Design Portfolio

bobgaggle

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Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
I just got accepted to Point Park University in Pittsburg. Its a theatre conservatory and I have to go for an interview later this Feb. One of the requirements is to bring a portfolio of my past work (I'm going for a Technical Design/Direction concentration). I have designed a lot of stuff for my high school shows, but I'm unsure of how to compile my portfolio.

I have all my hand drawn plans (most of which I've re-drawn in Sketchup), cut lists, before-during-after pics, final production pics.

I just don't know how to compile it all together. Any help will be appriciated.
 
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derekleffew

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Aug 21, 2007
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Las Vegas, NV, USA
See this post. And this thread. Organize chronologically, by project. Adjudicators like to see the progression from concept sketch to working drawings to construction photos to completed product on stage in performance. Neatness and presentation count almost as much as the skills/talents represented. But if you've already been accepted, why a portfolio review?
 

bobgaggle

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Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Mea Culpa, The portfolio review is for SUNY at Purchase. But I do have a interview at Point Park as well. I'm accepted on an academic basis, but the interview is for placement in the concentration.
 

TechiGoz

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Dec 6, 2006
Location
Adelaide, Australia & Singapore
Derek is right on the dot with that one.

During an interview I always like to have my most recent show first, with the initial conceptual ideas, followed by sketches, changes, pre show, post show and final production pictures at the end. I usually write a nice little conclusion at the end aswell, just to tidy it all up at the end.

I suggest a nice binding, with chronological ordered shows and past events.

All the best for your interview and future studies! :D
 

punktech

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Nov 12, 2006
Location
Near NYC
i also have to compile a portfolio, and i don't really have that many photos of stuff that i've done, but i have DVDs, should i use those, or just take stills from them (or perhaps take stills and put the DVDs in too. i don't have much in the way of conceptual sketches, as i have a tendancy to lose those as soon as i have the design in WYSWYG, how do i handle that? i also have a cue description sheet for one of the concerts i've done, should i include that in that portion of my portfolio.

also does anyone have any good templates for a resume?
 

bobgaggle

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Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
also does anyone have any good templates for a resume?
Good luck finding one online, I've been searching for days. All they have are people's online resumes and portfolios, not much help.

As for concept sketches, its a good thing they're sketches. I have all my designs in SketchUp, but I have gone back and done some quick pencil drawings that were my "original ideas". I just redid the rough drawings to show the progression.

I'm still not sure of the format, I have a landscape 11x17 portfolio, but don't know how to format the images, summaries etc...
 

superdoo

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Jan 23, 2008
Location
Bismarck, ND
I have a related question...

My position with SHST doesn't really have a clasification. My responsibilities include and are not limited to: Designing set, sound, and lights. Ordering and buying all building materials and all other supplies. Budgeting. Construction of set, sound, and lights. Scheduling construction times and coordinating volunteers. I paint the set/stage. Build props, stage manage, program the light board and run the sound board for the shows.

There are other things as well, but I gave myself the title of Production Designer. Does anyone know of a better title?
 

superdoo

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Jan 23, 2008
Location
Bismarck, ND
Yeah I've been trying the producers to list me under every position that in a "normal" theatre would be another person!

They said they didn't have enough money for that many pages!
 

Schniapereli

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Nov 19, 2006
Location
Provo, Utah, United States
I just attended a Theatre Association conference and took a workshop on design portfolios. The teacher was the host for the event at the university, has done his own designs and presentations, and he is one of the people who interviews students who want to go to that college.
I don't know how this applies to other places, but he sounded to me like he had done a bit of traveling with his work.

He said to do your best work first, and second best last. (chronology was not stressed) Some people will only look at that first piece. You want your second best work at the end. Use a total of only 5-6 pieces. Leave some stuff in there you don't even mention.(Just to leave them a little curious) Powerpoint is good (you can show your Sketchup work, and lighting photos) but it is less personal. He said, if possible, don't turn the lights all the way off during the powerpoint.

We were also advised to keep some extra stuff handy. Leave time at the end of the presentation to take questions, and mention that you have some extra samples of some other work if they are interested.
If you want to take your hand-drawn stuff, put the extra stuff in a back pocket of your portfolio book.
 

derekleffew

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Las Vegas, NV, USA
...There are other things as well, but I gave myself the title of Production Designer. Does anyone know of a better title?
Production Designer/Technical Director. A PM or TD typically does not design. I agree with your producers to an extent. I think it silly/unprofessional when I see in a program the same person credited as Lighting Designer, Scenic Designer, Technical Director, Production Manager, Electrician, carpenter, Stitcher, draper, Props, painter, light board operator, etc. Even if one person did DO all those things for a production!
 

cvanp

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
I had planned to design my portfolio, page-by-page, over this weekend in Adobe Photoshop. I was going to include my web, video, and print design work alongside my theatre work, with some captions for all my images. Then I had planned to get the whole thing professionally printed in nicely bound books on Lulu.com.

Would this be the wrong approach to the portfolio? Is it expected to be a binder of stuff or a folder or something? I want everything to look as professional as possible, but from what I'm gathering here, an actually book form is not what is anticipated.
 

cvanp

Active Member
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Oct 19, 2007
Ok, I think I'll use a nice binder and then layout my pages in there.

Thanks for your help... sorry for hijacking the thread!
 

CynicWhisper

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
I already did my interviews (even one at SUNY Purchase, very nice). One thing they told me was to be very clear with the title of my job for each show. At my school, SM is essentially TD, so that confused them. But also, just be sure when you're interviewing to use the portfolio as a base for your conversation, but expand beyond it. Show how you think, how you collaborate. They really liked that I gave examples of what was most difficult for me during the show and how I solved the problem. Just illustrate to them that you had a hand in making the show happen, not that you just have pretty pictures of it.

I definitely agree with showing your work in chronological order, it helps when you're a little frazzled and you need a logical path of thinking in the interview.

What I used was just get a simple black plastic portfolio from an art store. They're cheap, they look neat and are very easy to change as you do more. My only tip is, don't put your papers in if they aren't fully dry with rubber cement. I finished my portfolio one night, got on the plane the next day and when I opened up my portfolio, all the plastic sheets were ruined.

But what helped me most is to remember that tech people are pretty easy-going people and relax. It'll be fun. Good luck!
 

cvanp

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
FWIW I just had my interview this morning at SUNY Fredonia, and I was accepted. I only had sheets in those plastic cover things (you know the ones, the loose-leaf sheet holders) stuck in a binder. It seemed to work out well enough. I need to add more in there (I forgot to include my sketches, partly because my sketchbook went missing a week or so ago!) but I think the portfolio was ok. I think content is more important than presentation.