Critical Approaches to TV and Film Set Design  book cover
1st Edition

Critical Approaches to TV and Film Set Design

ISBN 9781138636507
Published October 1, 2018 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

The analysis of scenic design in film and television is often neglected, with visual design elements relegated to part of the mise-en-scène in cinema or simply as "wallpaper" in television. Critical Approaches to TV and Film Set Design positions itself from the audience perspective to explore how we watch TV and film, and how set design enhances and influences the viewing experience.

By using semiotics, history and narratology and adding concepts drawn from art, architecture and theatre, Geraint D’Arcy reworks the key concepts of set design. Looking at the impact of production design on how the viewer reads film and television, these updated theories can be applied more flexibly and extensively in academic criticism. D’Arcy creates a new theoretical approach, representing a significant expansion of the field and filling the remaining gaps.

This book is ideal for anyone interested in understanding how we can read and interpret design in film and television, and should be the primary point of reference for those studying TV and film set design.

Table of Contents


00_Introduction: Histories and Contexts

01_ Critical Underpinnings

02_Film, Realism and the Nineteenth-Century Crisis in Representation.

03_Television, History, Realism.

04_Architecture and Film.

05_Narrative and Film Design.

06_Reading Television Design Through Genre and Narrative.

07_Dramatic Function in Spatial Design.



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Geraint D'Arcy is a lecturer in Theatre and Drama at the University of South Wales where he also teaches the theory for TV and Film Set Design BA. He researches theories of design, technology and scenography in film, television and theatre and is published in several areas relating to these fields.

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Author - Geraint  D'Arcy

Geraint D'Arcy

Lecturer in Media Practice, University of East Anglia

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‘A comprehensive and enlightening work that brings the importance of studying set design to the fore of film, television and media studies scholarship once and for all.’ – Ben Lamb, Senior Lecturer in Media, Teesside University

‘A thorough and interesting book spanning hundreds of years of screen content, its set design, and its development and criticism. This is a valuable resource for students, theorists and academics alike.’ – Kerry Bradley, Course Leader, BA Production Arts for Screen, Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts, London

‘This is an excellent text for anyone studying production design and also for those studying film in general. D’Arcy clearly maps out the theoretical terrain and key discussions within it, calling for a deeper understanding of production design and the ways in which it contributes to the film text.’ – Jane Barnwell, Senior Lecturer in Moving Image, University of Westminster