ART DIRECTORS GUILD | Local 800
Local 800 is comprised of Art Directors, Graphic Artists, Illustrators, Matte Artists, Model Makers, Production Designers, Scenic Artists, Set Designers and Title Artists. Local 800 IATSE, is a local union of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE). The "IA" as it is commonly known, is an international union, which exclusively represents employees in the entertainment industry, spanning the United States and Canada with more than 104,000 members. The Guild's Union Benefits: ...Read More
LOCAL 800 IATSE UNION BENEFITS

• Can work in ADG jurisdiction

• Health Plan

• Pension or 401(k) retirement benefits

• Minimum wage scale (of the contract)

• Grievance Procedure

• Training and Education (seminars, training facilities, discounts)

• Access to Employment Information – Availability List

• Production Listing

• Weekly eNewsletter (News You Can Use)

• Website (Member Area, Forums, Archives, Find an Artist, Showcase of Local 800 to the public)

• Scholarship Fund

• Perspective (bi-monthly ADG magazine)

• Film Society

• Gallery 800

• Figure Drawing Workshop

• Credit Union

• Actors Fund
 



ART DIRECTORS  |  AD CRAFT
Production Designers are the visual artists and storytellers, who, in consultation primarily with the director, create and develop the overall look, atmosphere and emotion that move the story ...Read More
Production Designers and Art Directors
Who Are Production Designers and Art Directors?

Production Designer
Production Designers create and develop the overall look, atmosphere and emotion that move the story. The scope of their talent is limitless. Their imaginations soar within a practical and economic framework. They make seemingly impossible things possible for filming, adapting their individual style to diverse genres of film, all the while under the pressures of money and time. As visual artists and story tellers, the Production Designer consults primarily with the Director through the conception and creation of stage sets and the selection and alteration of practical locations and backgrounds. Production Designers also collaborate with the Visual Effects team, and provide the designs necessary to maintain a coherent blend between the look of the production, cinematography, and the post-production visual effects footage.

Production Designers are more than just motion picture architects and engineers who build sets. They are involved in the overall production design and/or selections of visual effects, lighting, props and set dressing. They communicate regularly with producers, directors and cinematographers and collaborate consistently with the second unit, stunts, special effects and numerous other departments. As the head of the Art Department, they provide all necessary backgrounds and ensure that all sets are well photographed and contribute to the totality of the film, television show, award show, or commercial.


Art Director
Art Director's responsibilities and contributions to the production are the same regardless of whether that production is originated on film, digital data, tape or live electronic transmission. 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.
Additionally, the Art Director is responsible either completely or in part for the efforts of many departments within the production.
These departments include: Art Department, Construction, Set Dressing, Props, Locations, and Special Effects.


Assistant Art Director
Assistant Art Directors work with film construction crews such as the construction coordinator, foreman, painters, plasters, greenspeople, sign painters, metal shop workers, staff shop workers, mechanical effects builders and grips.
The Assistant Art Director is also responsible for acquiring materials, both common and unusual, needed for the production, for doing research on period and contemporary design elements, and otherwise assisting the Production Designer and Art Director as required.


Art Department Staff and Related Departments:
Their staff typically includes an Art Director(s) and/or Assistant Art Director(s) to technically develop the design concepts and manage the progress and schedule. The terms "Art Director" and "Art Direction" are titles often used interchangeably with "Production Designer" and "Production Design".
A "Supervising Art Director" works directly with the Designer and Art Directors on a larger-scale production.
These are specific duties handled by the Production Designer of a movie, television show, awards show, or commercial:
- Collaborate with the Director and Producer to interpret the script, select locations and settings and decide on a style and approach to visually tell the film's story.
- Select and oversee the work of Art Directors and/or Assistant Art Directors to technically develop the design concepts into practical sets, managing the process and schedule.

The Production Designer oversees the following professionals, all vital contributors to the look of the film:
a. Set Decorators who dress the settings with furniture and props, supervising a team that includes a lead person, a carpet and drapery person and swing gang.
b. Set Designers who draft technical drawings to build or modify sets, locations, vehicles, and signs.
c.  Illustrators who draw three-dimensional illustrations and/or sketches and designs used in the preparation and production of motion pictures.
d. Graphic Artists who create all necessary graphics, including signage, books and posters.
    Graphic Artists are members of Local 800 in the STG Craft.
e. Model Makers who create study models of proposed sets. Model Makers are members of Local 800 in the SDMM Craft.
f.  Art Department Coordinators who provide logistical support and research.
g. Location Managers and Location Scouts, who seek out possible locations and manage location filming and permits.
h. Propery Masters who provide, with the help of an assistant, the necessary hand props for actors to use during filming.
i.  Construction Coordinators who coordinate the building of sets with a foreperson, prop makers, laborers, painters, green persons and scenic artists.
j.  Visual Effects staff, including matte painters, model builders and digital effects artists.
k. Special Effects staff, who engineer, integrate and coordinate with the art department all phases of physical and mechanical effects.
l.  Picture Vehicle Coordinators, who select appropriate vehicles for action and background.
-Work closely throughout the production with the many departments that contribute to the television and movie-making process including cinematographers, costume designers, writers, unit production manager, production office staff, auditors, assistant directors, makeup artist and hair stylists, transportation coordinator, sound crew and post production department.
-Work with the sound crew regarding acoustics and microphone positioning in relation to the various sets; work with the visual effects team to make sure certain sets and blue/green screens are set up in a way that allows digital shots to be inserted during post-production.

The Production Designer plays a crucial role in conveying and realizing the overall vision of a motion picture or television project, award show, or commercial.
 


Become A Member:  Individuals who perform covered work as an Art Director or Assistant Art Director under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership thirty days following commencement of employment.
Art Directors Portfolio Review  ...Read More
ART DIRECTORS MEMBERSHIP
Thank you for your interest in the Art Directors Guild, Local 800 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). If you are presently seeking employment in the entertainment industry or have already begun working at a company covered by one of our agreements, we hope the following information will be of assistance.


ART DIRECTORS PORTFOLIO REVIEW
An individual who would like to be considered for membership with Local 800 as an Assistant Art Director or Art Director may apply directly for admission into the Local per the portfolio review protocols:
Download Membership Protocols Via Portfolio Review »

Individuals who perform covered work as an Art Director or Assistant Art Director under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership thirty days following commencement of employment (see next paragraph below for admission eligibility requirements). The individual is obligated to submit an application and the required fees in accordance with the Agreement under which he or she is employed as the necessary pre-condition to continued employment under a union agreement. Many of the Local 800 agreements require that preference of employment be given to those individuals having previous work experience in the motion picture industry. (See below under Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster.)

Eligibility for application and admission into Local 800 as an Art Director or Assistant Art Director is typically triggered by working for a signatory company in a Local 800 covered classification. Thirty calendar days from the start date the employee is required to join Local 800. And there are four typical scenarios:

a. When a project starts out non-union then signs an IA agreement; that is, it's organized." Employees working in a Local 800 covered classification when the project is organized are "grandfathered" into the union. Please contact the Guild's Membership Department.

b. Employees also become eligible when they work on signatory commercials and music videos.

c. If a signatory company not covered by b), above (say one doing a television show or feature film), wants to hire an Art Director or Assistant Art Director, and the individual is not on the Industry Experience Roster, the company may petition the Local to do so under the applicable Off-Roster sideletter to the Local 800 Basic Agreement. If the petition is granted by the Off-Roster Hiring Review Committee, the individual may be hired and is eligible for admission into the Union.

d. If the individual in c), above, is already on the Roster at the time he/she is hired by the signatory company (see below), the company doesn't require the Guild's permission for that hire, and the individual is eligible for admission into the Union and is required to join after thirty calendar days.

The Guild does not maintain a hiring hall. Prospective employees or members should contact employers by letter and resume and express an interest in employment. A portfolio clearly demonstrating skills and abilities generally will be required at all employer interviews. A resume may be forwarded to the union office where it will be maintained on file for six months.
Health and welfare, retirement benefits and minimum wage scales and working conditions are negotiated by the union in the majority of its collective bargaining agreements, and the employers make contributions on behalf of covered employees, in accordance with those agreements. Employee/members are notified when they've qualified for benefits. Additionally, members receive the following benefits and partake in the following activities:

Workplace grievances resolved by union
- Guaranteed prominent placement of screen credit
- Training and education (seminars, symposia, etc.)
- Access to employment information
- Semi-monthly magazine (Perspective)
- Annual Awards Banquet
- Film Society screenings

We look forward to welcoming you into the membership of the Art Directors Guild, Local 800, IATSE.
Should you have any questions regarding union membership, please contact the office. (818) 762-9995


Motion Picture Industry Roster
Entrance onto the Industry Experience Roster assures the individual preference of employment over all others not on the Roster; placement on the Roster is a necessary pre-condition for Art Directors and Assistant Art Directors wishing to work on most film and television projects.
To get onto the Industry Experience Roster, one must apply to Contract Services and have worked a total of no less than 30 days for one or more signatory companies, within a period of 365 consecutive calendar days immediately preceding the time the person makes application for Roster placement. Another way to qualify for Roster placement would be to have worked 175 days as an Art Director/Assistant Art Director, union or non-union, in the three year period preceding application for Roster placement.

Commercial Industry Experience Roster  Thirty (30) days working for a commercial signatory is required, and an additional 60 days of commercial work qualifies the person for placement on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster.

Once on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster, individuals are eligible to work on signatory projects without having to get the Guild's permission. And when the individual begins work on the signatory project in a Local 800 covered classification, he/she must join the Local on or after the 30th calendar day from that date.

For more detailed information in connection with gaining membership into Local 800, please contact the Guild's Membership Department. 818-762-9995.

For more detailed information in connection with placement on the Industry Experience Roster, please contact Contract Services Administration Trust Fund at www.csatf.org or 818-565-0550.


History:  While the craft of production design and art direction dates back 100 years to the very beginning of filmmaking, it wasn't until 1924 that the  the Cinemagundi Club was formed. It was a social club for Art Director that continued until 1937. ...Read More
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ART DIRECTORS GUILD—THE FIRST 70 YEARS
by Michael Baugh, editor of the PERSPECTIVE Magazine

The motion picture industry employed rudimentary sets since the beginning of film, but the term Art Director was first used in 1914 by Wilfred Buckland, an early pioneer of the craft and a member of the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame. In addition to their artistic functions, most of these men (and they were invariably men) performed the duties now done by construction coordinators, location managers, and production managers. These early Art Directors, like similar groups of artists as far back as the Middle Ages, sought to band together to maintain professional standards and to improve their financial and creative status.

The earliest such group in the motion picture industry was founded in 1924 as the Cinemagundi Club, with Leo “K” Kuter (Key Largo) as its founding president. The name was derived from the Salmagundi Club, a sketching society formed in New York City in 1871, which had recently purchased a brownstone clubhouse on lower Fifth Avenue. Kuter and the Cinemagundi Board bought their own clubhouse, and held regular meetings, hosted life-drawing workshops, and drank a lot. It was, at its heart, a social club for Art Directors, and it continued until 1937. The clubhouse, a residence on lower Beechwood Drive, still stands.

In 1929, the Art Directors League was formed, as a true craft guild, to improve wages and working conditions for Art Directors. The Depression undercut the League almost as soon as it was formed and Art Directors, happy to have any kind of steady work in those difficult times, abandoned all thought of collective action.

After the passage of the Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act) in 1935, the Art Directors decided they must form their own organization before another union attempted to organize them. Fifty-nine Art Directors, from all of the major studios, met on May 6, 1937, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and founded the Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, the organization
that still exists today, seventy years and three name-changes later, as the Art Directors Guild. Stephen Goosson was elected as the Society’s first president, and a week later the organization was incorporated under California’s non-profit corporation law. From the very beginning, the Society had three purposes:
“...to preserve the right of employees to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing...” The Society was formed to be a labor union.
“...to establish educational, recreational, social and charitable enterprises...” The Society was formed to be a professional society, a guild.
“...to purchase, hold, use and take possession in fee simple... of real property necessary for the uses and purposes of the corporation...” The Society was formed to buy a building. 

The initial Board of Directors reads like the Who’s Who of the finest Art Directors of the day: Van Nest Polglase (Flying Down to Rio), Bernard Herzbrun (Knickerbocker Holiday), Roland Anderson (Union Pacific), Cedric Gibbons (The Bridge of San Luis Rey), Wiard Ihnen (Blood on the Sun), Richard Day (A Streetcar Named Desire), William Horning (The Wizard of Oz), John Harkider (100 Men and a Girl), Jerome Pycha (Blondie), John Hughes (The Treasure of Sierra Madre), Jack Okey (It’s a Wonderful Life), Willy Pogany (The Mummy), Al D’Agostino (The Magnificent Ambersons) and Stephen Goosson (Lost Horizons).

Two years later, in July of 1939, the NLRB compelled an election at Universal Studios and subsequently at the other major lots, and the Society had collective bargaining agreements covering Art Directors, Assistant Art Directors, and the Art Directors who supervised the drafting rooms (there were six of those). However, the Society had not yet bought its own building.

The peace that followed World War II was not mirrored in Hollywood labor relations. The set designers, model makers, set and costume illustrators, and set decorators joined together into the Screen Set Designers, Local 1421 of the Brotherhood of Painters, and Herb Sorrell was its firebrand Business Agent. He combined his local with carpenters, cartoonists, and six or seven other crafts to form the CSU, the Confederation of Studio Unions, and in 1945, took them all out on strike against the producers. The studio moguls much preferred dealing with the IATSE which, it was claimed, saw to it that wages were kept low and the industry kept stable—and profitable. The studios fought the CSU, and locked out any IATSE members who suppported them. The CSU charged the IA with racketeering; the IA called the CSU communists; and the strike went on for seven months. The Art Directors, after an aborted attempt to affiliate with the CSU, elected to remain independent so that they could be compelled (probably willingly) by their no-strike clause not to cross the picket lines and thus still collect their paychecks. When the strike ended, Herb Sorell was broken, hounded by accusations that he was a communist in those Red-baiting times. The IATSE began to clean up the union and took over most of the backlot crafts, including all of the Art Department except those positions covered by the Society of Motion Picture Art Directors.

In 1949, the Society recognized the infant television industry and voted to include television Art Directors in its membership, eight of them working in filmed television and six in “live production of studio origin.”
The committee that drafted the proposal to affiliate these Art Directors included Bob Boyle (North by Northwest), “K” Kuter, Preston Ames (Gigi), Edward Ilou (The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis), and Hugh Reticker (Hell’s Kitchen). We were still renting space in someone else’s building. 

In that same year, the IATSE issued a charter to a new local for Scenic Painters, Title Artists, Graphic Artists, and Theatrical Designers on the West Coast. These men and women in Local 816 worked primarily in theater and live television, but the motion picture studios had also been using their skills since the earliest days of silent films. They, too, had been part of the constant conflict between competing unions, and the ascendancy of the IATSE provided a stable solution to the turmoil.

It took another nine years before the Art Directors realized that they, too, would have to join the IA. There were issues to be resolved with illustrators and set designers, but these were approached, for the most part, in a spirit of partnership—Art Directors had once been illustrators or set designers themselves, after all. In January of 1960, the new IATSE charter was issued. Two of the eleven members who signed it were network television designers, Larry Klein (Shindig) and Ed Stephenson (The Andy Williams Show). The Society was now Local 876, Society of Motion Picture Art Directors, with jurisdiction throughout the country. The Society had lost a bit of its independence and singularity, but it had gained the strength of a large international union. Dale Hennesey (Logan’s Run) said that it was a perfect time to buy a building. In 1967, the Society, at the urging of its network television members, voted at last to include Television in the name of the Society. The acronym was pronounced “simp-tad” but everyone still called it the Art Directors.

Old habits take a long time to break, so the Great Name Change Debate didn’t take place for thirty years. When it did, in 1998, it was a doozy. Magazine articles and phone calls and a few emails (they weren’t quite as common ten years ago) were fired back and forth. The process took over a year, and when it was over the crusty traditionalists (“keep the SMPTAD”) had lost, and so had the wild-eyed revisionists (“make it the Production Designers Guild”). The moderate majority elected to keep our traditional job title, given us by Wilfred Buckland in 1914. We became the Art Directors Guild, simple and short and to the point. It wouldn’t last.

Discussions of merging our IATSE local with others had been floating in and out of Executive Board meetings, and less formal gatherings at the Hollywood Roosevelt bar or the Magic Castle, for decades. Why the time seemed finally right in 2003 is hard to say, but all of those musings turned into a concrete plan, and committees finally hashed out the details and, two years later, 816 was gone and 876 was gone (and our simple, short and to the point name was gone, too). That same old Society, that was formed so long ago to be a union and to be a guild and to buy a building, had become the Art Directors Guild & Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists, IATSE Local 800, the number that became magically and serendipitously available just as the merger documents were completed. At that time, we were renting office space from the Pension Plan.

In 2005, the Guild formally solidified the national jurisdiction it had held since 1960 by appointing three Regional Representatives in New York (Northeast Region), Wilmington, NC (Southeast Region) and Chicago (Central Region). And then it finally happened. The newly merged Guild did, at last, what it hadn’t been able to do for sixty-eight years—it became a homeowner. In 2005, the Guild signed the purchase documents to buy the 17,500 square foot building it now occupies at Ventura and Radford in Studio City. Two years later, the office space has been remodeled, there is a computer lab on the first floor, and a combination art studio and meeting room with screening facilities. There is a fire-resistant vault to store valuable artwork and recordings, and shelves in which to collect research books that members no longer need. Step by step the Guild is fulfilling the dreams of “K” Kuter and Stephen Goosson and the other founders and early contributors to the Society. This Union/Guild/Property-Owner still has growing and changing to do, and I, personally, can’t wait to watch it happen.  ADG



ILLUSTRATORS, STORYBOARD ARTISTS &  MATTE ARTIST  |  IMA CRAFT
Illustrators, Storyboard Artists and Matte Artists are visual artists and storytellers, who, in consultation primarily with the director and Production Designer, illustrate and express the look, atmosphere and emotion that move a story, in order to communicate this vision of the script. ...Read More
Illustrators, Storyboard Artists and Matte Artists
Illustrators, Storyboard Artists and Matte Artists are visual artists and storytellers, who, in consultation primarily with the director and Production Designer, illustrate and express the look, atmosphere and emotion that move a story, in order to communicate this vision of the script to the entire production crew. They do this previsualization through the conception and creation of traditional and digital illustrations, storyboards and matte paintings. Illustrators and Matte Artists play a crucial role in conveying and realizing the overall vision of a motion picture or other form of visual communication project. They provide the imagery necessary to assist communication between departments. They communicate regularly with the Production Designer, director and cinematographer and collaborate consistently with second unit, stunts, special effects, visual effects and numerous other departments. They are artists who adapt their style to all types of films.

Production Illustrators, Illustrators and Apprentice Illustrators prepare presentation artwork, using traditional and digital tools to create perspective illustrations, sketches and designs for the previsualization, preparation and production of visual entertainment. These images play a crucial role in conveying and realizing the overall vision of a motion picture or television project. An Illustrator might portray the initial concept for a vehicle, creature, character or setting for any genre of film or any style of project. An Illustrator working in the Art Department may depict a lavish set or part of a set including the illustrations of props, backings and landscapes. Illustrators may, at the sole discretion of the producer, be assigned to any department without requiring the supervision of an Art Director.

Storyboard Artists are Illustrators who help the director of the show previsualize a project by means of sequential imagery: whether in traditional or electronic media, two-dimensional or three-dimensional form, using stills or imagery in motion. They create a series of illustrations to previsualize the composition, dynamics and action of a scene. The Storyboard Artist collaborates closely with the director. The resulting storyboards reflect the mood and composition of the shots to be filmed, the staging of the camera moves, the blocking of the actors, the editorial order of the shots within the scenes and the scenes within the show as well as the transitions between them. The storyboards are the means by which the director communicates a vision to the rest of the crew, the producers and the studio and they inform the work of almost every other department: production, Art Department, cinematography, VFX, SFX, stunts, 2nd Unit, etc. Storyboard Artists may work closely with the director and they may, at the sole discretion of the producer, be assigned to any department, without requiring the supervision of an Art Director.

Matte Artists, Assistant Matte Artists and Apprentice Matte Artists use traditional and digital tools to create a scene employing photographic-like painting combined with live action to create the illusion of reality without having to build an entire structure or going to a specific location for a necessary background or terrain. The photographic painting executed by the Matte Artist will contain this visual information. The Matte Artist may work with the producer, director or Production Designer to determine what portion of the scene requires painting and how the final product should appear. Often a preliminary concept sketch is required. Matte Artists also work with previs and with the VFX supervisor during the pre-production design of the effects shots, completing the work in the post-production phase. In traditional Matte Painting, the Matte Artist must ensure that certain requirements are met at the time the live action "plate" is shot; e.g., placement of the camera, lens choice, camera steadiness and lack of action crossing the matte line separating the live action plate and painting. After the plate is shot, the matte painter must create the painting and supervise the combining of painting and plate by selecting exposures for correct color matches. Most contemporary Matte Painting consists of digital set extensions and the creation of virtual environments. The digital Matte Artist, often working with a team of other computer artists, is no longer confined to 2D painting and static composition. A modern Matte Artist creates in a 3D virtual environment that permits and encourages camera movement and perspective changes. The Matte Artist is knowledgeable about composition, lighting, atmosphere, color, perspective, camera lenses, story, and movement or action and has training in art, photography and computer software.
 


Become A Member:  Individuals who perform covered work as an Illustrator, Storyboard Artist or Matte Artists under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership thirty days following commencement of employment ...Read More
IMA MEMBERSHIP
Illustrators, Storyboard Artists and Matte Artists (& Previs??)

Thank you for your interest in becoming part of Local 800 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). If you are presently seeking employment in the entertainment industry or have already begun working at a company covered by one of our agreements, we hope the following information will be of assistance.

Individuals who perform covered work as an Illustrator, Storyboard Artist or Matte Artists under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership thirty days following commencement of employment (see next paragraph below for admission eligibility requirements). The individual is obligated to submit an application and the required fees in accordance with the Agreement under which he or she is employed as the necessary pre-condition to continued employment under a union agreement. Many of the Local 800 agreements require that preference of employment be given to those individuals having previous work experience in the motion picture industry. (See below under Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster.)

Eligibility for application and admission into Local 800 as an Illustrator or Matte Artist is typically triggered by working for a signatory company in a Local 800 covered classification. Thirty calendar days from the start date the employee is required to join Local 800. And there are three typical scenarios:
a. When a project starts out non-union then signs an IA agreement; that is, it's “organized." Employees working in a Local 800 covered classification when the project is organized then are eligible for admission into the union. Please contact the Guild's Membership Department.
b. Employees also become eligible when they work on signatory commercials and music videos.
c. Employees gain covered employment as an “off-Roster hire.”  (See below.)

The Guild does not maintain a hiring hall. Prospective employees or members should contact employers by letter and resume and express an interest in employment. A portfolio clearly demonstrating skills and abilities generally will be required at all employer interviews. A resume may be forwarded to the union office where it will be maintained on file for six months. Health and welfare, retirement benefits and minimum wage scales and working conditions are negotiated by the union in the majority of its collective bargaining agreements, and the employers make contributions on behalf of covered employees, in accordance with those agreements. Employee/members are notified when they've qualified for benefits. Additionally, members receive the following benefits and partake in the following activities:
- Workplace grievance protection
- Training and education (seminars, symposia, etc.)
- Access to employment information
- ADG Membership Directory and semi-monthly newsletter
- Annual Awards Banquet
- Film Society screenings

We look forward to welcoming you into the membership of the Art Directors Guild, Local 800, IATSE. Should you have any questions regarding union membership, please contact the office. (818) 762-9995.

Motion Picture Industry Roster
Entrance onto the Industry Experience Roster assures the individual preference of employment over all others not on the Roster; placement on the Roster is a necessary pre-condition for Illustrators and Matte Artists wishing to work on most film and television projects. (Exceptions to this Roster requirement may be made for an individual because of his “special studio experience, skill and qualifications” for the particular position, or when there are “insufficiently qualified available persons” on the Roster.)

To get onto the Industry Experience Roster, one must apply to Contract Services and have worked a total of no less than 30 days for one or more signatory companies, within a period of 365 consecutive calendar days immediately preceding the time the person makes application for Roster placement.

There is also a Commercial Industry Experience Roster; 30 days working for a commercial signatory is required, and an additional 60 days of commercial work qualifies the person for placement on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster.

Once on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster, individuals are eligible to work on signatory projects without having to get the Guild's permission. And when the individual begins work on the signatory project in a Local 800 covered classification, he/she must join the Local on or after the 30th calendar day from that date.

For more detailed information in connection with gaining membership into Local 800, please contact the Guild's Membership Department. (818) 762-9995 For more detailed information in connection with placement on the Industry Experience Roster, please contact Contract Services Administration Trust Fund at www.csatf.org or 818-995-0900.
 


History:  As the techniques of storytelling in motion pictures gradually advanced from the early 1900s into the 1920s, becoming more realistic in setting and action, filmmakers soon discovered the necessity of employing Illustrators to develop conceptual sketches and storyboards. ...Read More
Illustrators, Storyboard Artists and Matte Artists

A Brief History

As the techniques of storytelling in motion pictures gradually advanced from the early 1900s into the 1920s, becoming more realistic in setting and action, filmmakers soon discovered the necessity of employing Illustrators to develop conceptual sketches and storyboards during preproduction and Matte Artists to expand the filmed visuals in production and post production. The Illustrators and Matte Artists soon were bringing life to the written words of the writer, the aesthetic visions of the Art Director/Production Designer and the ideals and actions planned by the producer and director.

Exactly when the first conceptual illustrations and storyboards were created for a film has not survived the passage of time, but concept illustrations planning the first known matte shots by Norman Dawn in 1905 survive. He later executed matte paintings for his film, California Missions, released in 1907, showing how the then deteriorating structures initially looked in all their previous glories. By the 1920s, William Cameron Menzies was doing conceptual illustrations and storyboards and designing mattes for Douglas Fairbanks’ adventure films like Robin Hood (1922) and The Thief of Bagdad (1924). As an Art Director, he passed on his motion picture techniques to the future Illustrators and Matte Artists he employed. He would later become the first person to receive the screen credit, “Production Designer,” in 1939 for Gone with the Wind. For this landmark film on the American South during the Civil War, Menzies also chose to feature the illustrations of Dorothea Holt and J. McMillan Johnson and matte paintings of Jack Cosgrove, Byron Crabbe, Fitch Fulton, Jack Shaw and Albert Simpson to help realize the production’s now classic imagery.

Following Menzies’ visions, the additional following indelible images have benefited from the conceptualizations, storyboards and paintings of the Illustrators and Matte Artists: King Kong’s prehistoric world; the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City; the bell towers, gargoyles and flying buttresses of the Hunchback’s Notre Dame cathedral; the castles of the Three Musketeers; the Pirate strongholds of the Caribbean, the Seahawk and Treasure Island; the Roman empires of Caesar and Ben Hur; Citizen Kane’s fabled Xanadu estate; Tarzan’s African tree house; Cleopatra’s Egypt; the King of Kings’ Jerusalem; the last stands of Custer, the Alamo and the Spartan 300; the sinking of the Titanic and the Poseidon; the private lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Porgy and Bess, Funny Girl and Benjamin Button; the night life conquests of the Terminator, James Bond and Batman; the daylight conquests of Superman, Iron Man and the X-Men; the futures of Blade Runner and H.G. Welles; and the universes of Flash Gordon, Star Trek and Star Wars. And, of course, there have been many, many more that have also come to life thanks to the initial strokes of the Illustrators and the final touches of the Matte Artists.

As the early 20th century methods of film making evolved into a major industry, the various trades they employed were subsequently organized into guilds and unions. By the 1930s, the Illustrators and Matte Artists were part of the Federation of Motion Picture Crafts. By 1941 they became a part of the Conference of Studio Unions. In 1945, they received their own chartered local, Local 790 in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which by the 1950s became the dominant labor organization representing the motion picture and television job categories working behind the camera. In 2008, the IATSE merged the Illustrators and Matte Artists’ Local 790 into Local 800, the Art Directors Guild, which is now comprised of most of the major cinematic art crafts in Hollywood.



SET DESIGNERS  |   SDMM CRAFT
There are four categories of Members in the SDMM Craft: Senior Set Designers, Junior Set Designers, Specialist Set Designers and Senior Set Model Builders  ...Read More
1. Senior Set Designers
Senior Set Designers are engaged by the producer to prepare working drawings used in the erection of motion picture sets, set models, backgrounds, miniatures or any similar elements.

2. Junior Set Designers
Junior Set Designers are assigned by the producer to work with a Senior Set Designer and possess a full knowledge of architectural drafting and a basic knowledge of architectural design.

3. Specialist Set Designers
Specialist Set Designers are engaged by the producer to perform special tasks; they are engaged in the design and drawings of boats, trains, airplanes, missiles, outer space vehicles, furniture hardware or any other specialty which the parties may agree upon.

4. Senior Set Model Builders
Senior Set Model Builders shall be deemed to mean persons assigned by the Producer for the design and/or construction of set models used for study, research or presentation, but not for photographic purposes. Model Makers will, with the Producer's approval, be free to utilize any and all materials available and necessary for a proper presentation, but not for photographic purposes.


Become A Member: Individuals who perform covered work as a Set Designer or Model Builders under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership thirty days following commencement of employment. ...Read More

Senior Set Designers, Junior Set Designers, Specialist Set Designers, Senior Set Model Builders 

Thank you for your interest in becoming part of Local 800 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). If you are presently seeking employment in the entertainment industry or have already begun working at a company covered by one of our agreements, we hope the following information will be of assistance.

Individuals who perform covered work as a Set Designer or Set Model Builder under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership thirty days following commencement of employment (see next paragraph below for admission eligibility requirements). The individual is obligated to submit an application and the required fees in accordance with the Agreement under which he or she is employed as the necessary pre-condition to continued employment under a union agreement. Many of the Local 800 agreements require that preference of employment be given to those individuals having previous work experience in the motion picture industry. (See below under Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster.)

Eligibility for application and admission into Local 800 as a Set Designer or Set Model Builder is typically triggered by working for a signatory company in a Local 800 covered classification. Thirty calendar days from the start date the employee is required to join Local 800. And there are three typical scenarios:

a. When a project starts out non-union then signs an IA agreement; that is, it's “organized." Employees working in a Local 800 covered classification when the project is organized then are eligible for admission into the union. Please contact the Guild's Membership Department.

b. Employees also become eligible when they work on signatory commercials and music videos.

c. Employees gain covered employment as an “off-Roster hire.”  (See below.)

The Guild does not maintain a hiring hall. Prospective employees or members should contact employers by letter and resume and express an interest in employment. A portfolio clearly demonstrating skills and abilities generally will be required at all employer interviews. A resume may be forwarded to the union office where it will be maintained on file for six months. Health and welfare, retirement benefits and minimum wage scales and working conditions are negotiated by the union in the majority of its collective bargaining agreements, and the employers make contributions on behalf of covered employees, in accordance with those agreements. Employee/members are notified when they've qualified for benefits. Additionally, members receive the following benefits and partake in the following activities:

- Workplace grievance protection

- Training and education (seminars, symposia, etc.)

- Access to employment information

- ADG Membership Directory and semi-monthly newsletter

- Annual Awards Banquet

- Film Society screenings

We look forward to welcoming you into the membership of the Art Directors Guild, Local 800, IATSE. Should you have any questions regarding union membership, please contact the office. (818) 762-9995
 

Motion Picture Industry Roster

Entrance onto the Industry Experience Roster assures the individual preference of employment over all others not on the Roster; placement on the Roster is a necessary pre-condition for Set Designers and Set Model Builders wishing to work on most film and television projects. (Exceptions to this Roster requirement may be made for an individual because of his “special studio experience, skill and qualifications” for the particular position, or when there are “insufficiently qualified available persons” on the Roster.)

To get onto the Industry Experience Roster, one must apply to Contract Services and have worked a total of no less than 30 days for one or more signatory companies, within a period of 365 consecutive calendar days immediately preceding the time the person makes application for Roster placement.

There is also a Commercial Industry Experience Roster; 30 days working for a commercial signatory is required, and an additional 60 days of commercial work qualifies the person for placement on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster.

Once on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster, individuals are eligible to work on signatory projects without having to get the Guild's permission. And when the individual begins work on the signatory project in a Local 800 covered classification, he/she must join the Local on or after the 30th calendar day from that date.

For more detailed information in connection with gaining membership into Local 800, please contact the Guild's Membership Department. (818) 762-9995 For more detailed information in connection with placement on the Industry Experience Roster, please contact Contract Services Administration Trust Fund at www.csatf.org or 818-995-0900.



History:  Local #847 was established as Set Designers & Model Makers on November 14, 1952, with ten charter members: Leroy Coleman, Walter C. Myall, F. Randall Williams, John H. Senter (aka Jack), Howard Hollander,  Robert F. Purcell, William Campbell, Stanley M. Falken, Oswald F. Rennison and Wesley D. Frock. ...Read More
In the early days of the Local #847, there were several levels of experience a person would work through to become a Senior Set Designer. Similar to an apprentice program, and beginning with the category of Junior C, 3,000 hours of work experience would be required to ‘move-up’ to Junior B. An additional 3,000 hours were required to move to the next level, Junior A. Even the Senior Set Designers had multiple categories: Senior I and Senior II. All of the Senior I members had to be working before someone could move-up from Senior II to Senior I. 

The following contribution is by Jim Wallis, Local 847 member, originally included in the SDMM Directory, 2002.

“Welcome to the first Set Designers and Model Makers Directory of the new millennium!” With the turning of the millennium, our Local is a little more than a year from turning 50.

I could not think of a more opportune time to ponder where we’ve come from and where we are going. As I looked over the artwork so graciously made available by 20th Century Fox, and read “The Olde Days” by Roland Hill, Jr., it really hit home how much the manner of what we do has changed and yet the artistry has remained the same. We still design “houses and hovels, skyscrapers and shacks, trains, planes and automobiles, sea ships, spaceships and prairie schooners”, to quote my predecessor — we just do it in a variety of old and new ways.

I find that I am frightened by the possibility that we are losing some of our heritage and our knowledge. In “The Olde Days” there were large art departments in which people worked their way up. This was an incredible system for passing on knowledge, all the new kids on the block were able to learn from the experience of the old hands, and there was always someone to turn to with more experience than you had. Alas, all of that system has vanished, but the knowledge has not, at least not yet.

One of the greatest things we can do as a Union is to educate our members. Educate them with the experience of all those who have gone before us as well as to educate them in all the new technologies that are rapidly taking over our entire industry. There are two things that we are doing about this.

First, with the help of Contract Services, our members are teaching each other. We are continuing the great tradition of passing on knowledge from Seniors to Juniors. Many of our members have devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy into this amazing endeavor, all that I can say is that everyone should take advantage of it. God forbid!! You might learn something.

Second, again with the help of Contract Services, classes in the computer technologies are being offered. We have to stay abreast of all these new methods of performing our work if we want to be competitive in the ever-changing industry. We need to be able to communicate with Special Effects and Post Production who have leaped into the electronic age, and if there is going to be virtual scenery it would be much better that it be created by Set Designers using computers, rather than computer technicians attempting to design.

Finally, we all need to teach each other. I doubt that there isn’t some bit of information or different way of doing something that every one of our members, both old and new, can’t share with each other. We have to protect our profession as we move into the 21st Century and knowledge is our greatest weapon.
 



SCENIC, TITLE & GRAPHIC ARTISTS  |   STG CRAFT
What Are Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists?
Besides its collective bargaining agreements covering Art Directors, Local 800 has over twenty-five different collective bargaining agreements for its Scenic, Title and Graphic Artist members ...Read More
 
Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists

What Are Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists?
Besides its collective bargaining agreements covering Art Directors, Local 800 has over twenty-five different collective bargaining agreements for its Scenic, Title and Graphic Artist members employed in over fifty companies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Denver. A great percentage of its highly skilled artists hold academic degrees in the fine and theater arts.

Members work in the many diverse but related fields of the entertainment industry such as:
- Motion Picture and Television
- Theaters
- Theme Amusement Parks
- Commercials
- Independent Production Shops
- Trade Shows
- Museums

Scenic Artists: Paint backdrops, murals, figures, portraits, free hand decoration, fine art painting and stained glass for film, television and theater. In broadcast facilities, in scenic shops and theatrical stage/shops members additionally perform set painting and sign writing.

Title Artists: Design, draw and paint titles for films and coming attractions (trailers), screen advertising and main title illustrations using hand and computer skills.

Graphic Artists: Provide on air graphics, bumpers, print advertising, production graphics and promotional material utilizing traditional skills including use of state of the art computers.

Become A Member: Individuals who perform covered work as Scenic, Title, or Graphic Artists under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership in one of those categories thirty days following commencement of employment ...Read More
STG MEMBERSHIP
Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists

Thank you for your interest in the Art Directors Guild, Local 800 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).
If you are presently seeking employment in the entertainment industry or have already begun working at a company covered by one of our agreements, we hope the following information will be of assistance.

Individuals who perform covered work as Scenic, Title, or Graphic Artists under a Local 800 or IATSE collective bargaining agreement may apply for membership in one of those categories thirty days following commencement of employment. The individual is obligated to submit an application and the required fees in accordance with the agreement under which he or she is employed as the necessary pre-condition to continued employment under a union agreement. Many of the Local 800 agreements require that preference of employment be given to those individuals having previous work experience in the motion picture industry.

The Guild does not maintain a hiring hall. Prospective employees or members should contact employers by letter and resume and express an interest in employment. A portfolio clearly demonstrating skills and abilities generally will be required at all employer interviews.
A resume may be forwarded to the union office where it will be maintained on file for six months.

Union membership is a good investment in your career. In the great American tradition, entertainment companies are formed to make profits. However, in pursuing this time honored and respected goal, the interests and well being of the skilled artists and crafts people serving the entertainment industry are frequently compromised or, in many cases, entirely overlooked.

Therefore, Local 800's goal is to improve the quality of your life through "collective bargaining. Simply stated, when we stand together we are able to negotiate wages, working conditions and benefits that are fair and reasonable. Health and welfare, retirement benefits and minimum wage scales and working conditions are negotiated by the union in the majority of our collective bargaining agreements, and the employers make contributions on behalf of covered employees, in accordance with those agreements. Members are notified when they've qualified for benefits.

We look forward to welcoming you into the membership of the Art Directors Guild, Local 800, IATSE.
Should you have any questions regarding union membership, please contact the union office. (818) 762-9995



Benefits of Membership with Local 800/Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists
Fair Wages and Decent Working Conditions: Overtime pay after working eight hours each day or 40 hours per week.
Compensation for missed meals, short turnaround time, etc.

Health and Welfare Benefits:  A choice of medical plans paid for by employers in accordance with collective bargaining agreements.
In most cases, members employed under the broadcast agreements, independent shops and theaters are covered under the Entertainment Industry Flex Plan and 401(k) Annuity Plan, and members employed in feature films and television are covered under the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans.

Safer Working Conditions:  State and federal safety laws enforced at all times. Your health and well being on the job is a priority.
The motion picture industry and the IATSE are currently involved in providing the Safety Passport program, which enables our members to take safety classes required to work in their particular craft. Once a member has completed the classes, the passport may allow the member to use this training for employment with the various studios and companies.

Standardized Procedures for Dispute Resolution and Grievances:  A Business Representative, Shop Steward and legal counsel are available to respond to serious problems in the workplace. Local 800 is well prepared to handle work related grievances such as pay disputes, health and safety concerns, discrimination, harassment, etc.

Representation on the State and National Level by Professional Union Lobbyists:  Looking out for your interests, in areas such as safety, working conditions, and workers rights.
Like most unions, we are a democratically run organization that not only encourages, but also requires the active participation of its members for success. A union is only as strong as the commitment of its members. In the final analysis, joining Local 800 provides an opportunity to form important professional and lifelong personal relationships with other artists who share not only a common livelihood, but also common interests and concerns as well.


History:   The creation of its own local (formerly known as Local 816) in March of 1949 marked the first time the Hollywood Scenic Artists and Title Artists had its own local representing its unique needs ...Read More
Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists History
The creation of its own local (formerly known as Local 816) in March of 1949 marked the first time the Hollywood Scenic Artists and Title Artists had its own local representing its unique needs. Previously, the members were part of Local 644 of the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) working in film and theater. The overwhelming majority of Local 644's membership, however, had been made up of set painters and paperhangers and included set designers as well. It was not until the dissolution of the CSU after a long series of bitterly contested strikes that the scenic artists were able to organize exclusively. Those artists had been pioneers in their field, responsible for devising and developing the methods used to create representational scenery unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

The size and strength of the local grew with the inclusion of television contracts in the early 1950s. Television, at that time, was in effect an extension of live theater and required a lot of painted two-dimensional scenery instead of the three-dimensional sets used in film. As the nature of television scenery changed, the responsibilities of the television scenic artist broadened to include those of the set painter. Local 816 was the only local in the entertainment industry that worked in all three major areas of the business: film, television and theater.

January, 2003, the 850 members of ADG merged with the 650 member Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists to form the Art Directors Guild & Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists.

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