Prop & Scenery Maker
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Prop and scenery makers construct the sets, backdrops, furniture and props for film, television and stage productions, and exhibitions and events. They work closely with set designers and stage managers to ensure that all props and scenery meet production and design specifications. Future Growth Strong

In Australia, prop and scenery makers may work on productions for organisations such as larger theatres, smaller local theatre companies, or events such as Perth Artrage Festival, or educational exhibits.


ANZSCO description: Constructs, erects and installs structures and fixtures of wood, plywood, wallboard and other materials to make scenery, furniture and props for film and stage productions, and live events and exhibitions. Registration or licensing may be required.

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Alternative names: Props maker, Scenic artist, Set builder, Set dresser



Knowledge, skills and attributes

​A prop and scenery maker needs:

  • creative flair

  • to be passionate about working in the entertainment or related industries

  • high attention to detail, and strong problem solving abilities

  • good communication skills, and to work well in a team environment

  • good planning and organisational skills

  • to be physically fit and have the ability to undertake manual labour for extended periods.


Working conditions

Prop and scenery makers usually work in construction workshops and may work independently or as part of a team. They use a wide range of carpentry, joinery and metalwork skills and may be required to wear protective clothing.

They generally work construction industry hours, starting early in the morning. Occasional weekend and night work may be required.


Tools and technologies

​Prop and scenery makers may use a range of tools including standard carpentry and metalwork power tools and machinery. They may use timber, steel, plastic, leather, clay, plaster and resins to construct props and furniture, and may make stunt double props such as fake knifes and baseball bats. They also read technical drawings to plan the construction of props.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a prop and scenery maker without any formal qualifications. However, you are more likely to improve your prospects in the industry if you have completed a formal qualification in live production and services, production and design or a related area.

The Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services and the Advanced Diploma of Live Production and Management Services are offered at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

You can also complete a degree majoring in production and design.

There are degrees from NIDA - a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Properties and Objects); and a Master of Design for Performance at University of Melbourne.

You can also complete a traineeship. The stage production assistant (carpentry), (backdrops) and (sets and props) traineeships usually take 12 months to complete.

To work as a prop and scenery maker in Australia, you may need to obtain a High Risk Work Licence if you are working at heights. The licence is available from the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”).

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Stunt Performer

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theatrical costume maker and designer

Diver

Set Designer

Sports Development Officer

Horse Riding Instructor

Stage Manager

Cinema or Theatre Manager

Prop & Scenery Maker

Outdoor Adventure Guide

Artist

Aerobics Instructor

Dancer

Fitness Instructor

Sports Coach

Karate Instructor

Fisher

Sportsperson

Musician

Umpire/Referee

Composer

Jockey

Actor

Choreographer