Production design

"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible" Oscar Wilde (quoted in Patrick Keiller's film LONDON)

Anything is possible. Production Design creates the mood, atmosphere and context of a film through the expressive use of space, objects, forms and colour. The Production Designer interprets the written word for the screen, bringing all the visual elements together to create a story world. Ideas, imagination and ambition are pre-requisites.

Students design films involving set builds on the School’s sound stages. All units develop and execute Production Design concepts for each script in production. The Department teaches all aspects of Production Design for both 35mm colour and Digital formats. These include classes in model making, composition and colour, set dressing and drawing.

Students learn how to develop a visual concept and to realize it into cinematic reality. Drawing, model making and computer imaging techniques are taught using the scripted material that students generate. The programme accommodates a wide range of genres and story worlds. Students have created settings for their films that have included a forest, an American trailer interior, an Indian train carriage interior hurtling across a far landscape, a hospital ward, a hunters lodge in 19th century Missouri, an underground bomb making factory, a spy’s den….. through to domestic settings contemporary, future and period.

Head of Production Design: Matthew Button

Matthew Button designed his first feature in 2004, and has been consistently in demand ever since, for feature films and TV. In 2014 he was nominated for the Royal Television Society ‘Best Production Design’ award and in 2015 he was nominated for a BAFTA, as a member of the production team on BBC’s  ‘Our World War’.

Senior Lecturer - Production Design: Carmel Collins

After graduating in Fine Art Carmel worked as a Theatre Designer in UK, Ireland and Berlin before training in Production Design at the National Film and Television School. She has extensive experience as Production Designer working internationally on feature films shot in the UK and in Southern Africa, and a wide portfolio of productions including RTS award-winning shorts (‘Decisions’ for Ch 4), TV drama, drama documentaries, commercials and BAFTA award-winning Arts films (Sir Simon Rattle’s ‘Leaving Home’ for Ch 4). Feature films ‘Friends’ directed by Elaine Proctor and ‘Hijack Stories’ directed by Oliver Schmitz gained recognition in Cannes - Special Mention Palme D’Or and Un Certain Regard respectively, both securing international releases. Carmel has combined teaching with professional practice throughout her career, devising the MA Production Design course at Northern School of Film and Television and teaching at many institutions as a visiting tutor in between film projects, including at University of Westminster, University of the Arts London, University of the Creative Arts Farnham, Royal Holloway University and as a Professional Mentor to Film Glasgow’s JumpCut Summer Production Company. 

VISITING PRODUCTION DESIGNERS

Eve Stewart (Les Misérables, Vera Drake, Kings Speech) Alan MacDonald (The Queen, Love is the Devil), David McHenry (Jackboots on Whitehall), Jamie Leonard (Mona Lisa, Made In Britain), Paul Kirby (Greenzone, Fifth Element), Max Gottlieb (The Full Monty), Alice Normington (Nowhere Boy, Miranda), Jim Clay (Children of Men, Love Actually)
Costume Design: Annie Symons (Great Expectations, Saving Grace)
Construction: Jeff Woodbridge
Titles: Chris Allies