Thursday, January 19, 2012

Practically Speaking

The question of practicality is ultimately a question of money. In an ideal world, all the kitchen cabinets would be practical on a studio set, giving the Actors and Directors the most freedom for their creative process.
"The Budget" usually prohibits this freedom. The practical cabinets are too expensive to build, not only in materials and man power, but also consider the extra set dressing and product placement.
Who decides which cabinets should therefore be designed as practical? As a Set Designer you really have no place to make that call. You can ask the question, however, chances are that you are asking weeks before the action will actually play. In Film, this is like trying to plan something months in advance. Its difficult for the creative heads to commit to such a decision so early on. The Designer has to talk to the Director, the Director has to talk to the Writer....
As a Set Designer I would add a series of notes "Note: Practical cabinets per Designer.".
This places the very budget-conscious Construction Coordinator on the demand line. Also, it affords time for the decision to be made while the plans can still go out.

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