Teaser Information

LEXICON

The medium film exists only since the beginning of the 20th century, our professions just about as long. Our job discreptions (occupational images) developped together with the film as art form, new job names were constantly invented and defined.

Many films are cross-nationally financed nowadays, but sometimes the - mostly regional - evolution of film jobs and their names does not make it easy to work together: Speaking only of Production Design, we find 3 or 4 German names for it: Szenenbild, Filmarchitektur, Ausstattung, Szenographie, ...

All later named professions exist, but many times some of them are - because of small filmteam-structures in Europe - merged into one other job, i.e. the job of a SZENENBILD ASSISTENZ.

This is a first try, more or less a basis for discussion, to achieve a certain agreement in 3 languages: We do ask you to participate in this discussion, we are open for any suggestions: office@filmdesigners.at

danke ! thank you ! merci !

This lexicon is based an talks we had all over Europe with Production Designers and people dealing with film generally, all of them have contributed to the development of this lexicon, all of them our hearty "Thank you!".

Jana Karen : Szenenbildnerin (D), board member of the SFK
Toni Lüdi : Szenenbildner (D), teaching Filmfernsehszenenbild at the HFF München
Sarah Horton : Szenenbildnerin (UK/D)
Dan Weil : Chef Décorateur (FR)
Crew-United : Online Platform for professionals in the German speaking film industry


PRODUCTION DESIGN - SZENENBILD

Production Designer - Szenenbildner|in (once: Filmarchitekt|in) - Chef Décoratrice|Décorateur

Production Designers are the visual artists and storytellers, who - according to the script and in consultation with the producers and the director - create and develop the overall look, atmosphere and world of a story. They are the Head of the Art Department, their work starts months or years before all others: Their ideas, commitment to a certan milieu, color-concepts, designs and proposed locations are a crucial visual basis for all the other professionals that contribute to the design of a frame.

(In the USA this profession was even enhanced, as Departments like Costume Design, Makeup, Visual FX or Cinematography have to follow the Production Designers decisions, in Europe we prefer to work as a team.)

see also:
Art Direction, Set Decoration, INFORMATION > ABOUT PRODUCTION DESIGN

ART DIRECTION - ART DIRECTION

Art Director

He/she is responsible for sections of the Art Department, even often disposing of a sub-team (locationscouts, assistants, constructors, set dressers and also sfx.) Several reasons can lead to this subdivision of the Art Department: if a film is shot in several countries (it is impossible for 1 Production Designer to prepare the sets in 4 countries at once), a film demands a lot of design work (for "Charly & the Chocolate Factory) being an Art Director meant working on 1 set only - and this during months.)

The Art Director’s primary function is to support and follow through on the visual concepts for the production as specified by the Production Designer and director. That support includes a combination of both creative and management skills.

In the case of several Art Dirctors working for a film, a Supervising Art Director coordinates the communication with the Production Designer.

see also:
Production Design, Set Decoration, INFORMATION > ABOUT PRODUCTION DESIGN

PRODUCTION DESIGN ASSISTANT - SZENENBILD ASSISTENZ

Assistant Productin Designer - Szenenbildassistent|in

In Austria we do not distinguish between assistants with more or less responsibility, also because it's often only 1 assistant that is granted at all:
Assistant Production Designers help the Production Designers with all their duties, be it as Location Scout, researching, calculating smaller sets, transcription of meetings, detailed technical drawings, the overseeing and guidance of any construction, the making of models or special props, graphic design, the coordination of all Art Department members, shopping, set dressing, ... ("jacks-of-all-trades").

Very experienced Assistant Production Designers can be considered Art Directors, lesser experienced ones rather Assistant Art Directors or general Art Department Assistants, for bigger crews their tasks are split up between several people.

see also:
Production Design, Art Direction, Set Decoration, INFORMATION > ABOUT PRODUCTION DESIGN

ART DIRECTION ASSISTANT - ART DIRECTION ASSISTENZ

Assistant Art Director- première assistante déco | premier assistant déco // assistante|assistant déco

S/he assists the Production Designer and Art Director to fulfill all their duties. They can be responsible for acquiring materials needed for the production, for doing research on period and contemporary design elements, check up on some locations, ...

In France the 1st assistant is responsible for recruiting the team, overseeing the budget and organisation, whereas the 2nd assistant helps the Production Designer with the research, technical drawings or visualisations.

see also:
Production Design, Art Direction, Set Decoration

SET DECORATION - SET DECORATION

Set Decorator - Ensemblière|Ensemblier

A Set Decorator works closely with the Production Designers, Art Directors and Prop Masters, their job is to fill the designed sets with furniture, curtains, decorations, plants etc. To do this they have their own bugdet and sometimes lead a small department of their own (USA) consistent of Art Department Assistants, Set Dressers, Drivers and sometimes Constructors.

The job described here is VERY rare in Austria as well as in Germany, as in smaller film-teams this task is split up between the Production Designer and the Prop Master.

see also:
Production Design, Art Direction and INFORMATION > ABOUT PRODUCTION DESIGN

CONCEPT ARTIST - KONZEPT DESIGN

Concept Designers sometimes are also called Illustrators.

According to the wishes of the Production Designer they create images (sketches, photo-collages, colored drawings, comics, ...) that visualise first ideas of a filmworld or a detail of it.

STORYBOARD - STORYBOARD

fr : Storyboardeur

Storyboards are made to visualise a script and prepare specific film-scenes.

Quickly sketched images are used to elaborate i.e. the field and angle of view, camera movements, light situations, color schemes or the overall look of a frame, long time befor a set is built.

LOCATIONSCOUT - LOCATIONSCOUT

fr : repérage, Repéreuse| Repéreur

A Locationscout looks for appropriate shooting locations for a film. S/he presents photos of possible locations to the Production Designer, and organises first small visitations (for production designer + director), before the location manager takes over to secure a contract etc.

For low budget productions this task is often fulfilled by the Production Designer her|himself or the assistants.

SET DESIGNER - BAUZEICHNUNGEN

Set Designer - Bauzeichner|in - Dessinatrice|Dessinateur

Set Designer create technical plans according to the instructions given by the Production Designer or Art Director.

older term: Draughtsperson

ART DEPARTMENT TRAINEE / RUNNER - SZENENBILD PRAKTIKANZ

fr : Stagiaire Déco

Trainees are often hired to help all over the Art Department, it is a good chance to get a good idea of the different qualifications of each job.

ART DEPARTMENT COORDINATION - SZENENBILD KOORDINATION

Art Department Coordinator - Szenenbild Koordinator|in - Coordinatrice | Coordinateur des Décors

Very big Art Departments are hard to control by the Production Designer alone, this is why they employ the use of coordinators who - almost like secretaries - take over the necessary communication between team-members for the organisation of meetings, the accordation of deadlines, the forwarding of changes in the shooting schedule, etc.

SET DRESSING - SET DRESSING

Set Dresser - fr : Rippeur

A Set Dresser furnishes and dresses the set together with (or following instructions from the) Production Designer, Art Director and Set Decorator. Their job is to work on location or on set only, all the necessary furniture, props, decorative items etc. are sought for and organised by others (the set decorator, the props master, the props buyer, ...).
Set Dressers place and dress all of this objects, be it before the shoot, or during the resetting of a scene during shooting.

see also:
Set Decoration, Prop Master

SET DRESSING ASSISTANT - SET DRESSING ASSISTENZ

These assistants help the Set Dressers to fulfill their job.

see also:
Production Design, Art Direction, Set Decoration

PROP MASTER - AUSSENREQUISITE

Prop Master - Aussenrequisiteur|in - Régiesseuse|Régisseur d' Extérieur

The job of a Prop Master in Austria* (!) is in the research and organisation of all the necessary props, furniture, plants, cars, items ... needed for the dressing of a set. Production Designers create the look of the rooms / scenes and propsose certain ways of dressing, the Prop Master looks for the items necessary.
The budget necessary for all these items is calculated and controlled by the Production Designer and Prop Master together, but the Prop Master alone is responsible for their organisation and delivery.

* Art Departments in Austria are often alot smaller then in other countries, a Prop Master here also has duties normally overseen by a Prop Buyer or a Set Decorator.
We are aware of the fact that a Prop Master normally "only" oversees the props handled by actors, or that s/he can be the boss of a full crew of it's own (including a Buyer, drivers, sculptors, ...). When we discuss "Requisiten" (props) in Austria, it can be anything from small furniture, props, pictures, plants, drapery, decorations, animals to vehicles in a film.

see also:
Standby Prop

2ND PROP BUYER - 2. REQUISITE

A 2nd Prop Buyer in Austria (!) is like an assistant to the Prop Master / Buyer, responsible for the acquiry of certain items (only weapons, or only carriages and horses, ...). Sometimes this Person is mainly working as a Prop Driver, but also handling small duties from the Prop Master / Buyer.

see also:
Prop Buyer

STANDBY PROP - INNENREQUISITE

Standby Prop - Innenrequisiteur|in - Accessoiriste du Plateau

The object of a Standby Prop is the dressing and supervision of a set during the actual shooting, according to the wishes of the Director, Production Designer, Prop Master and the Director of Photography.
S/he is responsible for the continuity of the set dressing and props.

see also:
Prop Buyer

PROP DRIVER - REQUISITENTRANSPORT

Prop Driver - Requisitenfahrer|in - Rippeuse | Rippeur

Prop Drivers are subordinate to a Prop Buyer and responsible for the safe and on-time transport of all the items needed on set (to the set and back to the place of procurement).

see also:
Prop Buyer

PROP HAND - REQUISITENHILFE

fr : Assistant|e d'Accessoiriste (du Plateau)

A Prop Hand is subordinate to a Prop Master / Buyer | Standby Prop | Prop Driver and helps the same with all her/his duties.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER - KULISSENBAULEITUNG

Construction Manager - Kulissenbauleiter|in - Chef Constructrice|Constructeur

This person leads the realisation of all set buildings or adaptions: S/he is the head of the Construciton team and the direct contact person for Production Designers and Art Directors, many details for the building process are developed and budgeted together.
The Construction Manager is responsible for the organisation of all needed materials as well as the completion in time.

see also:
Production Design, Art Direction

SET BUILDER - BAUBüHNE

fr : Equipe Construction

These people realise the Production Designer's and Art Director's designs under the lead of a Construction Manager. They have to be experienced in various crafts (carpentry, locksmithery, painting, decorating, ...) and they should dispose of a great talent in improvisation.

see also:
Construction Manager

COSTUME DESIGN - KOSTüMBILD

Kostümbildner|in - Costume Designer - Chef Costumière|Costumier

Costume Designers are responsible for the creation and making of the costumes for a film. During the design process they collaborate with the Director, Production Designer, Makeup Designer and the Actors.

A sensible way of interaction with other people, an awareness for physicalness and psychology, recourcefulness during the process of procurement of costumes, accessories or inspiring artwork, inventiveness and finesse are very helpful to accomplish this task.

COSTUME DESIGN ASSISTANT - KOSTüMBILD ASSISTENZ

Assistant Costume Designer - Kostümbild Assistent|in - Chef Costumière|Costumier

They assist the Costume designers in an accomplishing, continuing, supporting and sometimes self dependent way, and help them during the process of creation, planning, making and organisation of the costumes.
In case of the Costume Designers absence they should be able to take decisions and clarify ideas with the Director.

COSTUME DESIGN TRAINEE / RUNNER - KOSTüMBILD PRAKTIKANZ

fr : Stagiaire Costume

Trainees are often hired to help all over the Costume Department, it is a good chance to get a good idea of the different qualifications of each job.

WARDROBE - GARDEROBE

fr : Habilleuse|Habilleur

The Wardrobe administers all the costumes necessary during a film shoot. S/he is responsible for their attentive handling, caring and reparing and makes sure, that every costume is ready for it's actor in time. Very often the Wardrobe becomes a kind of confident to the actor during dressing and preparation for a scene, part of their job description is therefore the gentle handling of conceitedness of all kind.
With other words: Besides her/his expert knowledge a Wardrobe has to dispose of alot of flexibility, empathy, knowledge of human nature and to be able to hold her/his nerve.

WARDROBE ASSISTANT - GARDEROBE ASSISTENZ

S/he supports the Wardrobe on set and sometimes has sole responsibility over the extras; s/he should be able to accomplish small sewing tasks.

WARDROBE TRAINEE - GARDEROBE PRAKTIKANZ

... this lexicon will be translated after finishing the German version ...

SEAMSTRESS - NäHERIN

... this lexicon will be translated after finishing the German version ...

. - .

... this lexicon will be translated after finishing the German version ...

SCENIC ART - BüHNENMALEREI

... this lexicon will be translated after finishing the German version ...


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