There’s an old concept in the film business that no one person is responsible for the completion of a movie. Of course there are arguments to that theory but anyone who has ever been on a film set or any kind of shoot knows that it takes many more people than the person who says “Action” to get the project off the ground and into the movie theatres.

Once you step onto a shooting stage, whether it’s in a Hollywood studio or on location out in the desert somewhere, you’ll see someone operating the camera, people setting up lights and reflectors, several sound people, a director, a makeup person, and among many other people contributing their part to making the movie, there will also be an art director. This position is one of the important behind the scenes jobs that can’t be overlooked. The art director, especially on commercials and independent films is responsible for the overall look of the film, the visual identity of the project as a whole.

Jake Wilkens, from The Great White North, or Canada as some folks call it, is a very talented and much in demand young art director. He loves what he does and started out working on the construction team building sets for a horror movie. The production designer apparently liked his work and promoted him to assistant art director and the rest is history. Wait a minute…that’s simply not enough. Okay, then, here’s a little more. Jake became fully interested in the job of art direction when he realized on that particular shoot that there was a lot more going on in each scene than just the acting and the camera work. He found himself seeing, for the first time, the smallest details on each set and in each shot, and then he started to appreciate each frame of film for what it really contained. He realized that everything in the frame was meant to be there and was placed in its exact spot on purpose – by the art director.

He always liked movies but more as entertainment than as an art form. Once he observed all the things that went into designing and dressing a set, he recognized  the art and the creativity in the field of art direction and knew that working on films and commercials was what he wanted to do as a career. He also decided to move to Los Angeles to be at the epicenter of filmmaking in the Western world and immersed himself in the essentials of Entertainment Studies at UCLA. After that he began getting jobs as an art director. Of course, his curiosity got the best of him and he also started working as a cinematographer, writer and director, eventually making his own film, “Wanderer,” which won high praise and was warmly welcomed at several well known international film festivals.

We are going to be keeping our eye on Jake Wilkens. We certainly want to see what he’s going to do next.

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