Through the Grants program, the Academy seeks to: Promote diversity Bridge the opportunity divide Attract and engage broad new audiences for theatrical motion pictures Provide a platform for underrepresented artists, the full range of film genres, and a variety of viewpoints and approaches Encourage filmmaking as a vocation Illuminate less visible aspects of filmmaking and the film industry through scholarly research, presentations and discussions Please keep these principles in mind as you proceed through the application process, as we direct our support toward organizations and programs that are aligned with these principles. Programs we consider include, but are not limited to: Craft workshops, in which participants are trained in practical areas of filmmaking. Particular emphasis is placed on animation, casting, cinematography, costume design, editing, hairstyling, makeup, music, production design, set decoration, sound, visual effects, marketing and distribution. Training and bridge programs, in which participants are trained for and then placed in film industry jobs. Mentoring programs are eligible. Professional development programs that serve underrepresented populations will be considered.
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Supervising art director During pre-production supervising art directors work with the production manager to estimate the costs of set construction, set decoration and art department labour. They oversee the entire art department during shooting to ensure the production stays on schedule and on budget. Set decorator The set decorator is responsible for the decoration of a set, including furnishings and all objects that are on view.
See separate profile: set decorator Production buyer Before the start of shooting, production buyers prepare orders for props. They are sometimes assisted by a petty cash buyer. See separate profile: production buyer Art director On big productions, art directors may start work four or five months before shooting starts.
They analyse a script to identify all the props or special items that will be needed and find cost-effective creative solutions to construction and decorating problems. Art directors are usually freelancers, work long hours, and may spend long periods travelling with productions away from home. They break down the script, list all props required, including graphics, animals, vehicles, food and drink, and give this checklist to the props master.
Standby art directors may fulfil multiple roles on set, working as draughtspersons or assistant art directors, or even stepping in to make a prop last minute. They may help the art director with research, surveying locations, model making or producing sets.
On large productions with multiple sets, an assistant art director will take responsibility for some of the smaller sets and manage the cleanliness and props for that set. Assistant art directors also sketch ideas, refine them, and work on 3D models.
During shooting some assistant art directors may work as standby art directors, monitoring video playback to see what the camera is shooting and how this impacts on set requirements.
Art department coordinator The art department coordinator helps with the smooth running of the art department during pre-production, filming and wrap-up by providing day-to-day administration and support. This could mean writing schedules, organising meetings or helping with the budget. Specialist researcher Specialist researchers are only required on a few big-budget films, usually historical epics or sci-fi and fantasy, to do highly specialised research by talking to curators, academics and other experts to gain as much insight into a particular subject.
They provide production designers with the original source material to inspire the look of a film and work alongside draughtspersons in the drawing studio. They are employed for the entire duration of pre-production and filming and usually work on a freelance basis. Concept artist Big studio productions usually hire a number of concept artists to design specific elements, such as fantasy creatures.
Concept artists may analyse source material and work on illustrations that are both striking and accurate to be presented to the producer , director , and effects supervisors. Many concept artists start their careers as graphic artists or illustrators before moving into the screen industries. Graphic artist or graphic art director or graphic designer Graphic artists may build specialist props which will be on screen for a large part of the film.
They often meet with the production designer during pre-production to discuss their exact requirements and work closely with specialist researchers and effects departments. Graphic artists are always employed on a freelance basis. Draughtsperson or set designer Draughtspersons provide hundreds of technical drawings that serve as a template for the construction department.
Draughtspersons work closely with the effects departments and on smaller productions are often actively involved in supervising set construction. Draughtspersons are always employed on a freelance basis. Art department assistant or art department runner Runners usually start work in the early stages of pre-production and can be both trainee and assistant to the art department.
See separate profile: art department trainee How do I become a production designer? How do I become a production designer? Most production designers have worked in the art department for many years. Aim to start as a runner or trainee and work your way up through the ranks outlined above. At school or college: If you want to go to university, A-levels or Highers in art and design, architecture, photography, theatre graphic design or graphic communication are useful.
However, it can be challenging to find jobs as an apprentice with production companies as many are not able to take on people for a whole year, which is an apprenticeship requirement at the moment. It might be worth looking for a job as an apprentice in an industry that uses similar skills, such as being an illustrator in publishing or a graphic artist in advertising. This could help you develop your craft and create a body of work for a portfolio that you can use to find your way into film and TV drama at a later point.
Get a degree: Most production designers have got degrees in art, architecture, theatre, theatre design, interior design or 3D design. We recognise courses with our ScreenSkills Select award where they offer training in the relevant software, dedicated time to building a portfolio and have strong links with the film and TV industries. Build a portfolio: This is essential for impressing admissions tutors and people in the film industry. Go to build your art portfolio to learn how.
Show them your portfolio and give them your number. Network on the web. Network online: Create a LinkedIn profile. Join it. Create a ScreenSkills profile. Get the skills, make contacts and start working in an art department. You might also be interested in… Being a production designer in TV documentaries, working as a production designer in theatre, or working in the art department of games , VFX or animation.
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