Emily Fain graduated from BA (Hons) TV and Film Set Design in 2015 and now works as an Assistant Art Director alongside Peter Bingemann, one of the UK’s most renowned set designers for light entertainment and live events.
“So far, I have worked on shows such as: BAFTA Celebrates Downton Abbey, BAFTA Film Awards, The Royal Variety Performance, and The Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.
My role consists of assisting Peter throughout the design process - this includes research, visuals, model making, technical drawing, meetings with clients, and overseeing the loading of a finished design into the venue. One of the exciting things about the job is that I get to work in some of the most amazing theatres and concert venues in Central London; most recently at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, where the BAFTA Film Awards took place.
I am passionate about set design; it is a very creative, expressive art form, and has the ability to communicate a meaning to an audience, whether it is television, film or theatre. Working in light entertainment allows you to start with virtually a blank page, meaning you’re constantly taking inspiration from everything around you. I follow design and architecture blogs, fashion shows, attend art galleries; you can literally use anything as inspiration. I enjoy every day as it comes, and feel so privileged to be doing something I love as a job.
The TV and Film Set Design course at USW is fantastic, course tutors Anna and Jo constantly went above and beyond to help every student. They did all they could to help organise work experience and arrange special lectures from industry professionals. Even the advertisement for my current position came through an email that was forwarded by Anna, so I’m where I am because of them!
Skills I learned such as technical drawing and model making are vital in my role as Assistant Art Director, so the course really helped to prepare me for the real world. During my time at USW, collaborative projects with other courses gave me an understanding of how I now work with clients.
Cardiff is naturally favourable for design students; it’s well connected with close links to BBC Wales and the new Pinewood Studios, and also a lovely place to wonder around. There is a friendly feel to the city and it’s the perfect size, making it a great location for any student, design or otherwise.
Whilst I still have a way to go, I am hoping that one day I’ll become a fully-fledged set designer, and I have USW to thank for getting me here in the first place."