Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Art Direction Tips

After directing my last film, I realized how important it is to focus on the art direction of a production. I never realized how important the art department is until I watched my film and realized my location lacked character presence. It is important to use art direction to increase the emotional level of your film and to emphasize the emotions, relationships, and actions of a film. The art department is responsible for visiting the location, learning to be creative with budgeting, and props. This week I decided to research some information about what art direction is exactly and I am going to share what I found with you guys. I found this really cool article, written by Shane Burley, on the website The article provides beginners tips on how to improve your art direction skills. 

1. Why you need an art director:  It is a very standard position and is found on most film sets, big or small.  It is not always necessary to hire a specific crew member for art direction, it should be observed and maintained by all crew members.

2. What art directors do?: The art direction works under the production designer. The art director is responsible for designing and altering sets that meet the directors vision. They are required to attend production meetings in order to better understand what the director wants to portray in the piece.  Everything that is placed in a set is under  the supervision of the art director.

3. Visit Location: The first step to art direction is looking at the location and determining how the space can be altered to maintain the director's vision.  They also look at the available electricity in the space and the objects that are present and can not be moved.

4. Creative Money Management: Being creative will allow you to design sets without requiring lots of money and it is important to pay close attention to the location of items in a set because a little altering can completely change the look of the space. It is also important to know what objects are specifically needed to portray the director's image. 

5. Get dressings to locations: You are responsible for making sure that all props and set dressings get to the location on time. It is preferred that items arrive prefer production day to make appropriate alterations to the items. 

6. Production Stills: The art director should take still photographs throughout the production for company books and formal documents. These pictures can be used for internet marketing and future product fundings.  The photos can also be used to maintain continuity and promotions.

7. Don't Over Burden:  You must assign someone who is very creative and has a strong concept of the directorial image. Don't rely on the director for the art direction, it creates too much stress.

Well guys,  I hope you learned some stuff and this article provided a great deal of beneficial information. Check it out at 


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