The 6th Hollywood Location Scouts Panel in July had representatives from the UK, Canada, Australia and the US
The annual Hollywood Location Scouts Panel hosted by the Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) was held on the 20th July 2018 during Comic-Con San Diego. Location managers from the UK, Canada, Australia and the US swapped memorable anecdotes, addressed environmental concerns and the effects of new technologies on location scouting.
British location manager Georgette Turner (Wonder Woman, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Mission Impossible: Fallout), Toronto’s Scott Alexander (Suicide Squad, Fahrenheit 451, “Orphan Black”) and Duncan Jones (Dora the Explorer, Thor, Aquaman) from Queensland, Australia added an international dimension to the panel.
Each member of the panel followed diverse paths into location management. Turner’s love of acting eventually led behind the camera where she found a passion for location scouting while Jones’ career as a dolphin trainer put him in contact with the crew of “Flipper”.
The audience of over 300 were entertained by anecdotes from Turner from the set of Edge of Tomorrow. The locations team oversaw the landing of a helicopter in Trafalgar Square – an unprecedented stunt requiring 3 helicopters in total - which turned into a “can of worms”. The team negotiated a 3-hour time-frame for the shoot and production had to close 36 roads, divert 122 bus routes, book all the hotel rooms in the area and hire 370 security professionals for pedestrian lock offs.
Scott had a similar experience while managing locations for Suicide Squad in Toronto. He emphasised the importance of “making sure that the community is kept aware of everything and they are a priority” because “we are in their back-yard filming and doing all these things because of them, allowing us to come in, so logistically you have to think of them first and then your movie and then think of everything outside of that”.
The discussion particularly focused on the importance of leaving a positive impact socially, environmentally, economically and culturally on locations. The panel agreed that in every case they endeavoured to make sure that any damage on a location was mitigated and local communities felt a benefit of productions.
Assessing locations ahead of production, mapping sites and planning productions as well as putting protective elements such as matting, fencing, and sandbag tracking were some of the ways protected environments are safeguarded. Jones noted that one of his productions in Australia engaged an archaeologist to do a study for the local indigenous population, while a film he is currently involved with has commissioned a university study on the impact of the production on the resident Koala population.
Padilla has vast experience in both film and TV location management and described the difference between the two. Feature films often hire location managers onto a project before even the director. Having a lead time of 6 months to a year means “you get to travel you get to see things and you get twelve of the best options” he said. TV series, however, often only have 7-10 days to prepare locations meaning that you have to be “creative and fast” to see necessary elements in locations and transform them into what you need.
All the panel noted that changes in filmmaking have had an impact on the way locations are found. The scope of possible locations has widened as visual effects can create explosions and pyrotechnics in post. Visual effects teams now work directly with location managers because they are now so integral to movies.
The LMGI has hosted the panel at Comic-Con San Diego since 2013 giving respected location managers the opportunity to discuss the ins and outs of the role to attentive audiences.
Not Logged in
You must be logged in to post a comment
There are no comments