Posts Tagged With: art director

The Production Designer and The Art Department

A breakdown of the modern art department courtesy of Alex McDowell. This image is from The Art Direction Handbook for Film (RIZZO, M., 2005) and shows how the design departments are organised in relation to everyone else.

the art dept

The Production Designer is the head of the art department, so this is a breakdown of a simple art department structure in regards to the roles and relationships.

Production Designer as head

The core Team:-

The Art Director:- Organises everything on behalf of the Production Designer from coordinating the designers to the logistics of set/property production on a day-to-day basis. The AD reports directly to the Production designer.

Set Designer:- Designs and supervises the set build. Depending on the size of production can design one or more sets and  also produces drawings/concepts/blue prints. They too collaborate with the Director and Director of Photography.

Set Decorator:- Responsible for the décor of the set or location from soft furnishings through to lighting fixtures.

Property Master:- Responsible for all objects and props that are used by the actors. Works with the Set Decorator and Production Designer and is responsible for obtaining the props.

Support Staff:-

Buyer:- The person who purchases all decorative items such as furniture, clothes, props etc. They need to be good negotiators and to have a good knowledge of sources and suppliers.

Construction Coordinator:- Responsible for the building of sets from the technical drawings. Supervises the construction crew.

Construction Crew:- Made up of the carpenters and painters.

Production Illustrator:- Artists that paint or draw the concepts of the Production Designer’s ideas. Generally, they are only used on larger productions and are particularly useful in Science Fiction and Fantasy when trying to raise more funds for the production.

Scenic Artist:- Responsible for painting backdrops, signage, illustrative materials, murals, props etc. They can paint out hot spots, shadows or anything that interferes with the filming.

Set Dresser:- Works under the Set Decorator and applies the décor to the set. They often have a background in furnishing and decorating.

Greensman:- Responsible for the care and maintenance of the grass, shrubbery, trees and plants on location. They also can be involved in any landscaping needed for the shoot.

Draftsman:- Makes technical drawings of all the sets to scale ready for construction.

Location Manager:- Responsible for the location during pre-production and during filming. They are also responsible for the security of the location.

Location Scout:- Collaborates with the Director and Production Designer in finding suitable locations from the script.

Costume designers, Make-up and hair are all separate departments but are still under the supervision of the Production Designer. The production designer needs to have a good understanding of these crafts and of how they fit in to the overall look of the film.

Notes taken from The Filmmaker’s Guide To Production Design. Vincent Lo Brutto 2002

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Categories: General research, The production designer and art department | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Final stages of Carcass: Storyboards

We were asked to produce  a notated storyboard of 12 frames depicting a scene from the script Carcass to get a feel for what is needed in a professional art department.

This is my first attempt:-

storyboard 1a

storyboard 2a

storyboard 3a

storyboard 4a

A few things that I have learnt from Carcass and the storyboarding workshop:-

Pictures are not enough. There’s a vast amount of coding, notes and information that needs to be added  to help the filmmakers do their job. The images need to convey information to the camera people, art director, props, lighting as well as director etc. So each department needs a certain kind of visual. This information needs to be placed at the side of the numbered image/frame so that everyone knows in what order each frame is to be filmed and exactly how it will look to the audience.

One of the good things about storyboarding for me is they are usually hand-drawn which uses my current skills. My usual  style has to now be adapted to a more sketchy approach which is much quicker and allows for whole scenes to be drawn out in an hour or two rather than a day. This is something that I need to practice once I have a firm idea of what is required notation wise.

Categories: projects, sketchbook and visual diary | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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