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Set construction: Wikis


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Carpenters work on constructing the set
A finished set

Set construction is a process by which a set designer works in collaboration with the director of the production to create the set for a theatrical, film or television production. The set designer produces a scale model, scale drawings (including, but not limited to: a groundplan, elevation, and section of the complete set as well as several more detailed drawings of individual scenic elements) paint elevations (a scale painting supplied to the scenic painter of each element requiring painting), and research about props, textures, and so on. Models and paint elevations are generally hand-produced, though in recent years, many designers and most commercial theatres have begun producing scale drawings on computer drafting programs such as AutoCAD or Vectorworks.

The technical director or production manager is the person responsible for evaluating the finished designs and considering budget and time limitations. He or she engineers the scenery, has it redrafted for building, budgets time, crew and materials, and liaisons between the designer and the shop. Technical directors often have assistant technical directors whose duties can range from drafting to actually building scenery.

A scene shop is often overseen by a shop foreman or master carpenter. This person assigns tasks, does direct supervision of carpenters, and deals with day-to-day matters such as absences, breaks, tool repair, etc. The staff of a scene shop is usually referred to as scenic carpenters, but within that there are many specialities such as plasterers, welders, and scenic stitchers. Scenic painting is a separate aspect of scenic construction, although the scenic painter usually answers to the technical director.

There is also usually another person often referred to as a jack of all trades, or as a Fred-John. He or she doesn't specialize in a particular aspect of construction, but is skilled to some degree in most.

See also

External links

  • Stagelink Stage and Scenery Fabricators Directory

Simple English

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Set construction means building the scenery for the performance of a play in a theatre or for the filming of a movie or a television programme.

There are several stages in the building of a set and, for a large project, many people may be needed. The set designer has to design the set. A model will be built to show what the set will look like. Drawings are made.

The technical director or production manager will look at the designs and decide whether they are what he wants and whether there is enough money to built it. Then a master carpenter will tell the people who work for him what they have to do. There will be carpenters, plasterers, welders, painters and, perhaps, several other craftsmen.


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