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For the toys, see Construction set.
Carpenters work on constructing the set
A finished set
A theater stage building

Set construction is the process by which a construction manager undertakes to build full scale scenery suitable for viewing by camera, as specified by a Production Designer or Art Director working in collaboration with the director of a production to create a set for a theatrical, film or television production. The set designer produces a scale model, scale drawings, paint elevations (a scale painting supplied to the scenic painter of each element that requires painting), and research about props, textures, and so on. Scale drawings typically include a groundplan, elevation, and section of the complete set, as well as more detailed drawings of individual scenic elements which, in theatrical productions, may be static, flown, or built onto scenery wagons. Models and paint elevations are frequently hand-produced, though in recent years, many Production Designers and most commercial theatres have begun producing scale drawings with the aid of computer drafting programs such as AutoCAD or Vectorworks.


In theater, 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.

Film production[edit]

In major film production in England, a Supervising Art Director is responsible for a team of Art Directors, each drafting separate sets or sections of a single set. Construction supervisors interpret the drawings and allocate labor and resources, with the Production Designer giving approval of the finished set on the Directors behalf. Film construction is rigidly compartmentalized on major motion pictures.

Construction of a film set is mainly done on studio stages or back lots, often within a studio complex and several studio stages may be allocated purely as workshop space during the construction process. Many disciplines are employed under construction managers but craftsmen tend to not multi-task and so there are a range of job titles, such as, carpenter, rigger, plasterer, stage hand, poly waller, scenic painter, standby painter and standby carpenter are among them. A prop making workshop is set up in a similar stage and may be paid for out of a Construction or Art Department budget depending on the nature and size of the props in question

The construction manager, or more often, construction company, provides all tools and equipment apart from small hand tools specific to a craftsman's work, such as screw guns, paint brushes and plastering trowels. This makes logistics and efficiency the responsibility of the construction manager and leaves each crew member as fluid freelancers to be hired and off hired at extremely short notice throughout the production.

Studio complexes tend to have support services such as Drape Shops, general stores, timber stores and plaster shop as well as special effects companies, on site to support construction and other departments.

A scene shop, in theatrical production 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.

In theater production, 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.

In the United States, set construction workers are usually members of the IATSE.

The construction department is led by a construction coordinator. The coordinator reports to the art director and production designer and is in charge of budgeting and implementing designs. The construction coordinator has a general foreman to assist.

Next there are other foremen, lead carpenters called gang bosses, and then all of the carpenters and craftsmen.

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_construction — Please support Wikipedia.
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162 news items


Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:29:20 -0700

A college graduate with a business management degree, Peters was one of those guys who was always hanging around backstage, doing the lighting, sound and set construction for the drama club in high school and theatrical performances in college.

Bradenton Herald

Bradenton Herald
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:04:59 -0700

"With construction, nothing is ever promised. We explain to future residents there could be delays. We have no control of this," said Frances Rivera, Creekside community manager in charge of leasing. Rivera said recent heavy rains set construction back ...
The Missoulian
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 08:45:00 -0700

His areas of expertise were scenic design, set construction, costuming and film history. Bill designed “more shows than he could forget” at UM, and was the driving force behind many of the details in the construction of the PARTV building on campus ...
Sandusky Register
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 08:22:49 -0700

The group is in need not only of actors, singers, dancers and musicians, but also painters, backstage technicians, set construction workers, hair and makeup experts and more. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact the BSA volunteer coordinator at ...
Corvallis Gazette Times
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:41:15 -0700

The Fan Film Project Corvallis Chapter, 6:45 p.m., fellowship hall, Corvallis Foursquare Church, 1495 N.W. 20th St. The chapter seeks participants for every aspect of production: makeup, prop and set construction, equipment operations, computer ...
WSMV Nashville
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:04:44 -0700

"Everyone knows the winter we had in Middle Tennessee, and it set construction back a little bit," he said. Tables for the cafeteria will be delivered soon. The kitchen is not ready to operate, so students will receive box lunches in the meantime ...


Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:07:30 -0700

Clearly they need to work on their set construction. Did they buy that stuff at IKEA? Maybe this is just me, but Paul Finebaum doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would take that kind of thing very well. Somebody probably got chewed out after that one.


Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:37:30 -0700

The Mgarr-ix Xini beach on the Gozo island of Malta was closed to the public yesterday, while set construction for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's movie completed, as reported by The Malta Independent. By the Sea will begin filming on the beaches of ...

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