Mrs. Lovett’s dreary pie shop in Sweeney Todd. The fine European furniture in Karen Blixen’s house in Out of Africa. The menacing 22-foot boulder rolling after Harrison Ford at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Production design involves creating settings and styles — whether based in reality or fantasy — to establish the specific aesthetic of a feature film, television show or even a commercial. The production designer also guides key personnel in other departments — costume design, hair and make-up, special effects — to establish a unified look and feel and visually tell the story.
If production design is your dream, Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is your place for getting the hands-on education you need to break into this challenging field. Because a great deal of a production designer’s time is spent building sets and adapting locations, our MFA in Production Design is based on a curriculum that includes courses you would typically take for a degree in architecture. The intense, two-year program offers increasing design challenges each semester in such coursework as:
- Set design
- Digital design
- Production design
But you don’t work alone. You’ll be forming creative teams with your fellow students — writers, directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, sound and production designers — all coming together to realize a unified vision. In addition to providing production design options for their cycle films and thesis film projects, you’ll be challenged to come up with alternative design concepts for recently released Hollywood films.
By the end of your two years with us, you’ll have amassed a solid portfolio of designs — executed by hand, on computer and in sketch form — to showcase your talent and act as your personal calling card to the film and television industry