Discover your career path

Set Decoration Buyer

Find and purchase the props needed on a film or TV set.

What does a Set Decoration Buyer do?

A movie about Surfers wouldn’t make sense if it was set at a circus, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn’t work as well if Buffy never entered a cemetery. The point is, set design matters, and Set Decoration Buyers play an integral part in creating the look and feel of a movie or television show.

The design of a set is started as soon as the Director gets the movie script in their hands. They meet with the film’s Artistic Director to come up with ideas for how each scene should look, and to plot out how the sets will create the overall look of the movie. As a Set Decoration Buyer, you work under the direction of the Set Decorator. Once they have an idea of what each set should look like, you get to work making it happen.

In some ways, the job of a Set Decoration Buyer is a little bit like being a treasure hunter. You find the necessary props for each individual scene by looking through stores, working with prop houses, and contacting rental agencies. If you can’t find something you need, you might commission someone to make it, or refinish or reupholster a piece that’s close but just not right.

While you work, it’s important to keep budget and timing in mind. Though it would be nice to buy every piece necessary, you’d quickly run out of money if you did. Since you can’t own it all, you need to coordinate things like rental trucks and timing of deliveries, making sure the necessary prop shows up on set when it’s needed.