Portfolio Review

Portfolio Review

Art direction portfolio review application process

This Portfolio Review is for applicants seeking work in the craft of Assistant Art Direction. If you’re interested in more information about the Local 800 crafts of Illustrators and Matte Artists; Scenic, Title, and Graphic Design; or Set Designers and Model Makers, please visit these areas of the ADG website for more information. Before applying, the ADG strongly recommends applicants have at least three years of professional work experience in Art Direction work, in crafts equivalent to Local 800 crafts, or related fields. Examples of the applicant’s professional work must be included in the portfolio presented for review. Interviews will be held in Los Angeles three times a year. The interview will be held three weeks after the application deadline.

Application Deadline Dates:

  • December 26 2020
  • April 24 2021
  • August 28 2021

Portfolio Review Dates:

  • January 16 2021
  • May 15 2021
  • September 18 2021


  • Application Fee $200 (Non-Refundable)
  • Application form (please submit form to portfolio@adg.org) (see form below)
  • Copy of resume with educational background and related work experience
  • 3 letters of recommendation (please use form below)
  • Portfolio materials (see below)
  • Interview

Incomplete applications or missing fees will postpone your scheduled interview time and your application’s review until such a time as all application materials have been received.

Upon completion of application and interview, applicant will receive notification of application result via U.S. Mail in a timely manner.

An applicant who has been approved through the Art Directors Guild portfolio review process, must obtain an offer of work in the Art Direction craft on an IATSE signatory production and complete 30 days of work in order to be placed on the Industry Experience Roster. Roster placement is the sole responsibility of the applicant.


Once all required documents are received, the ADG will contact you with your interview date and time.

Your application and all materials must be received by the Local 800 office at least one week before the date of your interview. If we have not received your materials, the Local 800 office will contact you and you will need to reschedule your interview.

You must be prepared to discuss any content in your application, portfolio, and resume, as well as an Art Director’s role in communicating and interfacing with any departments within the industry.

Please bring all of the original materials from your portfolio to the interview, including printed documents, scale drawings, and any physical models. You will have a total of thirty (30) minutes to present your portfolio for review and to answer questions from interviewers.


Your portfolio must include the following materials. These materials can be from the same project or from many different projects. If you do not have some of the materials from previous work, you may create them for this application using a project of your choosing.

Digital materials must be submitted as PDFs. No individual file may exceed 10MB in size. Please save any images at the highest resolution available at this file size.

1. Script Breakdown.

Breakdown must include, but is not limited to, the following items: scene numbers with page count, set list indicating location and/or stage sets, graphics breakdown, props breakdown, set decoration breakdown.

2. Art Department Budget.

Must include budget breakdown for each set of one project. Project can be one commercial, episode of television, feature film, music video, short film, or web series. Budget must include any applicable new stage construction, alterations to locations, greens, graphics, and paint. Budget may also include set decoration, props, picture vehicles, and costumes.

3. Prep/Strike Schedule.

Must include summarized scope of work for prep days and strike days for Art Department for the duration of one commercial, episode of television, feature film, music video, short film, or web series. Must include prep days and strike days for other departments when their work interfaces directly with Art Department; this may include Construction, Greens, Grip, Graphics, Paint, Picture Vehicles, Plaster, Props, Set Decoration, Camera, Costumes, Set Lighting, Special Effects, and Visual Effects.

4. Set Project, Location.

Must include all materials listed below for each of the following: (1) One interior set on location, and (2) One exterior set on location. These do not need to be at the same location, or for the same project.

  1. Research must include, but is not limited to, architectural style, set decoration, palette, and tone boards.
  2. Sketch(es) showing design of set and alterations to locations. This may include digital and/or hand sketches.
  3. Director’s Plan of set, show the placement of furniture and furnishings.
  4. Location Photos, with notes indicating placement of added construction, paint, signage, greens, and/or graphics.

5. Set Project, Stage.

Must include all materials listed below for: (1) One multi-room stage set.

  1. Research must include, but is not limited to, architectural style, set decoration, palette, and tone boards.
  2. Sketch(es) showing design of set. This may include digital and/or hand sketches.
  3. Scale white model of set or digital model of set. Either white model or digital model must be presented in multiple images, to include plan view and angles from each side. Digital model must include interior camera views keyed to a ground plan. Physical model must be brought with you to your interview.
  4. Scale stage spotting plan. Must include placement of set, greens, and backings on sound stage. For backings, include photographic research and indicate material and size.
  5. Scale Working Drawings: (1) ground plan, (2) reflected ceiling plan, and (3) elevations. Include indications for wild walls. Scale Details: (4) window detail, (5) door detail, and (6) moulding detail. These documents do not need to be construction drawings, but must demonstrate an understanding of communication regarding the design of constructed sets.
  6. Construction documentation: (1) door schedule, (2) window schedule, (3) hardware schedule, and (4) practical lighting plot.
  7. Paint/Surface documentation. Must include: (1) paint elevation and (2) photo/texture reference board.
  8. Graphic and signage design. Must include each of the following for both one prop or set decoration graphic and for one architectural sign: (1) research examples and (2) digital or hand sketch of graphic idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Portfolio Review Process

  • Application fee: If an applicant does not pass the review the first time they may reapply for a reduced fee of $50. There is no limit to how many times an applicant can reapply.
  • Recommendation letters: An applicant may attach recommendation letters to the recommendation form. All recommendations need to be from professional work relationships, no educational relationships accepted.
  • Physical Models: If an applicant is no longer in possession of their scale white model they may show photos of the model with a confirmation that they created the model if they worked for someone else. Digital models are also acceptable.
  • Portfolio Materials: The applicant may submit from multiple projects and can be from a project that they assisted on. All portfolio materials must be from professional work.
  • Interviews: All interviews will take place at the Local 800 offices in Studio City, CA.


Please call our office at (818) 762-9995
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