TLG talks to Panama Location Manager Alberto Serra
Brazilian-born Alberto grew up in Panama and has been involved with the production business since he was 13 years old, with his studies and work taking him to the US, the Czech Republic and Brazil.
Alberto returned to Panama in 2004 and established Windmill Productions.
What do you like most about being a Location Manager?
The challenge and logistics involved with setting up a location for a shoot.
What has been your luckiest career break so far and why?
Working as an Assistant Location Manager on Quantum of Solace in 2007 in Panama. It was the biggest challenge and involved the biggest logistics working on such a high standard of movie with hundreds of crew members and extras.
Working as an Assistant Location Manager on Quantum of Solace in 2007 in Panama was my big break. It was the biggest challenge and involved the biggest logistics working on such a high standard of movie with hundreds of crew members and extras.
What type of production do you prefer working on and why?
Movies for the big screen, because these are more demanding than TV productions and documentaries.
What directors have you most enjoyed working with and why?
I think [Quantum of Solace’s] Marc Forster because he was a really cool person and straight up with the locations in mind.
What has been your most challenging location assignment to date?
Filming in the dangerous areas of Panama City because you have to deal with the locations that have a lot of local gang members.
Filming in the dangerous areas of Panama City was a challenge because you have to deal with the locations that have a lot of local gang members.
What is the most film-friendly location you have shot at that actively want to encourage productions their way?
Well, for Panama the private properties or the tourist areas like the Causeway, the ruins of Panama la Vieja or Casco Viejo.
What tips would you give to anyone considering filming for the first time in Panama?
Try to work with the right people and register your project with the Film Commission of Panama.
What would you consider to be the most film-friendly crew and cast hotels to stay at in Panama?
I recommend the hotels Miramar, Decapolis, Sheraton or Marriot.
If you hadn’t become a Location Manager what would you have done instead?
For the local industry I direct, produce and work as a photographer. For foreign projects I also work as a Production Manager.
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