Creative Minds and Hands Flock to Movie Art Departments
Art department in movie terms means the section of a production's crew concerned with visual artistry. Working under the supervision of the production designer and/or art director, the art department is responsible for arranging the overall look of the film (i.e. modern/high-tech, rustic, Victorian, etc.) as desired by the film director. Individual positions within in this department include: production designer, production buyer, special effects supervisor, draftsman, art director, assistant art director, set decorator, set dresser, property master, leadman, swing gang, and property assistant.The Art Department in a major feature film can often number hundreds of people. Usually it is considered to include several sub-departments: the art department proper, with its art director, set designers and draughtsmen; set decoration, under the set decorator; props, under the propmaster; construction, headed by the construction coordinator; scenic, headed by the key scenic artist; and special effects or corator; props, under the propmaster; construction, headed by the construction coordinator; scenic, headed by the key scenic artist; and special effects. Production Designer — Also known as the creative director, the production designer is responsible for creating the physical, visual appearance of the film – settings, costumes, character makeup, all taken as a unit. The production designer works closely with the director and the cinematographer to achieve the 'look' of the film. Within the overall Art Department is a sub-department, called the Art Department, which can be confusing. This consists of the people who design the sets and create the graphic art. The art director reports to the production designer, and more directly oversees artists and craftspeople, such as the set designers, graphic artists, and illustrators who give form to the production design as it develops. The art director works closely with the construction coordinator to oversee the aesthetic and textural details of sets as they are realized. The first, second and third assistant art directors carry out the instructions of the art director. Their work often involves measuring locations, creating graphics and paper props, collecting information for the production designer and drawing sets. Sometimes a set designer is also the first assistant art director. In this capacity, they manage the work flow and act as the 'foreman' of the drawing office. The set designer is the draftsman, often an architect, who realizes the structures or interior spaces called for by the production designer. The illustrator illustrates visual representations of the designs to communicate the ideas imagined by the production designer.