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Production Designer Ed Turner gives an insight into the industry

BA (Hons) Film students were visited by Production Designer Ed Turner, where he gave his top tips and a professional workshop on how to get into production design and art direction.
BA (Hons) Film students were visited by Production Designer Ed Turner, where he gave his top tips and a professional workshop on how to get into production design and art direction.
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From Poldark and Marcella, to Merlin and Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, Ed’s work during a career spanning over twenty years includes a number of high-profile productions, across the full spectrum of television drama, film, commercials, and promos.

Our practice led Film programme focusses on more than just directing your first short film - students have the opportunity to find their specialty in the wider film industry by developing hands-on film production skills, from writing and production design to cinematography and editing, all supported by practicing artists and returning visiting specialists such as Ed.

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BA (Hons) Film Programme Leader Lucy Leake reports back on his visit...

Ed gave us a real insight into the everyday life of an art director and production designer. Having worked on such a wide variety of different kinds of projects, from The Romanoffs (Matthew Weiner) to Marcella (written by Hans Rosenfeldt), he's vastly experienced in facing the challenges of different budgets, locations, and directors' visions, so it was interesting to hear how he manages those challenges.

Students also had an insight into the creative process of Ed's practice, as he shared with them some of the preparation he did for Brexit: The Uncivil War (Channel 4 and HBO, directed by Toby Haynes, starring Benedict Cumberbatch), emphasising the importance of working as a team with the production team, camera department, cinematographers and director in order to make the actual shooting days run as smoothly as possible.

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This was a rich and interesting talk from a very talented designer. We know that filmmaking is an art form that requires collaboration across many disciplines, and this was an inspirational presentation for our film students, especially those that are looking to specialise in production design, with the chance for lots of discussions afterward.

Ed has kindly offered to sponsor a Degree Show award, the Ed Turner Prize for Best Production Design will be awarded to a graduating student from BA (Hons) Film for the first time this year, and will offer the winning student the opportunity to work as a production assistant with Ed on an upcoming project.

Speaking of his visit, he said: "Thanks to Plymouth College of Art for having me. I had such a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I do feel a connection to Plymouth, so visiting the college is always something I look forward to."