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WILDsound's The Film Podcast Blog

In each episode, our hosts Matthew and Kierston talk about Film. From breaking down both common and uncommon film terms to discussing famous stories, characters, and players in film's history, to talking with people about their jobs in the industry, The Film Podcast will nourish your curiosity for all things film!

#5 Production Designer

Today on The Film Podcast, Matthew and Kierston discuss a little known, but incredibly necessary position in the film industry- The Production Designer. What are they and what do they do? We find out today on The Film Podcast, as Matthew and Kierston break down this important and crucial industry job. 

show notes

DEFINITION: A production Designer is responsible for the visual look of the film. Not the Camera movements, not the acting, not the lighting- but the actual visuals in the work. The phrase was coined by William Cameron Mensies, while working on Gone With The Wind. It is also called the “art director” “scenic designer”. 

    • GENERAL EXAMPLE: Let’s take a classic fantastical film like Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Those wonderful, colorful scenes with the kids in the Factory? The production designer is working in tandem with the director's vision, to create the “look” of those fantastical worlds. In the classic 1971 Willy Wonka film, starring Gene Wilder, that wonderful moment when the kids are in the candy garden, with the chocolate river? Every single piece of edible whimsy in this scene- from the gummy-bear trees to the toadstools, has passed through the mind, eyes, and hands of the Production designer (and in that specific case also the Special Effects team) to be built by the art department. It is the production designer than ensures the location is in order and the set is constructed safely and visually perfectly for the scene that will be acted out on it.

       
      • Why it is used:
      • Production Designers may not be as well known as Producers, Directors or Cinematographers, but they are absolutely just as important. They are responsible for the “look” of the work.