Production Notes: Artwork in Movies | Nevada Film Office

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Production Notes: Artwork in Movies

Production Notes: Artwork in Movies

How Do Movies Find Artwork to Feature on the Big Screen?

Whether it is sculptures, paintings, photographs or other custom crafts, set decorators are always looking for artwork that fits the theme of the production they are working on. At times, productions will hire a clearance coordinator whose sole job is to ensure that all proper licenses or legal permission is obtained for displaying or referencing copyrighted artwork onscreen. This can include anything from specific paintings or portraits to names of actual companies that exist in the real world or even real book titles or street addresses.

Getting clearance can be as straightforward as getting permission from the creator of the artwork or as convoluted as requesting permission from multiple entities who all have rights to a single piece of copyrighted material, such as a museum, the artist’s estate, photographers, and even more third parties.

When it comes to period-appropriate artwork, however, it can be difficult to source original pieces of art that can easily be cleared to appear in a commercial production, so artwork that closely resembles the style of the time period is commissioned or rented instead.

In addition, if cost is a factor in obtaining clearance for using certain pieces of artwork, local artists are often commissioned to create art that is style- and period-appropriate for the film’s theme.

In other cases where time is the major factor and the production does not have any specific pieces of art they want to use, set decorators will research and explore pre-cleared artwork, typically going through companies who specifically serve the film and television industry with high quality, original artwork that has already been cleared by the artist. Pre-cleared artwork can be purchased outright or rented at a percentage of the sales price, and going this route offers big savings in both time and budget.

If you are looking for professional set decorators, clearance coordinators or a legal team to help you with sourcing custom artwork for your next production, check out our online Nevada Production Directory to find experienced Nevada production crew and support services or drop by our office and pick up a free printed directory! You can also give us a call at (702) 486-2711 if you need further assistance with your production!

If you are offer production and film-related services and are not yet listed in our Nevada Production Directory, you can learn more about how to sign up for the NPD here.



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