Sunday, 2 January 2011

Production designer

We interviewed a production designer, who has been working in theatre film and television since 1990 and here are some questions I asked.
What attracted you to production design?The love of the theatre as a child when I saw my first pat amine and also I realised I was really good at art so it made sense to become a production designer.  

What sort of problems do you come across as a production designer?
It is a very highly comparative industry, you have to be really good at what you do and you have to have great skills to be successful, the other problem is that your self employed which means you may not have no work for months or more so you have to be careful how u spend your money and you have to be out there on the ball finding another production.   

What subjects did you take in school and university?
Art and design really helps and also to be interested in history as a lot of sets are old time productions so you would need to know your history, 3D design and also I did a BA in theatre design and a masters in film and television, I had to also do a foundation course first which took me six years so you can tell I was really busy most of the time doing a lot of work to build my career up.
How good is the pay you get from production design? The pay is really good in film and television especially as a head of the department as a main designer as you could get over 600 pounds a day, but the down fall is that you will only get paid for the days you work.

How do you deal with finding work?
You got to get yourself a really good agent to find you productions as they would know a lot of people in the business and they also would have to take a percentage of your pay, also it’s good to get to know other people in the industry so you may find yourself a production.

Pros and Cons of being a production designer?
The pros are that you’re always doing different things so it is enjoyable, it’s really creative and pay is really good. When I started production designer I used to travel a lot to some really nice places and it was all paid for, that is want I loved the most. The cons are that you have really high level of responsibilities and stressful, a few challenges when you’re managing budgets and deadlines. Also you are not always safe with your job because you need to know whether the film industry is going down so you may need to find another place and it also takes up a lot of family time.

Have you ever had a bad review?
I had a bad review once when one of the audience members didn’t like my use of site as they couldn’t see the whole play, so you need to make sure the audience can see everything on the set but other than that I haven’t had a bad review.
How does it feel when you show your work of to the audience?it is the most amazing feeling ever and when u see that is your work and everyone in the audience is clapping and enjoying it then u realise that your impact on the show helps people understand the production.

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