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Set Design Books

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by drawstuf99, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    So as Thanksgiving passes by and the holidays come, I've been having to think of what I can ask for presents from various family members. Books are always a good thing.

    Anybody have any ideas as to good set/lighting design books out there that are useful? If so, please help me out.

    Thanks folks!
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    "Scene Design and Stage Lighting" by Parker and Smith. The Basic Biblie of most stage craft classes.
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Anything by Gillette, Shelley, or John Hunnington.
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    If you have the budget in a gift, you can't go wrong with "Scenery for the Theater." It's not as much a design book as a how to book but very useful beyond "Backstage Handbook."

    My current favorite design book is "Scenographic Imagination", add Payne to the list of good authors. It's a bit of a different different of a design book. Less about the dividing the spaces and picking the period, more about the steps in design and phases of design we go thru as designers. Kind of lets you know where you are or what stage you are in for design, than what concepts to study into for getting into the next stage of the design process. Kind of hones what you know in making for better designs.

    Jones' "The Dramatic Imagination" is also a classic.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    \

    How did I forget about Robbie, That is a must read for anyone who considers themselves a theatre person of any kind.
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    You know it's outside the "scene design" genre it's more a stagecraft book, but "the Backstage Handbook" is a fantastic resource and an incredible gift for people in the Biz.
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I consider the Backstage Handbook as more a dictionary and Scenery for the Theater more the encyclopedia of stage craft. Neither are for design persay but one heck of a help in defining what you want.

    Personally, I didn't get much out of Jones, found it boring and dry. Not inspriring like Craig or Neiher.

    Have them do a used books search and find stuff by the latter two designers if you want real inspiration. Ok, perhaps Appia but most of his stuff is in a foreign language plus lighting centric which does relate but not so much.

    Indigo Jones as a furniture designer and architect was also a really cool designer, this much less most architects of the renassuance and single point perspective such as pernisi (sp) also did set design. Books on architecture such as the seven lamps of architecture, perhaps books on interior design or even painting, or just plain art history books such as a book of all the paintings at the MET, or perhaps centered around some style of painting or history books with photos from your local history historical book with photos to something like a book about the grid layout of Washington. It all teaches and inspires beyond either the you do this and this and you get it, or you are doing this and this thus you are here in design type design books so far.

    One if nothing else can never have enough interior design, art, furniture, architecture, old catalogs, scenery construction and etc and etc books to look at and gain ideas from. Mostly just picture books.

    If someone in your family is broke, have them collect up for you a bunch of photos and or pictures from magizines and newspapers. Such a scrap book where the image presented might give you an idea will later become invaluable. This as opposed to some perhaps 1932 classic book on the subject of the day which will still have valid ideas in some ways, and beyond this fascinate you in how it was done back than. Love old books also in addition to just about any Dover book or book on the subject.

    Just print on Santa's list, "Dover Book" and you are about all set also. Ever so useful such books to the designer.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I would say for beginners start with the "backstage handbook" and the "stock scenery construction hand book". Then move on to the more theoritical books like "Scenery for Theater" and "Scene Design and Stage Lighting".

    The "Backstage Handbook" really is sort of a dictionary. When you get it you flip through it and probably say "that's all it is?". But I promise you,you will go back to it over and over again for MANY MANY years. I got my copy in College and 15 years later I still never walk in a theater without it. I last used it about a month ago, to check some electrical stuff. It's a reference book you will use over and over.

    "Stock Scenery Construction Handbook" is a great book for teaching you how to design and build all the basic scenery pieces the right way. Very little theory here, this is how to build a stairways, platforms, and flats like a pro.

    Two good websites for tech books... not a lot of design books but lots of other good ones:

    http://www.plsnbookshelf.com/

    For Audio/lighting books check out
    www.musicbooksplus.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006

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