Producing : Low budget production design tips? by Jacob James Henry

Jacob James Henry

Low budget production design tips?

Hey experienced set designers- I will be shooting a short in a bare-walled apartment room, and am not sure about the best way to approach "decorating" the walls in an interesting way without breaking the bank. Anyone (experienced producers/set designers please) have any links or advice on dealing with a blank-slate type of apartment environment, particularly bare walls?

Elisabeth Meier

Well, there are shops for film decorations where you can rent stuff. Then, ask in theaters and opera houses if they have a sale for old equipment. Most of them have a sale once a year and you can buy costumes and equipment of all kinds and styles. For the walls you could use wallpaper. Depending on how your camera perspectives are you can pin, nail or paste them punctured with stripes on the wall. Maybe only up to the height you need it, depending on your angle. If you don't have money for wallpapers ask your family and friends as most people have any rests from their last redecoration or ask for fabrics. Further it is wise to shoot with many close ups so the viewer doesn't get the chance to see much of the background. Hence, be creative in case you need wide angles and find other solutions, like filming from above. Good luck!

Jacob James Henry

Thanks for the great recommendations, Elisabeth. I'm in Osaka, so not sure how many set design shops I will have access to, but I'll look into it. And I like the idea of wallpaper, too. Thanks much, again! J

Elisabeth Meier

You are most welcome. It's not only about costume and set design shops. Think different, more creative as you can also find stuff and inspiration in DIY shops, in second hand shops, antiques shops, in shops for carpenters or car designers or at IKEA or what ever.

Royce Allen Dudley

Number 1 thing above all else... PAINT. Nothing screams "indie" like white walls and doors. Paint the walls and mouldings. Then paint them back. Your DP and audience will appreciate it. Another thing many set dressers and PDs do, even with a budget and.a couple 5 ton art trucks, is bring things from home. What among your own stuff might inhabit this set? Only fair, since often much of art department's personal posessions started on set as props. Toasters and Ikea Billys anyone?

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