On location in Colorado with Location & Community Manager Laura Grey
Laura worked in production and on film permitting in Denver before joining the Colorado Office of Film Television and Media. Despite being tempted to continue in production, she stayed in Colorado and is now Location and Community Manager with the film office.
Laura's found it the most challenging and rewarding job she’s ever done. She works with communities, State and Federal agencies, as well as film professionals from inside and outside Colorado on a daily basis. She works with productions and satisfies their needs in conjunction with the needs of the community or location, which is a satisfying challenge.
Tell me about the region you cover
I cover the entire state of Colorado, encompassing 64 counties and approximately 1,200 cities and towns. Our locations span from mountains and plains through to urban and ultra suburban, and remote and desolate. We have soundstages (Lighting Services, Inc) and rental houses (MP & E), and a depth and breadth of crew that works on anything from features to commercials, as well as everything in between. We have post houses (Post Modern Co.) and sound recording studios that work on national and international projects.
What locations are most commonly used by film and TV crews?
The City of Denver is the backdrop for all types of production; the speed, efficiency and cheapness of permitting, as well as the ability to shoot the city to look like so many locations, is a big draw.
Our mountain towns host numerous shoots all year round. Aspen, Telluride, Breckinridge, Ouray, Crested Butte and Durango are top of the mind with scouts and producers when they are looking for pristine wilderness. Locations vary from rugged to luxurious. Great local crews and jaw-dropping backdrops are guaranteed, along with epic snow or sun – most days you get both!
What are the rare, more unusual locations?
We have the Great Sand Dunes, which are the tallest in North America. Possibly what doesn’t come to mind when thinking about Colorado is that over a third of the state is plains. There’s rolling wheat and vast stretches of corn or sunflowers, cattle ranches and endless sky over a sea of blue grama grass – the vistas and possibilities are endless.
What types of production do you work on the most?
Commercials and television are currently our bread and butter. Top Gear - both the UK and US versions - were here within months of one another. Any brand that wants to identify itself as green and clean, or high-end goods such as Mercedes BMW, finds Colorado appealing.
Are there any particular tips that you would like to share?
Make sure to bring your sunscreen and drink lots of water while here; summer, fall, spring or winter. Don’t forget to layer your clothing and have a couple of tubs or tubes of your favorite lip balm on hand.
What are the most film-crew-friendly hotels and where is your favourite wrap party venue?
From the Little Nell in Aspen, the Camel’s Garden in Telluride, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and the Double Tree in Grand Junction to the Hotel Teatro in Denver, we have every type of lodging a production will need. Some of the best wrap parties take place on Dude & Guest ranches!
Recently a production wrapped at the C Lazy U Ranch on Halloween. The staff of the ranch dressed up for the occasion and the crew from the production was allowed to raid the costumes from the summer theatre camp the ranch has for guests. The bar at the lodge stayed open late and then it was a short walk down to the hot tubs – a great way to end a gig.
What do you do with your time off and what would you recommend crew and cast do to relax?
Hot springs, camping, biking, micro-brew drinking, skiing, snowboarding, ghost towns, farm-to-table dining, rafting, drive-in movies, star gazing and shopping for vinyl at one of our amazing record stores!
To contact Laura click here.
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