Art Directors Guild

Art Directors Guild

Infobox Union
full_name=The Art Directors Guild

country=United States
affiliation= IATSE
head=Thomas Walsh, President
office=11969 Ventura Blvd. 2nd Floor
Studio City, California, 91604, USA
website= []

The The Art Directors Guild is a local union of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) representing approximately 2,000 motion picture and television professions based in the Western United States. Local 800 is also known as the ADG.

The ADG's ongoing activities include a Film Society, an Annual ADG Awards banquet and ceremony, the publication of an annual membership directory, a technology-training program and a professional quarterly news magazine called Perspective. They were also the cosponsors of the first ever 5D Conference, held in Long Beach, California.


Local 800 is comprised of the Art Directors Guild, the Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists, the Illustrators and Matte Artists, and the Set Designers and Model Makers crafts.

Crafts represented by the ADG:

* Art Directors
* Production Designers
* Graphic Artists
* Illustrators
* Matte Artists
* Model Makers
* Scenic Artists
* Set Designers
* Title Artists


Art Directors Guild

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 63 of the top men and women pursuing that craft formed the Cinemagundi Club (named after New York’s club for artists, the Salmagundi Club), a casual organization that met mainly for socializing at a Hollywood restaurant. Through the years, the Cinemagundi Club developed into a forum for Production Designers and Art Directors to exchange views and to discuss problems. In 1937, the Club transformed itself into the Society of Motion Picture Art Directors. Television was added to its name 30 years later and in January of 2000, it became the Art Directors Guild. [ Official Website]

The 1930s were bleak times, however, for Art Directors and other industry craft artists who were not being given proper credit for the important creative contributions they made to the art of filmmaking. That attitude dramatically changed in 1939 with Gone With the Wind, when producer David O. Selznick agreed to give the new credit of “Production Designer” to William Cameron Menzies for his brilliant work on the classic film. Menzies (the dean of U.S. film art direction at the time) produced scene-by-scene storyboards and illustrations for Gone With the Wind that revolutionized the film industry. They demonstrated the vital role that production design plays in the overall look of a theatrical motion picture, establishing practices still in use today. [ Official Website]

After World War II, many “below the line” industry labor organizations, including the Art Directors Guild, signed on with the IATSE for overall union representation. The Guild became more active, grew in membership, and expanded opportunities as television developed.

cenic, Title and Graphic Artists

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.


In 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. On July 1, 2008, under the orders of IATSE International President Thomas C. Short, Local 790 Illustrators & Matte Artists and Local 847 Set Designers and Model Makers were also merged into Local 800. [,0,7314674.story]

ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards

The ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards are presented annually by the "The Art Directors Guild" to recognize excellence in production design and art direction in the film and television industries.


External links

* [ "Art Directors Guild"] official site
* [ "ADG Art Direction Wiki"] film design knowledge base primarily maintained by members of the Art Directors Guild
* [ "Art Directors Guild"] page on IMDB
* [ IATSE official website]

See also

*List of IATSE locals

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