What is a Set Dresser? Well a Set Dressers take on a most important role, not only in film and television, but in theatre as well.
They arrange objects on a film set before and during shooting, in order to make the set look as realistic as possible through decoration.
Set dressers may be required to place furniture, arrange decorative items and hang paintings. This may sound easy, but in the world of movies,
this can mean turning an old warehouse into a swinging 1960s nightclub, or a sunny Shack into a"snow"-covered
French cottage. Among this, they also more items as to make room for the filming equipment
and keep props organized as scenes are not always shot in sequence.

The set-dresser fit into the production part of the process, but may be a part of the pre-production process,
when working with other film roles and organizing props.The dresser works in accordance with the style of the script and the instructions
of the Production Designer, Set Decorator and Art director. The dressers job, in cohesion with these roles is basically organizing,
multitasking, listening and the art of preparation (because he/she may have to change the set with a moment’s notice).

To work as a Set Dresser, you learn on the job. Some knowledge of art and design is necessary, as is knowledge of antique to
modern furniture styles. A background or training in art or interior design is useful. Set dressers must be creative, have an eye for
detail and be well organised. The training required to become one starts at the point of “Trainee” in the props department of SIPTU
(The Services Industrial Professional Technical Union), and then as promoted to a Set Dresser/ Assistant Property buyer for film
and TV, followed by the upgrading to a Full Grade Property Buyer/ Set Dresser. There are certain specifications to be
upgraded to the next levels, as well as dedication, good work ethic and high recommendations; a Trainee – Assistant
require work on at least 3 films and 6 TV commercials.

There are not many famous people associated with this role as it is very behind-the-scenes based. One well-known
professional Set Dresser is Helen Rasmussen. She never attended film school, but instead got a graphic
design degree. Like so many in the movie business, she started out as an assistant and gradually worked her way up to
set dresser, working on films including Message in a Bottle and The Last Samurai. She does admit that becoming a Set
Dresser does partly come down to who you know in the film industry.

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