Production Design Department

Department overview by Jean-Vincent Puzos and Anne Seibel, Heads of the Production Design Department.

"The production designer stands at the junction between multiple cultures and areas of know-how.
They have to imagine the space within the film, its architecture, its lighting, its colour. They have to research, find, invent, innovate, make decisions and take risks. They have to strike a balance between pure imagination and direct replication or adaptation. They have to show a talent for producing clear and simple sets or the most complicated décor. They have to organise each step in the working process: the feasibility study, budget planning, production methods and strategic decisions (e.g. using exteriors or studio sets). They have to interpret a text or screenplay, give their opinions on the visual aspects of a film, and supply the visual references, sketches and proposals.

Next begins the working processes of analysis, design, making proposals, adaptation and organisation.
La Fémis is the School that can give each student the keys to unlocking each step of the learning cycle. It will teach students to resolve design problems and failing that give them the tools needed to find workarounds, cover-ups and distortions. So, if necessary, make problems simply disappear.

La Fémis will train students to develop their communication skills and work with others, first with their crew and then with the film’s stakeholders, from the producer to the director via the director of photography, the costume designers, the make-up artists and the special effects and visual effects teams.
They will use their head (brain, mouth, ears and eyes) at all times by developing the general, artistic and cinematographic culture surrounding the film, as well as their hands making drawings, models and images.

While improving their critical approach, the students will develop their individual research skills and how to break free from preconceived rules in the industry. It is always a good idea to know how things are made, but it’s also important to know how you can do things better or with a more personal touch."