How to Become a Movie Set Designer

Movie Set Designers use their creative talents and experience in order to create a setting for many kinds of films.

Their work is important in order for movies to have realistic scenery that matches the story’s plot, location and era.

Movie Set Designers produce all their designs and construct sets during the preproduction stage.

This stage is the planning phase of a movie that needs to be completed before filming begins.

Other duties that are completed in the preproduction stage include budgeting, scheduling, casting, costume and movie set design and construction and finding the location where a set will be constructed.

In addition to fulfilling educational requirements, candidates should have some inherent skills in order to become a Movie Set Designer .

Some helpful skills that can help candidates succeed in this career include having some artistic abilities, the ability to do research on historical and architectural facts and the ability to create ideas after reading a movie script.

Students who want to become a Movie Set Designer should read the following information regarding this profession’s education requirements, a general job description, salary and wage information as well as the industry’s future job outlook.

Education Requirements to Become a Movie Set Designer

There are no specific requirements in order to become a Movie Set Designer.

Candidates who have acquired a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or any other form of formal training are looked favorably upon by employers.

However, in the entertainment industry, candidates who have a combination of experience, creative talents and the ability to network are successful in building a career.

For students who want to become a Movie Set Designer and want to attain formal training, there are several ways they can gain experience.

Several universities and colleges offer film and design courses; students can major in a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts.

Some majors students can choose include film studies or art.

Some colleges, universities, technical schools and independent institutions specialize in providing courses and programs in film.

The American Film Institute (AFI) provides training opportunities for a variety of film specializations including Production Design.

The Production Design program at AFI offers courses that develop a student’s ability to visually and physically create a setting that compliments and enhances a movie’s storyline.

During the program, students will learn how to analyze and grasp the basics of a script.

Visit AFI’s website to learn more information about their Production Design program.

Movie Set Designer Job Description

A Movie Set Designer has to know what type of set design and construction is appropriate for the type of movie they are working on.

In order to figure out what type of design they must sketch, they would first have to read the movie script.

A Movie Set Designer will study the script in order to determine the plot, the year and era the movie script is set in as well as the geographical location.

They will have to research all this information in order to create an accurate set.

One important aspect would be to research architectural styles in order to design accurate building facades.

If the geographical location is completely fiction, they will have more liberty to be creative.

For example, Movie Set Designers working on a Sci-Fi movie located in space would have more creative liberty than someone creating a set for the Wild West.

After drafting a design, a Movie Set Designer would meet with the director in order to get approval.

Once approval of the set design has been approved, a Movie Set Designer would oversee the physical creation of the movie set according to budget specifications.

Movie Set Designer Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed information on the film and movie industry as a whole which includes Movie Set Decorators.

The wage and salary for all film and movie industry employees is approximately $32,000 per year.

Exact annual wages will depend on how long a design job will last as well as how many jobs a Movie Set Designer will have per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the film and movie industry will grow by about 14% through the year 2008 which is considered higher than average.

Competition in the entertainment industry is stiff.

However candidates can rely on their networking capabilities, educational background and experience to find jobs.

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