479 NEWS

Overview to Construction Classes

This is an overview of the classes that Local 479 currently offers for a concentration in the Construction Department. Please note that new classes may be added to this list at any time and class descriptions, curricula, and objectives are subject to change. Additional “one off” classes, seminars, and workshops may not be listed here, so members are advised to monitor emails from the Local’s Department of Education.


Construction 101 – Introduction to the Construction Department

This day-long class provides an overview of the role of the construction department in film and television production and is open to members of all ranges of experience. Instructors will review the hierarchical organization of the department, with a brief discussion of the role of each position, including: Coordinator, Buyer, Foreman, Gang Boss, Labor Foreman, Model-Maker, Prop Maker, Tool Man, Utility, and Welder.

Attendees will be led through a discussion of the use and capabilities of shop equipment and instructors will outline the responsibilities for members entering the craft as Prop Makers, including the standard set of personal tools and equipment that a Prop Maker will be expected to bring to the job.

The craft of Construction exposes members to potential hazards, as the work involves the use of sharp, high-speed power equipment. Instructors will stress the importance of vigilance when working in the environment of the shop and on location, and will review a list of recommended personal protective equipment, including: eye protection, face protection, hearing protection, head protection, breathing protection, hand protection, and foot protection.

Attendees will receive a book of safety information, a recommended tool list, a list of best practices for safety, a guide to lumber sizes, and a guide to the Pythagorean theorem.


Construction 102 – Flat Building Basics

This day-long class employs the concepts explored in Construction 101, moving students into hands-on assembly of wooden flats, the fundamental element of set walls used in film and television productions around the world.

Students will learn the various types of materials used in flat construction as well as the various components of a flat, including: studs, toggles, whalers, and jacks. They will also learn about wild walls and how to dock sets.

This class provides hands-on experience with precision measuring, safe and accurate cutting of materials, and proper assembly. Students will build flats using standard stock, then skin each flat using luan. In the process, students will use chop saws and pneumatic nail guns, while instructors will review the potential hazards of working in this environment throughout the day’s activities.


Construction 103 – Installation of Sets and Detail Work

This class expands on the basic set construction skills learned in Construction 102 and goes to the next level with a full installation of a set, from decking to finish work, including the construction of a raised stage platform.

Students will:

  • create mitered lips around the edge of the base deck, both for crew safety and for easy access of rolling equipment.
  • cut windows into flats and add trim
  • build architectural interior details like piers and columns
  • build stairs and safety railing
  • install crown moulding and cornices
  • build a reinforced raised stage platform