The Secrets of Hollywood Set Design: a behind-the-Scenes Look

As anyone who has ever seen a Hollywood movie can attest, the sets are often as important to the film as the actors themselves. A well-designed set can transport viewers to another time and place, and create an immersive experience that draws them into the story.

But how do the magic of Hollywood set design?

In this article, we’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at the 15 secrets of Hollywood set design:

1. The art department is crucial to the success of a film:

The art department is responsible for the overall look and feel of a film. They’re the ones who come up with the concepts and designs for the sets, and they work closely with the production designer to make sure that everything comes together cohesively.

2. Every detail matters:

Hollywood set designers are known for their attention to detail. No element is too small to be overlooked, and even the most seemingly insignificant details can contribute to the overall effect of a scene.

3. The script is the starting point:

Before anything else can be designed, the art department needs to have a copy of the script. This will give them an idea of what kind of world the characters inhabit and what kind of settings will be needed.

4. Research is key:

After the script has been read, the art department will begin to do some research. This might involve visiting the location where the film will be shot, or looking at photographs and other visual references.

5. Conceptualizing the design:

Once the research is complete, it’s time to start conceptualizing the design. The art department will brainstorm ideas and create sketches and illustrations of their vision for the sets.

6. Working with the production designer:

The art department will then work with the production designer to develop the concepts further and flesh out the details of the designs. The production designer is responsible for ensuring that the sets are functional and meet all of the requirements of the production.

7. Creating the blueprints:

The next step is to create the blueprints for the sets. These will be used by the construction crew to build the actual sets.

8. Building the sets:

The construction crew will then build the sets according to the blueprints. This is often in a warehouse or on a soundstage, and it can take weeks or even months to complete.

9. Adding the finishing touches:

Once the construction is finish, it’s time for the art department to add all of the finishing touches. This might involve painting walls, hanging curtains, and placing furniture.

10. Lighting the set:

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of design, and it can be use to create a variety of different moods and effects.

11. Shooting the film:

After all of the prep work is, it’s finally time to shoot the film. The cameras will roll and the actors will bring the sets to life.

12. Striking the set:

Once filming is complete, the sets will be “struck” or dismantle. This is usually by the construction crew, and it can take days or even weeks to take everything apart.

13. Moving on to the next project:

And then it’s time to start all over again on the next project. Hollywood set design is a never-ending process, and there’s always something new to create.

14. It’s a collaborative process:

Hollywood set design is a highly collaborative process, and it involves many different people working together. The art department, the construction crew, the lighting designers, and the production designer all play an important role in creating the final product.

15. It’s all about the details:

In the end, it’s all about the details. Hollywood set designers are famous for their attention to detail, and it’s this attention that makes their sets so believable and realistic.


Hollywood set design is a highly creative and collaborative process that involves many different people working together. Every detail matters and the script is the starting point. Research is key, and conceptualizing the design is a crucial step. Once the blueprints are create, the sets are built and then lit. Shooting the film is the final step, and then the sets are struck. It’s a never-ending process, and it’s all about the details.