Art Department

Roles in the Art Department

Production Designer

  • Establishing every visual aspect of a film
  • Creating a production design budget and schedule
  • Managing  the team responsible for producing the physical visual elements of the film


The Production Designer is responsible for the entire Art Department.  They assist the Director in defining and creating the physical style and design of the film. They calculate what budget is needed for the Art Department. Production Designers give their designs to the Art Director who then oversees the overall production.

Art Director

  • Bringing to life the Production Designer’s creative vision for the film
  • Managing the work of the art department



The Art Director brings to life the Production Designers designs and vision. They break down the script to identify all props required for the film and source them or oversee their assistants in this task. It is their job to practically achieve the creative vision of the sets. They work as a project manager for those working in the art department. They oversee the creation, dressing and striking of the set while trying to source props economically.

Costume Designer

  • Oversee or run the designing, creating and acquiring of all costumes for Actors and extras
  • Running a team of costume assistants for big productions
  • In charge of the costume budget


The Costume Designer is in charge of designing, creating or acquiring all the costumes for the Actors and extras. They will organise the running of the wardrobes and the costume continuity over the shoot. They work with the Production Designer to ensure their visions match and will work. In pre-production the Costume Designer will break down the script and identify all costumes needed. At the end of the shoot they will ensure that all costumes are returned.

Set Designer

The set designer is the draftsman, often an architect, who realizes the structures or interior spaces called for by the production designer.

Graphic Artist

The Graphic Artist designs and creates all graphic elements of the film. They create the signs, billboards, logos and posters to be approved by the Production Designer. They may also be employed by the Props Master to create small printed items for the film story such as fliers and receipts.

Set Decorator

The Set Decorator is an important role on a film set and they work closely with the Production Designer and coordinate with the Art Director.  The job is in the title and they decorator the entire set – anything that will be seen in the film.

Set Dresser

The Set Dressers apply and remove the physical “dressing” of the set. Anything that is used to complete the look the Decorator, Production Designer and Art Director are after. These can range from large props to the small intricate details that make up a set.

Costume Supervisor

The Costume Supervisor manage the wardrobe and assist the costume designer with the design of the costumes. They supervise the creation or sourcing of the costumes as well as dealing with the support staff, budget and paperwork.

Costume Standby

The Costume Standby is present on set at all times. They are responsible for monitoring the quality and continuity of the actors and actresses costumes before and during takes. They might assist the actors with changing into their costumes.

Breakdown Artist

Breakdown artists are sometimes employed during pre-production to break down garments. This also includes making clothing appear dirty, faded and worn depending on what is needed for the film.

Costume Buyer

On large productions a Costume Buyer will source and purchase fabrics and garments.

Key Make-up Artist

The Key Make-up Artist is the dead of the make-up department and deals directly with the Director and Production Designer. They plan the makeup designs for all of the actors and cast including cosmetics, body makeup and special effects if required. They Key Make-up Artist will apply the make up to the key cast and the assistances will do the minor roles makeup. They will liase with the SFX make up team when necessary.

Special Make-up Effects Artist (SFX makeup)

A special effects make-up artist apply make-up effects and prosthetics.

Make-up Supervisor

Make-up supervisor’s handle the production side and rarely do any make up on cast. They tend to keep records of makeup continuity, handle the scheduling of the makeup teams and carry out general tasks for the makeup department.

Make-up Artist

The Make-up artists work under the Key Make-up Artist. They work with makeup, hair and special effects to create the characters look for anyone appearing on screen.

Key Hair

The Key Hair is the department head and answer to the Director and Production Designer. They will design and style the hair of the lead actors.

Hair Stylist

Hair Stylists report to the Key Hair. They style and maintain the hair of anyone appearing on screen, including wigs and extensions.

To have a full overview of all the roles in the film check out :

(Feature Image Courtesy of Netflix)