I recently discovered a new program called Hot Set, in which two production designers are put in direct competition to produce a set in a very limited timeframe. The programme is from the makers of Face Off, a similar show about special effects make up which I was already familiar with. This series premiered last September in America; therefore I am unfortunately unable to watch the series. Anyone in America can watch the series here; http://www.syfy.com/hotset
I have been looking at the production photos, reviews and previews to get more information about the show. One of the biggest differences of this program is that there are new competitors introduced for each episode. Having more then two full-size sets built side-by-side in competition would be difficult to maintain; therefore only two production designers and their teams go head-to-head in each episode. The timeframe for the set is only three days; therefore the whole production is very rushed and decisions need to be made quickly with little time for research. Because of this, the designers’ skills may not be displayed in the best light. Also the sets are displayed without the direction and lighting of a cinematographer so they may not be shown as an accurate representation of how they would be used in a film.
The winning set, however, is used for a short scene, providing a clearer idea of the final product.
The programme still looks like a really good new source of information for anyone interested in the processes of production design.
Each episode follows the step-by-step process from design to build which makes the program very relevant to my research. I hope to find a way of watching full episodes in the future.
Below is a link to an interesting critical review of the new programme.