Art Directors Guild Launches Previs Informational Site

The Art Directors Guild currently represents approximately 2,000 Art Directors, Graphic Artists, Illustrators, Matte Artists, Model Makers, Scenic Artists, Set Designers and Title Artists. With this base, that includes storyboard and concept artists, they feel it is natural to represent Previs artists and have launched a new informational web site to provide information and start a dialogue with artists and companies.

Peter Koczera, Organizer & Field Representative, comes from a 25 plus year career as a visual effects artist and long time union title artist, before starting work for the guild four years ago. Koczera joked that in making the move to the union side he “now gets paid for what he used to get fired for doing”. Koczera explained that the web site is a start, designed to present basic facts and information and a way to contact him with questions. He can reply individually, or for answers that would help a larger audience he will add content to the web site. Confidentiality is assured.

Koczera referred us to a quote by the owner of a Previs company that explains that modern Previs is applying modern computer tools to planning the vision of the filmmaker… that previously would have been done with storyboards, concept art and physical models. This is exactly the Art Director’s case – that Previs is just adapting new tools to long standing crafts already represented by the Guild. Koczera: “We represent four craft councils: Art Directors – Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists – Illustrators and Matte Artists – Set Designers and Model Makers… the Art Department has been adapting to new tools and this is no different”.

Koczera wants the web site to help inform artists about options available to them “…for people who are not informed about what unions are all about, to let them talk with people that they work with, let them talk with union people they might come across. I also then encourage them to get in contact with me by way of the Contact Us tab on the site, my email and phone number is there”. “It’s called collective bargaining, if you don’t have the strength of a union behind you… it’s bargaining by a group, for a group… Unions are the members, they are responsible for their own destiny”.

In regards to the companies he adds “We are not out to close down businesses, it makes no sense to do that. We’re out to get fair, decent wages and working conditions and benefits for people who are in those companies”.

Koczera was very careful to point out that there is only so much the Guild can do, it is up to the artists to seek information, start a dialogue and get involved. The union can offer many benefits like health care, pension, a unified voice for employment issues – but it all has to start with artists.

Visit the Art Directors Guild Previs Informational Site:

For more on The Arts Directors Guild check out a podcast we did with Tom Walsh, President of The Art Director’s Guild – you can listen to the fxpodcast here.

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