Five Questions for Lauren Gould, Master of Production Design for Screen student

Lauren Gould, Master of Production Design for Screen student. Photo by Giulia McGauran.
Lauren Gould, Master of Production Design for Screen student. Photo by Giulia McGauran.

Master of Production Design for Screen student Lauren Gould discusses her career-defining internships in film and television.

Hi Lauren, can you tell us about what you’ve been working on?

I am fortunate to have just completed an internship on an up-and-coming Australian TV production prior to starting the semester. My internship has been one of the best parts of my course so far. I spent four weeks assisting the art department, working with people within the industry and learning many new skills. I got the chance to be on set, do some set dressing, help with graphics and props and try my hand at some buying. I’m really looking forward to taking on another and also start my final major film project.

You previously completed a Bachelor of Arts. How did you end up at the VCA?

I’ve always been interested in working in film and TV but I didn’t know what I wanted to do specifically within the industry. I did an intensive filmmaking course overseas which gave me the chance to learn a bit more about the different production roles. Doing my Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus, I had the option to take breadth subjects and try out different areas of studies that I was interested in. I took on a number of fine arts breadth subjects at the VCA and found one I that really liked which was Design and the Moving Image. It was an intensive subject that introduced me to the world of Production Design. Since then I’ve grown more interested in the film design process which is what led me to apply for the Master’s degree.

Do you have a hero in the field?

There are a few people who I admire for their design work including Deborah Riley, Stuart Craig, Sarah Greenwood, Anna Pinnock and many other brilliant production designers, art directors and set decorators. They are my inspiration and motivation to keep at it and never give up on the dream.

What have you learned about yourself in the course so far?

To be honest I didn’t know what to expect when taking on this course. I had some idea about what others had been through and I knew a bit about some of the content that would be covered, but I didn’t realise until I started how intensive and challenging it would be. I’ve had to learn how to better manage my time, keep on top of my work, think practically and creatively and learn how to relax. I have pushed myself to get through the work and as a result I’ve learnt a lot more about what I’m capable of and what is involved in the production design process.

And, what’s next?

Prior to starting this course, I didn’t know what I wanted to specialise in. My internships on film and TV productions have largely guided my career aspirations. Having the opportunity to see first-hand what people do and how they go about their work has been invaluable for determining what I what to be doing the future.

Soon I hope to be working as a freelance set dresser or buyer on Australian film and TV productions. Eventually I’d like to take on a set decorator role and maybe even production design a TV show or film. I hope my career takes me overseas at some point so I can experience working on different content in other countries.