Film Production Designer








What is a Film Production Designer?

A Film Production Designer is responsible for the ‘look’ of the movie/television programme or music video and advert. 

The Film Production Designer works closely with both the director and producer and together they will decide the ‘style’ and ‘look’ of the production.

Production design is a varied field made up of many different disciplines (skills) which employ a variety of different people. There is work for talent of all kinds: special effects make-up designers, set builders, painters, puppet builders, sculptors, costume designers, etc.  Team work is essential in this job.

In some cases, the Film Production Designer may be referred to as the Art Director.

What does a Film Production Designer do?

  • researches and creates an overall ‘look’ for the production
  • meets with director and producer
  • creates sketches and 3d concept models
  • directs various department heads: set building, location scouts, costumes, special effects etc
  • manages all parts and staff responsible for the ‘look’
  • works with large budgets

Are you … ?

  • passionate about the movies?
  • extremely creative?
  • interested in design?
  • architectural inclined?
  • a team player?
  • a good manager?
  • a good communicator?
  • an out-the-box thinker?
  • highly organised and logical?
  • detail orientated?

How do I become a Film Production Designer?

There are a number of ways to becoming a Film Production Designer.

Firstly, you should have a working background in design. Knowledge or studies in architecture, theatrical set design and/or construction and techniques would be extremely beneficial.

Because large budgets need to be stuck to and the complicated nature of the job, a background in management and planning would also be highly recommended. 

It’s advisable to start your career as a Film Production Designer in the position of an assistant to an already experienced Film Production Designer. From this position you will hone your skills and become more knowledgeable about production.

Those interested in pursuing a career in production design should have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of design.

Students interested in pursuing production design might major in architecture, environmental design or theatrical set design.

It’s also suggested that future production designers develop communication skills, because an integral part of the job is to develop concepts and effectively communicate them to everyone from producers to production staff members.

Graduates looking to begin a career in production design should consider becoming a production assistant for practical training. New graduates might seek job opportunities in student films, commercials or low-budget music videos.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scamsmake sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Set Designer … or … Architect

Is becoming a Film Production Designer the right career choice for me?