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In film and television, the production designer is the individual responsible for the overall aesthetic of the story. The production design gives the viewers a sense of the time period, the plot location, and character actions and feelings. Working directly with the director, cinematographer, and producer, production designers have a key creative role in the creation of motion pictures and television. The term production designer was coined by William Cameron Menzies while he was working on the film Gone with the Wind .Production designers are commonly confused with art directors as the roles have similar responsibilities. Production designers decide the visual concept and deal with the many and varied logistics of filmmaking including, schedules, budgets, and staffing. Art directors manage the process of making the visuals, which is done by concept artists, graphic designers, set designers, costume designers, lighting designers, etc. The production designer and the art director lead a team of individuals to assist with the visual component of the film. Depending on the size of the production the rest of the team can include set decorators, buyers, dressers, runners, graphic designers, drafts people, props makers, and set builders.
Production design plays an essential role in storytelling, for instance, in the movie Titanic , when the characters Jack and Rose are in the cold water after the ship sank, we know that they are cold because of the setting: it is nighttime and there is ice on their hair. A more specific example is The Wizard of Oz , in which we know the story takes place on a farm because of the bale of hay Dorothy leans on and the animals around, as well as the typical wooden fence. In the scene in which Dorothy’s dog is taken away, we know that it happens in her aunt and uncle’s house, which adds more tension because her beloved friend, Toto is not killed, lost or kidnapped on the street, but is forced to leave by an outsider, Ms. Gulch, who enters Dorothy’s private and safe zone (her home). Jane Barnwell states that the place the characters exist in gives information about them and enhances the fluency of the narrative (175).Imagine Dorothy’s home was dirty and everyone in her house were dressed untidily, the viewer would have supported the outsider instead, perhaps thinking that the outsider in a way, rescued the dog from an unhealthy environment. Additionally, the characters’ clothing, especially that of Ms. Gulch, makes the description “own half the county” more reliable in portraying Ms. Gulch, and also supports the reason why Dorothy cannot rebel against Ms. Gulch by making the dog stay. However, this does not mean that the setting or costume should be extremely detailed and cluttered with information. The goal is to not let the viewer notice these elements, which, however, is how production design works. Jon Boorstin states in his book, Making Movies Work Thinking Like a Filmmaker, that the background, the camera motion or even the sound effect is considered well-done if the viewer does not notice their appearance.
In the United States and British Columbia, production designers are represented by several local unions of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Local 800, the Art Directors Guild, represents production designers in the U.S., with the exception of New York City and its vicinity.Those members are represented by Local 829, the United Scenic Artists. In the rest of Canada, production designers are represented by the Director's Guild of Canada. In the United Kingdom, members of the art department are represented by the non-union British Film Designers Guild.
The production design credit must be requested by a film's producer, prior to completion of photography, and submitted to the Art Directors Guild Board of Directors for the credit approval.
Film editing is both a creative and a technical part of the post-production process of filmmaking. The term is derived from the traditional process of working with film which increasingly involves the use of digital technology.
A screenplay, or script, is a written work by screenwriters for a film, television program, or video game. These screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression and dialogues of the characters are also narrated. A screenplay written for television is also known as a teleplay.
"Below-the-line" is a term derived from the top sheet of a film budget for motion pictures, television programs, industrial films, independent films, student films and documentaries as well as commercials. The "line" in "below-the-line" refers to the separation of production costs between script and story writers, producers, directors, actors, and casting and the rest of the crew, or production team.
Sound design is the art and practice of creating sound tracks for a variety of needs. It involves specifying, acquiring or creating auditory elements using audio production techniques and tools. It is employed in a variety of disciplines including filmmaking, television production, video game development, theatre, sound recording and reproduction, live performance, sound art, post-production, radio and musical instrument development. Sound design commonly involves performing and editing of previously composed or recorded audio, such as sound effects and dialogue for the purposes of the medium, but it can also involve creating sounds from scratch through synthesizers. A sound designer is one who practices sound design.
Art director is the title for a variety of similar job functions in theater, advertising, marketing, publishing, fashion, film and television, the Internet, and video games.
United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, formerly known as United Scenic Artists of America (USAA), is an American labor union. It is a nationwide autonomous Local of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. It organizes designers, artists, and craftspeople in the entertainment and decorative arts industries. The organization was part of International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades, however it reaffiliated with IATSE in 1999. United Scenic Artists was organized to protect craft standards, working conditions and wages for the entertainment and decorative arts industries. The members of Local USA 829 are Artists and Designers working in film, theatre, opera, ballet, television, industrial shows, commercials and exhibitions. The current membership totals nearly 3,800. Local USA 829 establishes wages for designers and artists, and negotiates with employers the best possible terms and conditions of employment, as well as Health Insurance and Retirement benefits through employer contributions of Pension, Welfare, 401(k) and Annuity plans.
The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a Canadian labour union representing more than 4,800 professionals from 48 different occupations in the Canadian film and television industry. Founded in 1962, the DGC represents directors, editors, assistant directors, location managers, production assistants and others.
The set decorator is the head of the set decoration department in the film and television industry, responsible for selecting, designing, fabricating, and sourcing the "set dressing" elements of each set in a Feature Film, Television, or New Media episode or commercial, in support of the story and characters of the script. The set decorator is responsible for each décor element inside the sets, from practical lighting, technology, art, furniture, drapery, floor coverings, books, collectables, to exterior furnishings such as satellite dishes, Old West water troughs, streetlamps, traffic lights, garden furniture and sculptures.
The Costume Designers Guild, Local 892, is a union of professional costume designers, assistant costume designers, and illustrators working in film, television, commercials and other media. The CDG is not an employment agency, it is a labor union. As a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the CDG protects member’s wages and working conditions through collective bargaining. There are many additional benefits to being a member, among them health insurance and a pension, as well as being a part of a vibrant community of over 1200 members, as of July 2021, who shape future policy through participation, share ideas, and support each other.
John Longenecker is an American film producer, Directors Guild of America member, screenwriter and cinematographer who produced the Academy Award-winning live-action short film, The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970).
The Art Directors Guild (ADG) is a labor union and local of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) representing 2,979 motion picture and television professionals in the United States and Canada.
Guy Hendrix Dyas is a British production designer. He collaborated with Christopher Nolan on his science fiction thriller Inception which earned him an Academy Award nomination as well as a BAFTA Award for Best Production Design. In 2017, Dyas was nominated for another Academy Award, this time for his work on Passengers. In 2010, Dyas became the first British designer to win a Goya Award for Best Production Design for his work on Alejandro Amenábar's historical epic Agora which premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Dyas previously received three consecutive Art Directors Guild Award nominations for his production design work on Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Superman Returns for Bryan Singer. He won an ADG award in 2011 for Inception. He also earned a BAFTA Award nomination in 2007 for Best Production Design for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and for four years in a row Dyas has been named by The Sunday Times as one of the top ten Brits working behind the camera in Hollywood.
A costume designer is a person who designs costumes for a film, stage production or television show. The role of the costume designer is to create the characters' outfits/costumes and balance the scenes with texture and colour, etc. The costume designer works alongside the director, scenic, lighting designer, sound designer, and other creative personnel. The costume designer may also collaborate with hair stylist, wig master, or makeup artist. In European theatre, the role is different, as the theatre designer usually designs both costume and scenic elements.
The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) is the guild that represents freelance and staff motion picture film and television editors and other post-production professionals and story analysts throughout the United States. The Motion Picture Editors Guild is a part of the 500 affiliated local unions of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), a national labor organization with 104,000-plus members. There are more than 6,000 members of the Editors Guild.
(Also known as Designer's Guild or B.F.D.G. and can be seen after a member's name as a professional certification abbreviation)
Harold Michelson was an American production designer and art director. In addition, he worked as an illustrator and/or storyboard artist on numerous films from the 1940s through the 1990s.
Richard Sylbert was an American production designer and art director, primarily for feature films.
Alan Heim, ACE is an American film editor. He won an Academy Award for editing All That Jazz.
Flashpoint Chicago is a non-profit campus of Columbia College Hollywood, a private liberal arts college with a focus on communication, media arts, and contemporary storytelling. Flashpoint Chicago is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
the Cinemagundi Club was formed in 1924 by 63 top Hollywood Art Directors including William Cameron Menzies and Anton Grot. It was named after New York City’s club for artists, the Salmagundi Club.