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Art Director

'An art director reports to the production designer. They design sets, oversee artists and construction workers, and help determine the overall look of a film production. During pre-production, the art director acts as a liaison between the production designer and the construction crew. When principal photography begins, they report to set and keep the production designer informed of how the look is coming to life. 

The art director’s job begins during preproduction. The director will have concepts about the overall design of a movie or TV show, and it is the art director’s job to implement that creative vision.

It falls to the production designer and art director to come up with a specific visual style for a production, working with concept artists to come up with design elements that can be translated into sets, props, and other visual aspects of a film set.

Some of the details of an art director’s job during pre-production:

  • Supervise the creation of concept art. These are illustrations meant to visualize ideas for characters, sets, costumes and other elements of a film.

  • Oversee pre-visualizations. These are illustrations or animations of scenes from the film that are meant to demonstrate design concepts and visuals.

  • Supervise the creation of maquettes and models. These are three-dimensional sculptures used to illustrate visual designs for characters, creatures, or sets.

The art director’s job shifts when a film or TV show goes into production:

  • Manage a detailed budget for materials and labor to create sets and other art elements.

  • Oversee the administrative operations of the art department, including scheduling, budgets, and personnel assignments.

  • Act as the coordinator between the art department and other departments, such as visual effects, costumes, property, transportation, and locations.

  • Manage or work closely with the teams who design and build all sets, props, graphics, and other visual elements.

  • Oversee construction and dressing of sets'

(MasterClass, 2021)

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