Life as an Entertainment Designer an Interview with Sasha Bailyn of


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PortPrep interviews Sasha Bailyn, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, as she talks about life as an entertainment designer.

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Life as an Entertainment Designer an Interview with Sasha Bailyn of

  1. 1. po rt pre m http://po m/wp/2013/12/entertainment-designer-interview-sasha-bailyn/ Life as an Entertainment Designer: An Interview with Sasha Bailyn of Karen Kestelo o t December 17, 2013 Entertainment Design is a specif ic study that deals with the creation of compelling visual experience through public spaces and the entertainment industry. Example of these are theme parks, f ilm, television f irms, commercials, and video games. In this post, we will talk to one of the people involved in the entertainment design industry. Sasha Bailyn, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, has granted PortPrep this exclusive interview about entertainment design as a branch of study in design and as an industry where designers can earn f or a living. What is entertainment design to you in a nutshell? Entertainment design is the collaborative art of creating experiences that excite the mind: theme parks and rides, live shows, exhibits, and themed venues are just a f ew examples. What we call “entertainment” is orchestrated by a talented group of people known as entertainment designers (or sometimes “experience designers”), and represents a combination of artistry, imagination and technical know-how. How did you come across the Entertainment Design f ield? What inspired you to become one? Sas ha Bailyn (c lic k he re to vie w whe re imag e was take n) I have wanted to be an entertainment designer since I was 6, af ter my f irst trip to Disneyland. I was creating worlds and imaginative experiences at an early age, so it seemed natural that I could grow up and create experiences f or other people to enjoy. It wasn’t until college, though, that I realized there was an entire industry f or entertainment design. Once I realized that my dream job actually existed, I came up with a 4-year plan to amass the right skills to be part of the industry. What course/s did you study bef ore going into Entertainment Design? Were they pivotal in getting you a job?
  2. 2. I studied f ilmmaking in college, majoring in communications. Both disciplines gave me good insight and skills f or entertainment design. Later, I went into architecture to get more of a spatial background. I wouldn’t say that these programs or disciplines were pivotal in getting me into entertainment design, but it is extremely helpf ul to be able to think like a f ilmmaker, brand developer and an architect. What should students consider bef ore studying ED? Ré alis atio n d ’un film (Pho to c re d it: Wikip e d ia) Students should f irst consider what kind of career and lif estyle they hope to have. Entertainment design demands a f lexible lif estyle: you may not have much control over where you need to live/travel, how many hours you work and how much money you make. If stability and reliability are important, entertainment design may not be the right f ield. It’s an industry of boom and bust – when there is a lot of work, the hours can be demanding and there may be constant travel. T here will also be lag times when things are slow (such as during a recession) – this is when entertainment designers need to be clever about applying their skills to other industries or dif f erent kinds of projects. What would you suggest to high school students looking into this career to do to prepare f or university? What’s the most ef f icient and f astest way to become an Entertainment Designer? Students should try as much as possible to identif y what aspect of entertainment design they truly enjoy and have an af f inity f or – whether it’s engineering, interior design, theater, art, programming, etc. T his industry is all about being able to bring skills and expertise to the table to achieve incredible, “never-been-done-bef ore” things. A student’s best ticket into the industry is a strong portf olio and a clear sense of how they can contribute to the process. My advice is to pick a discipline to study in college, build a great portf olio and then network like crazy. What do ED companies normally look f or in their applicants? Portf olio and experience, f irst and f oremost. T hey want to know what applicants can do to contribute to the process. Companies also look f or passion and drive.
  3. 3. What is Entertainment Design like as an industry? Is it currently a competitive market with lots of demand or is it still a relatively small industry with select companies and people to choose f rom? T he industry is very small and tight-knit, but the opportunities are global and vary dramatically in terms of project types. It’s def initely competitive between companies because there are only so many theme parks being built, and there is a also a sense of competition amongst individuals vying f or similar jobs, but despite this there is a great sense of community. Entertainment design is extremely collaborative, so everyone has worked with everyone, and there is a preserved sense of camaraderie despite the competition. Could you give us an idea on how ED teams deal with their clients? Navy Pie r The me Park (Pho to c re d it: And o s _p ic s ) It really depends on the team and the client. Every relationship and project is dif f erent, and each company has their own style. Have you encountered clients who hired you to design non-public spaces such as of f ices? What are your experiences regarding this one? I have not personally experienced this, but entertainment design companies do work with institutions such as schools, hospitals, etc. It takes a visionary client to hire an entertainment designer f or a private institution. What are some of the obstacles that an Entertainment Designer has to overcome? Instability (in terms of job security, pay, hours, travel requirements) Work-lif e balance / pace of work Depending on personality, learning to work well with a team and receive constructive criticism How is the career growth in ED? It’s all about who you know, where you f it in and how good you are at what you do. T he growth can be great at some companies, and in other cases, owning your own company or being a f reelancer is the best way to get ahead. What are the keys to success in becoming a great EDer? Expertise, good teamwork and listening skills, passion, ambition, stamina For more about Sasha and her services as an Entertainment Designer, visit her site by clicking here.