Production designers work with the director before filming to establish what type of characteristics they want the physical environment to have. From there, the production designer works as head of the art department, including the art director, production illustrator, set decorator, property master, prop crew, and buyers, and anyone else contributing to the overall look and feel of the film.
Good production designers are multitaskers with a good artistic eye who can delegate work while keeping tabs on the many things that contribute to the film's artistic attributes. While the position can be difficult and work can take place in a high stress environment, those who dream of taking their vision and articulating it through film can find the position of production designer to be an extremely fulfilling career.
Education and Training
While not required, an education rich in art history, fine arts, as well as movie-specific fields such as direction and cinematography can be helpful. As such, a bachelor's degree can be helpful but it isn't required. For instance, Vancouver Film School has a one year program that teaches production design and art direction along with other subjects like producing and screenwriting. The Art Institutes has media arts programs in locations all across the country that focus on visual production as well, and Brooks Institute of Photography has bachelor of arts programs in film and video production.