Film sets play a large role in transporting an audience to the world of a movie -- be it a gritty medieval battlefield, or sleek outer space.
The Work of a Set Designer
Set designers recreate the time period and location established in a script by designing, and possibly constructing, a set that projects the time and place through architectural and other visual details.
Similar to the work of costume designers, set designers must study the screenplay, and then do meticulous research on the time period within the context of the story to design appropriate interior and exterior sets or structures. Set designers collaborate with directors, and in large productions may report to a film's Art Director or Production Designer to ensure the set meets the goals of the story.
A set designer must be skilled in drawing sketches and building models. Once a scale model has been approved (with input from directors, producers, and writers), the set designer oversees the construction of their sets - from carpentry to painting.
Set designers may also work with the lighting crew, sound crew, set decorators, buyers, props masters and builders.
Training & Education
Degrees in theatre, scenic design, and set design are common to set designers. Many set designers may have a background in architecture or interior design.
Set designers can enter the field in a variety of ways -- via construction josb on a film set, or by designing sets for smaller theatre and live stage performances and working their way into film.