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Drawing the Differences Between Art Directors and Production Designers

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There are two key roles in creating the onscreen universe of a movie or television show: the production designer and the art director. In order to see how the look of a film all comes together, it is pertinent to separate their tasks and understand how their roles collaborate.

In the Crash Course video essay “Designing the World of Film,” actress Lily Gladstone explains what the art department is tasked with. She begins by introducing the concept of “mise-en-scene,” a term that generally means the overall look of the film, encompassing sets, props, hair and make-up, and costumes. The mise-en-scene is instrumental in setting the mood, and both the production designer and the art director play major roles in contributing to what this looks like. While they must be in constant communication, their roles are completely separate. After you watch the video, let’s take a look, more specifically, at what the two of them do to bring the mise-en-scene to life.

Once a film’s script is finalized, the production designer will get........

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