MARKET ST BY STEPHEN SHORE 1977.
'ARROWHEAD WATER BILLBOARD, SOUTHERN CA' BY DICK WHITTINGTON 1931.
'FAMOUS MALTED MILK, NEW YORK CITY' BY RUTH ORKIN 1950.
STREET LIGHT IN WASHINGTON, D.C. 1941.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION:
...WHAT DOES A RESEARCHER IN FILM AND TELEVISION ACTUALLY DO?
Researchers in the Film & TV industry work with the Production Designer to find, organize, and present visual references that inspire, support, and enhance an overall vision for the design of a film or series. As the design process moves along, Researchers assist every position within the Art Department in order to uphold this vision. Our work often also stretches into helping other departments like Set Dec, Props, and Costumes.
Researchers bring a wide-ranging visual knowledge of things like architects and architecture movements, photographers, artists, etc. and are adept at finding answers to difficult or often obscure questions. This requires a vast knowledge of libraries, archives, and websites, which allows us to find information on a much deeper level than anything a cursory Google search would give you.
This position has been around for a long time, but has morphed over the years. Historically, every major studio had an on-lot Research Department that provided support for the story, production, legal, and publicity departments. This department had its greatest impact aiding the designers and craftspeople in visual departments in the creation of physical sets and costumes. Now, most often, we work as members of the Art Department. (As somewhat of an aside, this documentary about Harold and Lillian Michelson is really great.)