Duration 2 Years
Next intake January 2023
Application deadline Contact Registry
The production designer plays a vital role in creating real or imagined worlds on the screen. This course develops individual creativity and teaches technical skills essential for a career in film and television.
“The NFTS remains one of the richest seams of creative talent and ideas under one roof.” Paul Kirby, production designer on Captain Phillips, Bastille Day and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The NFTS Production Design department is a fully equipped design studio, with students designing for live action shoots, using traditional and digital design techniques. They will collaborate with those in other specialisms to make several films and practical projects – with all production costs met by the School.
All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Rick Carter (Star Wars - The Force Awakens).
This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.
Recent credits and successes
What you will study
Uniquely in the UK, our MA Production Design students study alongside students of other filmmaking disciplines, engaging in a series of productions where working methods replicate professional practice.
The advent of digital technology has brought in new design tools and ways of working and this course promotes a lively interface between old and new methods. 3D and 2D computer techniques and Concept Art are taught alongside traditional skills such as set sketching, orthographic draughting, design geometry and model-making.
The course offers the opportunity to specialise in Concept Art, particularly in the second year. Design students apply their skills to live action and animation films, television programmes, games and commercials, in the studio and on location, using built sets and green screen. Relevant business and management skills are also taught, equipping students to manage a small art department, its budget, personnel and logistical schedules, studio procedures and set decorating. Studio visits and placements familiarise students with a working art department and inspire them with actual film sets.
Head of Department
The Head of the Production Design is Caroline Amies (In The Name of The Father, Ladies in Lavender, Land Girls).
Current or Recent Tutors
Senior tutor is Moira Tait (design credits range widely across film and TV, and she has led and taught in major institutions across Europe).
Every year, our students make a number of short films.
Production Design students come from a wide variety of visual backgrounds, including theatre, architecture, illustration, fine art, digital design, interior design and 3D design. Your portfolio submission must demonstrate a strong visual imagination, an aptitude for spatial and 3D design, an awareness of architecture and design for the moving image and exhibit a personal visual language. Please refer to our guidance notes here for more information.
Experience of film/TV work is not essential but a willingness to work collaboratively and an ability to motivate and lead a team are essential.
While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record or an alternative qualification.
For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found on our What You Need To Know section of our Students From Abroad page.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply
Application deadline:Contact Registry
Applicants should apply with the following:
- A comprehensive portfolio of work which demonstrates an aptitude for spatial and 3D design, awareness of architecture, design for the moving image and a personal visual language. Please submit a hard copy portfolio, which can be A4, A3, A2, A1. If you have any questions regarding the content, format or amount of work to submit, please contact the Production Design department at the NFTS or Registry.
- CAD work – printouts (optional extra submission)
Your portfolio should be posted to the NFTS Beaconsfield, for the attention of the Registry Department. It should arrive by the application deadline.
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