Designing A Hospital Set That Isn't Drab
Recently I got to work on a hospital set for a series of short films. It was an absolute blast and so fun to be on set again. My day job is producing so when I get to combine my set life with my creative life it is always a special moment.
Designing for a film/TV set is different than designing for a home not just in the content but in the overall outcome. In a home you want things to be cohesive, functional and look good as a whole. On a set you are only seeing one view or camera angle at a time, there are often adjustments to props, plants and pictures from one camera angle to another. You wouldn’t want your star actor having a plant coming out of their head!
Frequently colors and patterns have to be adjusted once seen through the lens and what you see in real life does not always work on camera. So being able to foresee this and know what works on camera and what doesn’t is a real asset. I may love a color combo or particular textile, but if it’s too busy-too bold, I know it won’t work in the scene.
For this particular set up we were working in a warehouse. I wanted something that looked and felt like a hospital room but wasn’t completely void of color. We weren’t going for a drab, monotone feel. I wanted some variation in hues, some depth-a more modern looking hospital with lots of posters, PSAs, charts, etc. Not a stark, drab and dated room. This is largely reliant upon your director and what he/she wants, what fits the script and their vision the best. Overall I think we came up with a pretty convincing set!