Set designers research, design and supervise the construction of sets and scenery, costumes and all the visual aids required in stage, film and television productions.
To become a set designer you usually have to complete a VET qualification in design, visual arts, live production and management services or scenery and set construction. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a set designer by completing a degree in design, visual arts, fine arts, creative arts, technical production or visual communication. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, visual arts and design are normally required. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and submit a folio of work. Suitable industry experience (paid or voluntary) is also an advantage. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Skills can also be gained on the job through extensive experience in the industry.
Set designers may perform the following tasks:
Set designers mostly work in large cities where the main centres of entertainment, production, training and development are located. They often work long hours.
Set designers are employed by theatre and film and television production companies, usually under contract for the duration of a particular production. They may also be self-employed and work on a freelance basis. Success in this field requires outstanding ability and artistic flair. Demand for set designers is linked to the number of films, television programs and stage shows under production at a given time, the level of government and private funding available, as well as popular trends in entertainment.