Clients utilising the film industry tend to have a shallow understanding of the level of dedication that is required when it comes to set design. So says Stef Prioreschi, of Johannesburg film and television set design and construction company, Sets Non Stop.

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Catwalk by Sets Non Stop
"Subsequently, they have little concern for the difficulties that can arise when deadlines are pushed and new demands are made. This is most often manifested in very late confirmations and last minute changes to requirements. However, this is a generalisation as there are some awesome clients out there that understand the type of work."

Prioreschi says filming for television requires different lighting to that of film, and this is one of the main considerations when designing and building sets for television. "Other than that, the resolution which was achievable with television in the past allowed set designers to pay less attention to the finer details - but with the advent of HD (High Definition), the detail visible on television is comparable now to film, so more detail has to be factored in to the set design and construction."

As a company, they prefer to work in film rather television. His view is that working in film is "more creatively compelling, perhaps because of the physical nature of the medium and the quality that is achievable within the medium."

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Set design by Sets Non Stop
He elaborates: "However, working with television gives you a sense of instant gratification as the results are so immediate. Because of this, we try to keep an even balance and remain active in both fields."

Outlining the the 'Do's and Don'ts' in the set designing and construction sector, Prioreschi says under the Do's, one should always view the entire production as a whole when performing a function; should always refer to the director's treatment and the art director or production designer's interpretation of that vision and look at things the way a camera sees. Top of his Don'ts list is a warning to set designers never to presume anything as "the word 'presume' does not exist in film language".

His concern, when looking at the set designing industry, is that while in recent years there have been quite a lot of new construction crew entering the industry, there has sometimes been a shortage of really talented designers.