A Set Designer researches, plans and designs the sets for televisions, films and theatrical productions. They may also be employed to design the layout and design of indoor or outdoor environments for festivals or galleries.
Set Designers collaborate with directors, producers and curators to ensure that their designs meet the deadlines and creative expectations of the event or production. Set Designers choose the architectural style, furniture, wall and floor coverings, props and colour scheme of the set to recreate a particular period or environment.
Set Designers spend a good deal of their time researching the architecture, costumes and furnishings of the historical period they are representing. They then produce sketches and models based on their ideas. Rather than build small-scale models, Set Designers increasingly rely on computer-aided design (CAD) software and 3D technology to illustrate their ideas.
Set Designers, once their sketches have been approved, will collaborate with engineers, builders and props hiring companies to ensure that the sets are built according to the designs. They will work to a designated budget and may be required to source material from vintage stores or online traders.
While Set Designers may be employed full-time by large arts or theatre organisations, it is more common for them to work on a freelance basis, thus requiring skills in marketing their skills and managing their finances and tax requirements.
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