Production Technology BTEC

Subject Intro

We love all of the magic that makes theatre, film and media possible. Sets, props, stage and lights. This course will provide students with a sound entry level knowledge in the backstage arts. Students develop evidence for a number of units which can be used as portfolio content. They work in a collaborative and productive environment which prepares them to work as part of a crew in addition to building confidence in technical skills. These skills range from Lighting, rigging and operating light desks to managing a small production.  

Work on this course often leads to students taking the course at a higher level, working with professionals and developing career options. As a performer or budding director you may be interested to have a sound understanding of the possibilities that technical production can offer an artist. 

'There is nothing better then knowing  that you made some magic possible due to team work, focus, knowledge and skill.' -- Course Tutor

Subject Breakdown

Production arts practitioners have the imagination and creativity to transport an audience into another world. It’s important to understand how they do this successfully as it allows you to develop your own professional practice and understanding of features such as response to a script, venue, genre and purpose. In this course, you will investigate the work of influential production art practitioners. You will identify the factors that make them successful, as well as how the wider production team and other factors may influence their work. You will critically analyse key information such as methods of communicating creative intentions, technical aspects and processes used, production values and repertoire in order to develop and communicate independent judgements. This course will support your progression to higher education by developing your research, critical analysis and extended-writing skills. As a production arts practitioner you will need a good understanding of the work of influential practitioners to inform your own work and professional practice.

Technician ‘backstage’ professionals in the theatre are dedicated to ensuring that all the elements that go into making a performance happen are put in place in a timely, safe and efficient manner. Training is essential for mastering the different disciplines in backstage operations. There are various branches of backstage operations, for example stage management, technical, construction, design and effects. Each one of them requires different training and should be studied and practised before being performed in a live environment. Employment opportunities in production arts often require the technician to demonstrate skills in more than one area, for example the ability to manage costume as well as being the stage manager, or being the scenic constructor as well as lighting technician. It is essential that those working in backstage areas have at least an understanding of other disciplines. In this course, you will develop the appropriate understanding, skills and techniques of a range of backstage roles. You will participate in regular workshops, classes and exercises, where you will acquire, practise and develop the necessary technical, practical and creative skills to help you succeed when supporting a performance in front of a live audience. You will consider the nature of the skills that you learn and their interdependence on one another. You will experience backstage roles where you can develop and apply the relevant skills and techniques to support a performance. In practical classes you will demonstrate the discipline, focus, time management and commitment the role requires. You develop reflective skills to evaluate your work and skills to identify weaknesses and will offer suggestions for how to improve. 

Understanding the importance of delivering to a design brief when carrying out a production role is essential for anyone who wants to work in a production team. In this course, you will design and realise a production element in response to an externally-set design brief, reflecting some of the conditions, demands and time constraints of a professional environment. You will undertake a specific production role and respond imaginatively to the given brief. You can choose to work in one of the following technical areas: props, set, lighting or sound. You will need to research and plan in response to the brief and your chosen technical area, designing a production element and realising this in the given performance context. The impact of budget, time and available skills will be considered, and compromises negotiated. In this unit you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete assessment tasks.

Operating lighting for an event or performance is an exciting experience. The programmer is an integral part of the technical team and will often operate the lighting controller for technical and dress rehearsals, as well as the actual performance. In this course, you will develop the skills needed to plot, program and operate a range of stage lighting equipment in venues, ranging from small acoustic music events to fashion shows and full size productions. You will research different lighting instruments and through analysis, explain their purpose and evaluate their effectiveness. The equipment will typically consist of equipment including Fresnels, Profiles and PARs. This course will give you experience in using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and moving head lighting which are commonly used and can be found in large-scale venues, colleges and school halls. You will gain knowledge of these new technologies as well as being introduced to the lighting controller and the different functions available. 

Course Images