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Locations Department in Film


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The Locations department is responsible for finding and contracting for filming locations when the scene can't be shot in the studio. This PowerPoint was created to introduce film students to the personnel, duties and responsibilities of the locations department in the film industry.

Locations Department in Film

  1. 1. FILM LOCATIONS The Jobs and Duties of Locations Personnel in the Film Industry Created by: John Grace IATSE Member, Local 480 © 2013 Limited Rights Available Under Creative Commons Attribution License
  2. 2. Locations Requirements • Suitability of a Location Takes into Consideration Many Factors, Including:  Overall Aesthetic (Appropriateness to Script)  Financial Costs to Production  Logistical Feasibility Including:  Distance to Production Office  Distance to Other Locations  Availability of Parking (Room for Base Camp)  Facilities to Keep Cast/Crew Safe and Dry
  3. 3. Locations Requirements • Suitability of a Location Takes into Consideration Many Factors, Including:  Available Light (indoors or outdoors)  Potential Weather Conditions (outdoors)  Permission from and Cooperation of:  Location Owner  Neighbors  Local Government  Law Enforcement
  4. 4. 4 Cardinal Rules of Locations 1. Reduce Liability to Production Co.  As Intermediary, Make Every Effort to Protect the Location and the Cast/Crew  Hire Only Certified and/or Bonded Vendors  File Detailed Insurance Certificates 2. Save the Production Company Time  Find Locations that are Close to the Production Office and Close to Each Other  Find Locations with Plenty of Parking or Locations that have Parking Nearby
  5. 5. 4 Cardinal Rules of Locations 3. Be Prepared for Last Minute Requests  Have Answers Ready – Time is Money  Always Be Able to Contact Property Owner  Always Try to Accommodate Production but Know When to Say “Yes” and to Say “No” 4. Never “Burn” a Location  Locations are Hard to Find and Easy to Lose  Examples of Los Ranchos and Las Vegas and Bad PA on “Men Who Stare at Goats”
  6. 6. Locations Personnel • Location Manager        Oversees the Locations Department Reports directly to UPM or AD Oversees Department Staff Negotiates Contracts with Property Owner Arranges with Locality for Permits Maintains Relations with Property Owner Keeps Location Costs Within Film’s Budget
  7. 7. Locations Personnel • Assistant Location Manager       Assists Loc. Mgr. on all His/Her Duties Coordinates Location Scouting Trips Oversees On-Set Operations Holds Permits While on Location Maintains Relations with Property Owner Assures that Location is Left Clean (Clean is cleaner than when production arrived)
  8. 8. Locations Personnel • Location Scout Researches and Visits Possible Locations Maintains a Database of Possible Locations Sometimes Becomes the Location Manager Makes Initial Inquiries re: Cost/Availability Takes Extensive Photos/Video of Possible Locations that can be viewed by Director  Identifies Possible Base Camp Locations      (if there is not sufficient parking on site)
  9. 9. Locations Personnel • Location Researcher - Coordinator  Usually only on Larger Productions  Researches Possible Locations Online and in Various Location Databases  Makes Initial Inquiries with Location Owners about Availability and Possible Costs  Makes Arrangements for Location Scout to Visit Locations
  10. 10. Locations Personnel • Location Assistant Hired by Location Manager On Set Before, During and After Production Opens Location for Other Crew Members Maintains Relations with Neighbors Maintains Cleanliness of Location Throughout the Production Process  One to Three Location Assistants at all times     
  11. 11. Locations Personnel • Location Production Assistant (PA)  Usually Only on Larger Budget Productions  Not On Set but Represents Locations Department During “Preps” and “Wraps” • Parking Coordinator (Base Camp Mgr)  Hired as Needed to Oversee the Parking of Trucks in the Base Camp and Crew Parking  Sometimes Oversees Wiring of base Camp • Parking Staff and Cleanup Personnel  Hired as Needed to Help with Base Camp
  12. 12. Variables Affecting Locations • Bad Weather  Always Have a “Cover Set” Available  Location Rental Agreement Should Include a Clause Regarding “Weather Holds” • Lack of Parking for Base Camp  There Needs to be Enough Parking for Trucks and Production Crew within a Mile or Two • Sound Considerations  A Location Near an Airport is a Bad Choice
  13. 13. Tech Scouting Expedition • Personnel Attending a Tech Scout      Location Manager & First Assistant Director and 1st AD Director of Photography Essential Producers Department Heads • Camera & Sound • Grip/Electric • Production Design
  14. 14. Basecamp Layout • How to Arrange the Basecamp:  Camera, Props, Grip & Electric Trucks Need to Be Where Stake Bed Trucks Have Easy Access  Catering Trucks Need Easy Access for Deliveries and Room for Tents  Hair/Makeup  Wardrobe  Production  Dressing Rooms  Honey Wagon
  15. 15. Online Scouting Resources: •  •  • /production/location 