Film Art Director Job Profile and Description

Film art directors design the physical environment of a TV or film ser to forge the mood that’s created by the script. They usually design elaborate sets for the use in situation and period films and commercials.

They have to supervise many people and that includes scene designers, illustrators, model makers, carpenters, painters, laborers, electricians, costume designers, hairstyling and makeup artistes. All these positions can give an entry to the motion picture industry. Many art directors start working in live theater productions and then shift between film, TV and stage.

Film Art Director Duties and Responsibilities

Some of the duties and responsibilities that a film art director must perform include the following:


  • Delegating tasks to the set, production, lighting and electrical departments and unifying all their roles so as to bring the director’s aesthetic imagery to life.
  • Being an important part of the film production, the film set designer has to build up seamless communication among talented individuals like prop masters, set designers, costume designers, graphic designers and other artistes.
  • Performing research that’s vital to a correct interpretation of the director’s visual ideas.
  • Acting as the administrator of tasks executed by every member of set building team. Sets must evoke the intended style, mood and theme. Also, discussing these elements with the director and taking note of the specifications.
  • Once clear about the expectations of the TV or film, delegating the tasks to a group of designers in the priority.
  • Monitoring the development of the movie set, budgeting and also scheduling the work.

Film Art Director Skills and Specifications

Some of the skills and specifications that are required from a film art director are as follows:

  • Excellent listening skills to properly comprehend the needs of the film director.
  • Superb interpersonal and communication skills for accurately explaining the project to the members of the team.
  • Leadership skills for providing guidance to all the members of the creative team.
  • A comprehensive knowledge about the technologies involved in film set direction and that also includes knowledge about the placement of lights and cinematography.

Film Art Director Education and Qualification

The typical educational qualifications required from a film art director are as follows:

  • A degree in fine arts
  • At least seven years’ experience in working with a senior art director.

Film Art Director Salary

A film art director is usually paid an average annual salary of $64,000 if he is an employee of the production house.