Visual Effects Art Director

Since this is the big time, where people are all working together to make sure everything gets done in time and on budget, someone has to be in charge. Organizing everything, even taking over the design chores every once in awhile (or at least working with the shop people) so that all remains within schedule, is the visual effects art director.

The job of the visual effects art director (which is often synonymous with visual effects supervisor) is much like that of the regular art director (described in Chapter 5), except the visual effects art director works only with the effects of the film. Brent Boates, who started out as a storyboard artist, now supervises all the effects his shop does on any given film he is assigned.

Visual effects art director is not a job you just jump into. Brent went from regular storyboards to effects storyboards, where he spent several years, and then into his current position. During those intervening years, he learned as much as he could about all the different types of special effects and what kind of effect would produce what kind of result. These were things he needed to know to do the storyboards right. In his words, you must "understand the illusion" to ensure its correct outcome.

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