Television Scenic Design Supervisor Job Description & Qualifications

A TV scenic design supervisor must balance lighting with the placement of props and actors.
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A television scenic design supervisor has the type of job that calls on a vast array of skills and experiences to create sets that bring TV shows to life. In this job, you can experience the fulfilling sense that comes from seeing your set designs bring a richness to television stories and productions. If you can handle the business aspects of the job as well as the creative side, this could be your dream job.

Personal Qualities

Important personal qualities for this job include the ability to communicate well -- which encompasses writing, speaking and listening -- and being a competent critical thinker. You should also notice and care about what others appreciate, consistently keeping a pulse of the reactions of others. Round out your skill set with having a solid affinity for math, being an organized time and money manager and possessing the self-motivation to work independently to get results.

A Varied Job

The description for this job can read like an ad for a Jill-of-All-Trades, simply because of the sheer number of potential tasks in which you might engage. The short list of duties includes: studying scripts and meeting with clients to determine need; estimating set-building costs and adhering to budget allotments; creating scale working drawings and models depicting your vision of the set; researching architectural styles for programs set in specific periods; meeting with lighting engineers and construction personnel; and observing sets during rehearsals and fine-tuning designs. You might be directing a large crew of people to ensure development of a set within a specified time frame. In addition, you may need to address set security concerns as well as figure out how to design and build sets for remote locations. Tearing down sets is also part of the job.

Staying Busy

You probably won’t experience a day of boredom in this position because, in addition to your primary responsibilities, you’ll keep busy solving unexpected problems, scheduling, training and coordinating the work of your staff and attending to administrative tasks, such as writing financial reports. Your duties might also include inspecting equipment used in set creation. Even during your time off work, you could be dreaming up new set ideas and applications or devising cost-effective improvements for existing designs.

Essential Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, set and exhibit designers should have a bachelor’s degree in set design, scenic design or theater. You can augment your education in design, which should include the study of design techniques, blueprints and models, by completing courses in the fine arts, business administration and management, including a curriculum on computers. If you can successfully combine the appropriate education with your natural creativity and design sense, you may be in the perfect position to secure a job as a television scenic design supervisor.

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