Skip to Main Content

Production Designers and Art Directors


In the early days of the motion picture industry, directors were usually responsible for creating the "look" of their films. But as filmmaking became more complex and more movies were made, directors began to rely on skilled artists to handle the visual aspects of their films.

Among the most famous early production designers and art directors was William Cameron Menzies, who directed the famous burning of Atlanta sequence in Gone With The Wind in 1939. Menzies' storyboards and illustrations are credited with revolutionizing the industry and showing the important role production designers play in the filmmaking process.

Production designers and art directors founded the Art Directors Guild in 1937. Today, it has a membership of over 2,000. United Scenic Artists Local USA 829 is another member organization for production designers and art directors and a variety of other arts-related professionals. These organizations represent the professional interests of production designers and art directors who work in film, television, theater, opera, ballet, and other venues.

Related Professions