Film and TV Sets: Introduction to the Art Department




  • South Seas Film School

    Feb 08 - Jun 23, 2022

    • Credits:


    • Method:






New Zealand’s screen industry is booming as Hollywood looks to New Zealand more and more as a safe haven for film and television production. Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel,  James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequels and Netflix’ reboot of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ are all in desperate of people who know their way around a film and tv set.  In Auckland alone the industry predicts it will need 500 graduates over the next three years to fill various roles on set.  

To help fill the demand, we’ve launched a new intensive 19 week course, giving you introductory skills in the art department, and the confidence to be part of the team who create worlds you see on screen.

What's so special about this course?

It’s one of a kind.
No one else in the industry is offering a course like this designed to be an intensive introduction to understanding working on a film and tv set in one of the many art dept roles.

Be ready in 19 weeks.
Because you’ll spend time working on a set you’ll have the confidence to walk into an entry level job on set.

This is for anyone!
There are so many skills needed on set, whether that’s managing the props, costumes and sets, or being part of the team who make them.

Study at our legendary South Seas campus.
Have the unique experience of studying and working alongside our Film & TV production and acting students, just like in the industry.

Small classes.
Class sizes are capped at 15 so you’ll get lots of attention.

Get industry exposure.
Because we are so close to the industry, we will have heaps of industry guests who you will get to meet. This will also come in handy when you graduate.


What you'll learn

Foundations of art of design

You’ll spend the first five weeks of this course understanding the processes within the art and design department, and how to manage and plan art and design for a film and tv set.   

This includes understanding the different departments on set, what they’re responsible for and how they interact with one another. Then you’ll learn how to look at a script and understand what props, costumes and sets are needed to bring it to life. 

You’ll also learn practical skills of how to be safe on set there’s even a bit of photoshop thrown in.

Practical fabrication skills

During the next six weeks, you’ll develop the practical skills you need to be part of a team on set.

You’ll spend two weeks understanding the fabrication of costumes and get some skills under your belt around altering them to fit a script. Then you’ll spend the next couple of weeks focusing on the making and sourcing and managing of props.  Then you’ll be introduced to set building and painting and set dressing, understanding the importance of continuity on set.

Put it all into practice!

You’ll be matched with a director and a script and you’ll spend the next seven weeks:

  • planning and developing the art and design for the script
  • creating and sourcing the props, costumes, set dressing that you have planned
  • On set shooting
  • Wrapping the shoot; project managing the breakdown of the set and return of the stock

This project is designed to expose you to what it’s like to be on a real set and to give you the confidence to walk straight out of this course and into a job in the art and design department on set.  

Getting ready for the industry

In this final week you will spend time getting your resume and portfolio ready to send out to employers in the film and tv industry.


You’ll graduate with a New Zealand Certificate in Arts & Design (Level 4)

A bit more information




You’ll be supplied with a tool kit to use during your course and for you to take with you into the industry.


Domestic students

$4,596.84 + $170 Student Services Levy + $650 Course Related Costs*  (fees are subject to change)

*Course Related Cost  - Covers your course toolbox and tools, an on set belt and PPE equipment which includes earmuffs, safety glasses and a respirator.

This amount can be covered by studylink's courses related cost loan.

(Eligible for 'fees-free' study)

Please note fees are subject to change.

Entry Requirements

Students must provide evidence of NCEA Level 2 or equivalent, be at least 16 years of age, and have basic computer skills with an interest in design.

Students who speak English as a second language must demonstrate English language proficiency at the level of IELTS 5.5.

International students need to be at least 18 years old.

What types of jobs are there?

This course will open up a world of opportunity to you to go on to specialise in your area of interest once you’re working on set. There are 30 different departments under production design. Take a look at where you could end up.

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South Seas Film School Campus

A legend in its lifetime, our South Seas Film School Campus functions like a real-life working Hollywood-style studio.

Qualifications are issued by Yoobee Colleges. Yoobee Colleges is a Category 1 Provider, the highest rating a school can be awarded by the Government.

Term dates are subject to change, pending enrolment numbers, availability and any unforeseen funding fluctuations. Yoobee Colleges reserves the right to modify schedules to make sure the College runs well and student are offered the best learning experience.

Interested in kicking off your career?

Our friendly course advisors can help with everything you need to know including an outline of study options, key information about enrolment, and all our campuses spread around New Zealand.