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Designing Careers in the Entertainment Business

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If you desire to design for theater, film, or television, consider working as a motion graphic designer, a sound designer, or a production designer. Each career offers designers a chance to immerse themselves in the entertainment industry as well as the option of working alongside creative teams. So whether you’re interested in creating graphics, manipulating sound, or designing sets, read the following and discover which career is right for you.

Motion Graphic Design

This decades-old art form infuses graphic design with motion graphics such as film, video, or computer animation. Film titles and broadcast design are two examples of motion graphic design.

As technology advances, so does this field, and in recent years motion design has vastly improved. Graphics and typography are becoming sleeker, more sophisticated, and more detailed. One of the industry's leading programs is Adobe's After Effects, a program which creates and modifies graphics.

"Bring your vision to life with blockbuster visual effects and compelling motion graphics in Adobe® After Effects® CS3 Professional software," says "Work with sophisticated tools and enjoy tight integration with Adobe's leading design applications while you deliver stunning work to virtually any media type. Design from scratch or jump-start projects from hundreds of customizable presets and templates — all from within a streamlined interface."

One famous motion graphic designer is Maurice Binder. A title designer, Binder gained fame for his work on 14 James Bond films, including his title work for the first movie, Dr. No, in 1962. According to an article on, "In the scheme of James Bond movies…Binder is the fifth Beatle."

And Saul Bass, who is famous for his design on animated motion picture title sequences, has worked for Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese.

Sound Design

In 3000 BC, sound was introduced to theater when India and China used music and sound to accompany their theater productions.

Today, sound design is defined as "the manipulation of audio elements to achieve a desired effect," according to It is a technical and conceptually creative field of work and "covers all non-compositional elements of a film, a play, a music performance or recording, computer game software or any other multimedia project." Those who work in the industry are not only called sound designers, but are also typically members of a film crew.

The term "sound design" originated from theater and was introduced to film by "Francis Ford Coppola when he directed a live production of Noel Coward's Private Lives at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco."

Coppola and sound designer Walter Murch described a sound designer as "an individual ultimately responsible for all aspects of a film's audio track, from the dialogue and sound effects recording to the re-recording of the final track."

Production Design

Production designers work with a myriad of people to "visually tell [a] story" in film or television. They work with directors and producers to create the setting of a scene. They work with directors of photography to establish the visual feel. And they work with costume designers, key hair and make-up stylists, special effects directors, and locations managers (plus more) "to establish a unified visual appearance to the film."

Production designers also lead the art department. This team is comprised of the art director, concept illustrator, set designer, set decorator, costume designer, property master, graphic designer, and model maker. Together, the production designer and the art department work to create the desired vision of the film.

Famous production designers include Peter Lamont, who was born in 1929 in England and has worked as a production designer for GoldenEye, Titanic, and License to Kill, among others. And Grant Major worked as a production designer for The Lord of the Rings, while Dean Tavoularis, who was born to Greek immigrant parents, worked as a production designer for The Godfather.
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