What Is Art Direction in Film?

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In film, art direction is essentially a fancy term for production design. Find out how art direction creates the world that is seen in a movie with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking Basics
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My name is Jared Drake and I'm going to talk to you about what art direction is. Art direction is really just a fancy term for production design. In America we call it production design, I think in Europe they call it art direction or maybe art directionist in old term that nobody uses anymore. But basically art direction is the world that you see. It is the world that takes place behind you. This piano is part of art direction, the walls back there, that's art direction. How do you use the world to show what's going on within a character, within the story, how do you use the world to establish the tone of the movie and the mood. Art direction is my opinion in my opinion is the most important part of the film making process aside from the script and actually executing the movie. It is the most important department. If you have great art direction personally I'd feel you can drop a camera anywhere and the movie and the tone and atmosphere everything you want to capture will just instantly be there. Camera won't have to do anything at that point. If you don't have good art direction, you really don't have anything to shoot.

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