– . – The Collective Location Management
The Collective Location Management
Location Management: An Introduction. Anticipate everything…
I am, apparently, a very lucky girl—to the layman, I have one of those jobs which usually draws comments like, “Wow, how amazing, I’ve always wanted to do that…” To my work colleagues however, I probably have the worst job in the world: You see, I am a location manager.
To those outside of the industry, it’s all helicopter recces, 4×4s, jetting off to gorgeous beaches and impossibly beautiful locations. To those on the inside, it’s council estates, prisons, bland suburbia, grumpy residents, police, toilets, rubbish, mud, red tape/ bureaucracy and parking—endless parking.
To be fair, in reality, it is a bit of both—and often at the same time.
According to IMDb.com, my short job description is: “A person who manages various aspects of filming a movie on location”. That’s a bit vague. We do so much more; from scouting locations to setting up the entire logistics for filming off set. We work closely with the director, designer and producer (and line producer) to find the perfect locations, negotiate their usage, arrange the logistics of getting the crew and equipment to the right place at the right time on the right day, and make sure the shoot goes smoothly on the day.
Like so much of film, for me personally, it all starts with the script.
From the moment I receive those 120 pages, the excitement starts and anything becomes possible. In fact in my own imagination, everything is possible! This freedom to think, imagine, research, investigate and discover is what makes my job exciting. It’s what can lead to amazing discoveries. It’s what can transform a film from the usual easily spotted look of a visual effects laden recreation into a unique, real life experience, which compliments a film like nothing else. Film abounds with examples of perfectly matched locations without which, in retrospect, could not have worked had a studio recreation been opted for. Remember the colour of the sea and sand in THE BEACH? Or the excitement the opening scene of THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, shot at Waterloo station?
Who knew that a quarry in Hampshire could double as the surface of the Moon? Or that one hours drive north of Nice you could find an abandoned 300 year old village (the setting for Capricorn’s village in the movie INKHEART)… Finding and knowing about little gems like these and then being able to contribute to the creative process by helping the director and designer hone their vision, makes doing my job feel more like a privilege than a chore.