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Movie Production

Production Designers

Production designer is a term used in the movie industry to refer to the person responsible for the overall look of a film or TV movie. From early in pre-production, this person collaborates with the director and director of photography to define the visual feel and specific needs of the project. The production designer guides key personnel in other departments such as the costume designer, locations manager and picture car coordinator to establish a unified visual appearance to the film. The “art department” is a group of people who work with the production designer to implement the scenic elements of that vision. The art director supervises set construction and painting, as well as modifications to existing locations, such as changing signs or installing new carpet. An art director has a myriad of specialist reporting to them including painters, carpenters, greens men (landscapers) and tile experts. The set decorator, often someone with experience in interior decoration, finds decorative items for the sets such as furniture, wallpaper, knick-knacks and lighting fixtures. Working under the decorator are buyers, as well as a crew of set dressers who bring the items to the set, arrange furniture, hang curtains and “dress” the set. A prop master coordinates with the production designer, but also works closely with the director and actors to provide the items handled directly by the actors such as newspapers, weapons, musical instruments and food. For the most part, the prop crew, along with an on-set dresser, maintains the integrity of the production designer’s vision during the shoot and manipulates the items for the camera. Film production designers salary can be several thousand dollars, the production designers salary depends primarily on the budget of the film.


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