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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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198 news items

Bradenton Herald

Bradenton Herald
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -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 ...
Toledo Blade
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:53:14 -0700

The theater group is looking for actors, singers, dancers, musicians, artists, backstage technicians, painters, lighting, sound, set construction, makeup and hair styling, costumes, fund-raising, marketing, concessions, and ushers. To sign up call 971 ...
Corvallis Gazette Times
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:18:35 -0700

The chapter seeks participants for every aspect of production: makeup, prop and set construction, equipment operations, computer graphics and more. The Project is preparing both not-for-profit fan films (with proceeds benefiting charities) and full ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:07:30 -0700

A groundbreaking ceremony for a new Advanced Individual Training Complex officially set construction in motion Aug. 19. The new, five-story barracks building, dining facility and running track will sit between Cooley and Oklahoma avenues, near Training ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

A map of the Erie St. S. Storm Sewer Outfall is seen in the Leamington Council agenda for August 25, 2014. (Still captured by Ricardo Veneza). Despite only one bid coming in, Leamington Council is approving a $159,500 contract for sewer upgrades for ...
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:37:30 -0700

BLUE MOUND -- Meridian school leaders plan a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday evening, beginning phase two of the district's school facility improvements. Construction kicks off on two separate facilities in the district. The current Middle School will ...
Chicago Tribune
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:26:15 -0700

In a metro region with theaters such as Steppenwolf that have launched the careers of famous thespians John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Laurie Metcalf, community theater goes largely unnoticed, even by local residents. The Village Theatre Guild in Glen ...
Oxford Student
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:03:45 -0700

Another route into set design could be becoming an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager) on a Playhouse or Keble O'Reilly show as you'll get to know your way around backstage and might be called upon to help with set construction. I was lucky and happened ...

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