Making movies is hard work; ask anyone who has worked on one. Jake Wilkens, the Art Director, can tell you first hand what it’s like to work on a film and then come home late and just want to flop into bed. Of course, when you’re working on a film, the cycle begins again the next morning – early the next morning. A lot of the people on the set, however, do get to go home and actually flop into bed, whereas Jake, when he’s the art Director, has to take his work home with him and prepare for the next day’s shoot. That means, of course, that his sleep patterns will be a bit different during the cycle of the film shoot than most of the other crew members.
Jake doesn’t mind, though; it’s what he does – he’s a filmmaker – and that is his choice. He wouldn’t have it any other way. When he takes on a project he gives a hundred percent. Films are an art form but he realizes that they are also a business and he likes to look at movies from both angles, especially when he is working on them. He tries to be conscious of the aesthetics, which pertain to the visuals in movies and he is well aware of the budgetary concerns that his job must constantly take into consideration. In other words, if he designs certain backgrounds for a scene he has to create them within a certain budget; he can only spend a certain amount of money on any one film.
Budgetary concerns, however, are not always as bad or limiting as they might seem. Jake will tell you that when he has a small budget to work with his mind goes into overdrive and many times will become even more creative. He understands the goal; that the Art Director is responsible for the film’s visual integrity. He’s worked on countless projects as Art Director so he knows what is expected of him. He’s also worked in other capacities on films, such as cinematographer, producer, writer and director. Several of the films he has worked on as Art Director have been positively singled out by critics, and one of the films he wrote, produced and directed, Wanderer, received applause and accolades at several international film festivals. Yes, making movies is hard work, but some people, like Jake Wilkens, wouldn’t have it any other way.