Costume and Set Designer

As with hair and make-up, these roles are usually separate but, in micro-budget films these roles can be performed by the same person.

Costume designer usually creates and constructs clothing and footwear, chooses materials for them, etc. In film making it can involve simply ensuring that the style and colours work well on film or it can entail finding certain uniforms or clothes suitable to a time in history or a specific country.

Set designer usually formats interior, showcases, creates scenic effects. It can involve recreating a location such as a court room or jail in order to look authentic or it may involve using props and deĢcor to create a mood to tie in with the director’s vision for the film.
Small details often tell the audience the most about characters in feature films: the pictures hanging on the walls of their homes; the contents of their fridge or bathroom cabinet; their books; the treasured objects kept in a box hidden in the desk drawer. All of these details are created by the imagination and creative flair of Set Designers, who research, prepare and oversee the dressing of every set and adapted location on a feature film.

Costume designers may be required to work long hours; evening and weekend work may be involved when working to deadlines.
Many Set Designers work on commercials, where they are known as Stylists, as well as on films. They work on a freelance basis with a number of Set Designers. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home. 

Job/task description

  • Carry out research into the costume styles, designs and construction methods which are appropriate for the productions' time period, using a number of resources, including libraries, museums and the Internet
  • Break down scripts scene by scene, in order to work out how many characters are involved, and what costumes and sets are required to reflect the idea of the film
  • Research, prepare and oversee the dressing of every set and adapted location on a feature film
  • Developing costume plots for each character using optimal materials
  • Assist Director in reflecting his ideas by means of costume and set
  • Discuss costume and set design ideas with the director through the use of sketches
  • Close collaboration with actors; discuss costumes ideas with them
  • Prepare overall production schedules
  • Directing the day-to-day breakdowns of responsibilities
  • Ensure that accurate financial records are kept and that weekly expenditure reports are produced
  • Responsibility for selection and hiring of suitable suppliers and Costume Makers, negotiating terms with them, and communicating design requirements
  • Supervise fabric research and purchase, and ensure that garments are completed to deadlines
  • Create special mood and atmosphere