Set Construction

Author: Cineco
When it comes to productions, be it for theatre, television, or film, the key to an effective show is to make the audience believe in the fictional world that is its setting. Certainly, the plot and the actors play huge roles in the show, but the background is important to literally paint the picture of where these events are taking place in. Set construction is the process of preparing the set for a theatrical, television, or film production.
Who are involved in set construction?
There are several people involved in set construction. These individuals include:
  • Production designer. The production designer is the head of the art department and the one who usually oversees the creation of the set. Not only should he or she be familiar with the workings of the show, he or she will also need to have experience in actually creating the set (ex. carpentry, welding, painting, and working with plaster). Production designers are also tasked to work with the rest of the production staff in order to create a set that fits the bill for the show.
  • Construction manager. The construction manager is in charge of the physical production of the set. He or she coordinates with the production designer to decide what sets will need to be built and how much their budget will be. Furthermore, the construction manager is also the one responsible for hiring the people who will actually be producing the sets, as well as in overseeing what supplies will be needed to create the set.
  • Master carpenter. If the construction manager is the one who oversees the production of the set and props, the master carpenter is the one who really gets his or her hands dirty in making these. Furthermore, the master carpenter also directly supervises the other carpenters in producing the materials needed. Depending on the needs of the show, there may also be master plasterers and master welders on board.
  • Scenic painters. As the name suggests, these individuals are in charge of painting the props and sets that will be used during the show.
  • Set dressers. Set dressers are the ones who are tasked with arranging the props, at least those that aren't nailed down. They also keep an inventory of all the props and settings used in the show.
These are just some of the jobs that are needed in set construction. Many other roles are given out depending on the needs and budget of the show.

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