Getting Started – Art Dept. Charlotte O’Conor
Charlotte works free lance in the Art Department for film, tv and advertising. Recent credits include League of Gentlemen’s Apocolypse, Adam and Paul, Omagh, Spin The Bottle, Showbands and Proof.
I worked on shorts and joined the Union (SIPTU), the process of joining the union involved meeting designers which was a good way of introducing myself to people, after this I basically made persistent phone calls for about 6 months! and eventually got some work experience on a feature.
I studied film (Communications) in DIT Aungier St. and Production Design in DLIADT, This gave me a grounding in the design process, from breaking down a script to technical drawing, set construction and visualisation. I also worked in shop design and display for a year.
Advantages of Formal Education
I think it has been an advantage in that you need some basis in design to work in the art department, but I think the only way to learn is through work, in the beginning, shorts are a good way of gaining experience.
I think the best advice I could give is to be patient and to get out there and meet people in the industry through working on shorts and phoning up companies or people to get work experience. Also, learn how to drive because it’s very difficult to get a job if you can’t.
The industry in Ireland seems to be in a state of flux at the moment, so I’m not sure. Working in film here is not really viable as a full time career at the moment, but let’s hope the Film Board and the other powers that be can attract more people to film here and give further support to indigenous film making.
This originally appeared in an article in Issue 105 of Film Ireland Magazine.