accessories, furniture and other set pieces to actually create the look designed by the production designer. The set decorator may even be responsible for finding the larger, more expensive or more important things. If the script calls for an expensive one of a kind couch, the set designer may find themselves in the position of locating that piece prior to the filming.

Production designers are an important part of any film, television, or print production. Without this designer, the production wouldn't run as smoothly as it would otherwise. The director or producer may have an idea for the design, but don't know how to visualize that idea. The designer can easily come up with a concept and find the right items to make the vision a reality. Once the design is complete, it's the production designer's job to make sure that vision exists until the end of the shoot.


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