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Preproduction

Scouting in the New Age: Technology Tips from Location Pros

Technology is changing the way location professionals work faster than you can say “the Cloud.” The good news: The countless hours spent looking for a photo lab, pasting photos into folders and rushing them to FedEx after a long day of scouting are gone — and they’ve been replaced by a need for speed. In the past, we were given two full weeks to scout and prep. Now we’re lucky if we can get two days. Location professionals are not only asked to find a needle in a haystack, we’re asked to thread it too. So what are some of the must-haves for today’s locations pros? We queried members of the Location Managers Guild of America (LMGA) for the latest in technology tips, and these are their Top Five: 

The Smart Phone

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Australia: The Land Down Under Comes Out on Top

 

pre_australiaopeningshotAustralia is quickly gaining momentum in the film and television industry as it attracts a hefty amount of local and international projects. Key cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are fueling productions with varied resources, high-caliber crews, world-class infrastructure, pristine locations and an impressive talent pool that includes some of the industry’s best filmmakers. And, with their signature calm energy and positivity, Aussie crews can handle everything from big-budget international features and local TV series to smaller-budget indie projects (for which they offer affordable solutions). Here’s look at how three major Australian states readily accommodate productions both large and small.
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Hunting Hot Tuna in the Wild with Old and New Cameras

Cinematographer Rick Rosenthal has been filming sea wildlife for several decades and has contributed unique underwater footage to many BBC megaseries, such as “The Blue Planet,” “Planet Earth” and “Life.” The DP has also shot three one-hour specials on great whales and recently directed “Nature: Superfish” for PBS and key international broadcasters. The winner of three cinematography Emmy Awards, Rosenthal is a marine biologist by trade and has been diving for 50 years while his pioneering film work in the open ocean has been seen by millions.

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The Diverse and Cinematic Midwest Region

From its varied locations and talented crews to the irrepressible enthusiasm and hospitality of its local communities, the Midwest Region is a joy for visiting film and television productions. After a year beset with challenges, the states of Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois are springing back into action. P3 Update gets the low-down on how this region is currently handling 2012.

INDIANA

Indiana’s incredible accessibility has been the state’s biggest selling point for filmmakers around the world. With a host of game parks, pristine lakes, sand dunes and cornfields, Indiana offers productions a variety of locale options and the ability to shoot in one of its picturesque cities with a farm setting just a half-hour away. Combine that with sincere Hoosier hospitality and the thrill and excitement of the Indy 500’s car-race extravaganza, and you have the makings for an enjoyable filming experience for everyone.

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U.S. Virgin Islands: A Filmmaker’s Paradise

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) has a long history serving as a film and television location hotspot. However, after experiencing a dip in production, there’s a movement by the USVI Department of Tourism, industry crafts people and local service providers to bring production levels up to what was seen in the ’90s, making the USVI, once again, a preferred filming destination. “The industry needs to come back to the USVI,” says Steve Bornn, development manager at the USVI Film Office. “We’re still here. We still have the same crews that they’re use to. Our experience is just deeper. A luxury we offer besides our convenience [is that] our [crews] work the entire Caribbean. We’re a good hub. Producers should start here because we offer a lot of knowledge.”

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