Production Directors & 
Costume Designers
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Production Designer and Costume Designer
The artists in the background

Generally the job of production designer and costume designer is combined under the generic term "art director". In its widest sense you can compare the function of an art director with that of a stage designer but the task of the latter is made much more complex by special effects.

At the beginning of film history art direction didn't play an essential part, the film maker followed the example of the theater. Moreover the static camera in those days didn't call for dramatic scenery. Optical illusion met the expectations at that time. 
Only in 1913 the directors freed themselves from the theater, for example Feuillade, who used the designs of Robert Jules Garnier - the set leader of Gaumont - for the movie "Fantomas" (1913-1914) and "Les Vampires" (1915-1916). 
Even at that time the dexterity of the Italian architects was revealed. When in 1914 the movie "Cabiria" was created with its monumental settings it caused a real boom. 

Hollywood took up the idea immediately and so the Italien architects conquered the USA.
From the 20s to 40s there was a movement away from location shooting. It became normal that a whole film was shot exclusively in the studios; the scenery was reproduced to scale in order to get away from the influence of weather and background noise. 
The shooting of "The House on the 92nd Street" in 1945 was considered revolutionary when these were shot, under the influence of Italian Neorealism, in the real New York.
Since the 60s all movies have normally been shot outside of the studios, sometime under most difficult circumstances.

In Germany the most important innovations were realised after World War I - with Expressionism. The absolute heyday of this style was the movie "Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari" in 1920, where complete landscapes and houses were shown in abstract. The leading authorities at that time were Otto Hunte, Hermann Warm, Walter Röhrig, Robert Herlth, Karl Vollbrecht and Erich Kettelhut. Germany held the leading position concerning art direction. 
In the 30s the American film rose very fast in the field of art direction. Soon the competition had been outshone. The eminent authorities were Richard Day, Alexander Golitzen, Hans Dreier, Van Nest Polglase, William Cameron Menzies and Cedric Gibbons. 

A special accuracy was required by historical movies. Each detail had to be right, be it with the Romans, Vikings, the knights etc. In these historical fields the costume designers found their challenge. The absolute sovereign was Edith Head, who was suggested for the "Oscar" for 35 films and was awarded an oscar eight times. The costume department" is also the only one where the number of women employed equaled that of men. Very busy "stars" were Dorothy Jeakins, Travilla, Irene Sharaff, Jean Louis, Walter Plunkett, Gile Steele, Charles LeMaire, Helen Rose, Julie Harris, Orry-Kelly and Theodora von Runkle. They all belong to those marvelous artists, who "kidnapped" the viewers to distant time and worlds as a result of their fantastic costumes.

It was the musical in the 30s which formed the climax, especially those of Busby Berkeley, who brought together dreamlike costumes, breathtaking scenery and an inimitable choreography. In this way he created his own fairyland.
Today whole cities are created and combined with even more realistic appearing special effects, which finally cannot be distinguished from reality (e.g.. Star Wars, Batman (Gotham City).

This short report is dedicated to the great doer in the background, at least for a short moment their names will flicker up in some of the readers memory. Unfortunately these great artists also belong to the "nameless" in the hard film business.