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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 14:52

The Job of a Location Professional Up Close

Written by  Rebecca Davidson
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Everyone loves to travel. Location scouts and managers have the advantage of traveling to new destinations while working on some of today’s biggest blockbusters.

Location professionals chase adventure in looking for the perfect location to fit the director’s vision. The job is all about finding the right setting, handling the logistics, legalities and communication required to use the location.

In a recent article on BBC Travel they explored more about the job and how these industry professionals pull rabbits out of hats to make every shoot run as smoothly as possible.  

 “I don't see places any more. I see locations. You see the whole city through the eyes of ‘what can I shoot here’, not just ‘oh that’s cool’,” said Kate Levinson, film scout and owner of Chicago-based Kate Levinson Locations. “The weirdest thing about the job is what a creep you become. I’m looking in people’s windows all the time. If I could have a super power, it would be X-ray vision.”

Becoming a prime location scout take a lot of hard work and dedication to the field.The location managers that travel all over the world are usually very seasoned,” said Nancy Haecker, the president of Location Managers Guild of America. Haecker has scouted and managed locations for films including Into the Wild, which was shot in locations including Washington, Oregon and Alaska. “It’s not an entry-level position.”

Location Scout Ben Carter was working with the production team on an energy drink commercial and was asked to make a location in central London look like Barcelona. To any location scout this happens quite frequently and imagination is key in being creative with location options.  “I have filmed across Europe. I’ve filmed in the States. I’ve had dinner with billionaires in Istanbul, woken up the next morning and shot dawn rising while you hear the call to Mecca in the background – and then three months later, I’m having the best curry I’ve ever had in the tiniest, grottiest East London flat filled with kids and a lovely family who say ‘Stay and have dinner with us,’” Carter said. “The variety is hard to beat. And the characters you meet on the way are phenomenal.”

The job of the location manager and scout can be challenging, but in the end, it’s a vital job necessary to give each film that “perfect” look. (BBC Travel)


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