Intro to Production Design

AFTRS-Australian Film Television and Radio School

About the Course

On a screen production for film, TV, or a web series, the Production Designer is a key creative role which involves collaborating with other department heads to create the overall visual style of the film. Set design and set decoration are important components of this process but the production designer must also collaborate with many other departments which affect the overall look and feel of the film. This two day course has been designed to familiarise students with introductory knowledge of Production Design and an awareness of how to know to pursue a career in the art department


Session 1

Concepts of Production Design

What is production design? An introduction to the creative responsibilities of the production designer as a visual storyteller. Learn techniques of analysing a script and developing a design brief. A visual approach using the elements and principals of design will be investigated.
This topic also examines historical, architectural and design styles and their application to a screen project.

Session 2
Design Skills and Previsualisation 

This topic explores the knowledge and skills essential when creating a visual story world. The role of the ‘built environment’ as an element of cinematic storytelling is investigated through set design
Previsualisation including Concept illustration and storyboarding is examined.


Session 3

Art Direction

From the art director’s perspective, we investigate key relationships and the range of collaboration and management skills necessary to bring a story to the screen. Students gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of personnel within the art department.

Session 4

This topic examines the production designer’s collaboration with other specialist practitioners to formulate a creative approach and reinforce storytelling through visual concept. We identify and analyse the roles of set decorators, cinematographers, VFX supervisor, scenic artists, prop makers and costume designers, to ensure successful collaboration.


This course has no prerequisites, but students should have a keen interest in some art and design related subjects including drawing, technical drawing, colour theory, architecture, building and construction, history of design, interior design, model making, cameras and lenses, lighting, etc.


Study load
Study mode
Course Locations
Course starts
Application dates
Course duration
Course fee
Provider address

View Website