What Is A Greensmen?

What Is A Greensmen?


  • Ordering, placing, and maintaining any vegetation on film sets
  • Building landscapes in a studio
  • Dressing landscapes or greening interiors in different styles and periods

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • Have an in-depth knowledge of plants
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Have an eye for recreating realistic natural environments
  • Have good creative problem solving skills
  • Be able to work to quickly and under pressure
  • Be physically fit
  • Have some specialist skills such as masonry, woodwork, or making artificial foliage
  • Understand the film-making process
  • Have good spatial awareness and a sense of design
  • Have a full EU driving licence
  • Understand the relevant health and safety laws and procedures
  • Have passion for film
  • Have a positive attitude and cheerful disposition

What does a Greensman do?

Greensmen are specialist advisors who are hired depending on the production budget and script requirements. They liaise with Production Designers, and use foliage and greenery to transform a location to fit script requirements, or to build a landscape in a studio. Projects vary enormously depending on individual production requirements. Greensmen may have to outfit a conservatory, landscape the lawns of a period mansion, or create alien swamps.

During pre-production Greensmen are briefed by the Production Designer. They plan how best to execute the designs, and what materials are needed. Greensmen may need to carry out research into the appropriate habitats, plants and foliage for the production. They source and select the plants and materials. They transport them to the location or studio, and build the designs.

Greensmen may have to conceal unwanted location features, known as ‘greening out’. Or they may landscape the area. Greensmen may recreate natural environments in studios, or work with the Art Department to create sets where some of the landscape is artificial. This might involve mechanised trees, artificial rocks, rubber plants, silk trees and flowers etc.

As well as being responsible for all foliage and greenery on set, Greensmen also deal with any organic surface treatments, such as sand or forest litters. They may also work with other materials within the landscape (stone walls, wooden fences, etc). Greensmen must be present during the shoot  to ensure the continuity and to care for any plants that need regular watering or feeding. After the shoot, Greensmen dismantle the environment, and return the plants and materials to their sources.

Greensmen work long and irregular hours, in all kinds of weather and terrain. On large-scale productions, Greensmen may oversee a team which includes Greens Foremen*, Standby Greensmen*, and Nurserymen*.

Will I need a qualification?

 You don’t need a specific qualification or training.

What’s the best route in?

You will not find a set route for promotion within the Art Department. But you will benefit from getting experience in a related horticultural area such as landscape architecture, tree surgery, forestry or gardening.

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