Production Designers and Art Directors


Overview

Production Designers and Art Directors

Introduction

In films, videos, and television commercials, production designers are responsible for the overall look of the visual elements and approve the props, costumes, and locations. Art directors are the top assistants of production designers; they ensure that the production designer’s vision is implemented. In the past, the art director title was used to denote the head of the art department. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction still references art directors, but the award is actually given to top production designers.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$89,760

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Employment Prospects

Fair

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Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree


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Experience

Several years' experience required


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Skills

Drawing/Design


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Personality Traits

Artistic

Earnings

Average annual earnings for art directors employed in the motion picture and video industries were $118,810 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Salaries for all art directors ranged from $47,320 to $172,900 or more. 

Weekly pay for a motion picture production designer may range anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 or more for top production designers. Production designers ...

Work Environment

Production designers and art directors often work under pressure of a deadline and yet must remain calm and pleasant when dealing with coworkers. They must work as many hours as required—usually many more than 40 hours per week—in order to finish projects according to predetermined schedules. Some travel is required to scout potential locations for filming.

Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for production designers and art directors in television broadcasting will grow slower than the average for all careers through 2024. Little or no change in employment is expected for those who work in the film industry. It is important to note that there are more production designers and art directors than the number of available job openin...

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