Film has the capacity to transport us emotionally and imaginatively into words we never thought possible through the effective scouting and application of location. Where or in what surroundings will your characters live?
Where will the major sequences be filmed? Location scouts gather real-world or made-up environments that suggest a certain setting in movies. For a video production company, this task usually falls to the location manager in the film production process.
How Do Location Managers Work?
The major responsibility of a location manager in the film industry is to find and book the ideal sites for filming. In addition to handling the logistics necessary to make a site work, such as paying the property owners, obtaining permission, and notifying neighbors of the filming, the location manager also handles the creative aspect of identifying suitable settings.
While working often with the director, the location manager is under the direction of the production designer. The entire location department is managed and staff is hired by the location manager.
In contrast to other positions on the film crew, the location manager's work does not directly include filming. The location manager solely searches for and cares for the place where filming is scheduled.
What Tasks Fall Under the Purview of a Location Manager?
During the pre-production and production stages of a movie, the location manager spends the majority of their time making sure that all locations are prepared for filming. Once primary photography is finished, a location manager's job is done; they are not required to work during post-production.
5 Important Tasks a Location Manager Has During Pre-Production
Before the start of the production, the location manager is in charge of locating and securing filming locations. Prior to the commencement of production, they have a short window of time to choose suitable venues.
1. Work together with the production designer and director: The location manager reads the script and discusses it with the director to determine the kinds and numbers of locations that will be required, as well as the director's vision for each site. Along with more mundane practicalities, the three will talk about things like whether or not each place needs a base camp, or the area where all the trailers are parked, how many crew members are required at each location, etc.
2. Choosing the group: The recruiting of each member is done by the site manager, who also supervises the locations department.
i. While the location manager prepares the next location, the assistant location manager helps out by running the present set.
ii. The first person to scout potential places, take pictures of them, and inform the location manager on their findings is the location scout.
iii. The location assistant(s) are ready to assist with any task the location manager may require. They mostly take care of keeping the locations tidy while filming is taking place, helping to clean up a spot once filming is finished, and occasionally answering questions from nearby residents or managing foot traffic during a production.
3. Go to these places: Before a decision is made, there are frequently three or more trips to a single area throughout the protracted scouting process. In order to focus the location scout's possibilities and to gather images for reports to the director and production designer, the location manager comes in. During a site search, the location manager will take into consideration, the following questions:
i. Is the shoot going to have enough power?
ii. Is there access to restrooms and water?
iii. Where are trailers allowed to park?
iv. Is there crew and cast parking at the venue?
v. Where is the closest medical facility?
vi. Is the neighborhood really noisy, such as from freeways or planes flying overhead?
4. Clear the location: After choosing a place, the location manager starts the process of clearing the location, which entails:
i. Arranging contracts and fees with the location owners.
ii. Obtaining police and local government permission for your video.
iii. Purchasing a policy of insurance for the area.
iv. Making that the site conforms to all health, security, and safety regulations.
v. Disseminating "resident letters" or "filming notices," which are written memos letting neighbors know that a film is being made nearby and how long it will take. The location manager's direct contact information is frequently included in these.
5. Lock the place: If all goes according to plan during the clearing phase, they go on to the "locking down a location" phase, which entails signing the contracts and securing the location. The site manager will ensure that the crew has everything they need at the location during this phase. Provide power sources and generators, for example.
ii. Set up a transportable air conditioner.
iii. Contract a cleaning service.
iii. Employ private security to keep an eye on the set at night.
v. Hire tents, tables, and dumpsters for catering.
5 Important Tasks of a Location Manager During Production:
During filming, the location manager keeps an eye on the present location and prepares the site for the next day.
1. Contribute to the crew's schedule: The location manager and the assistant director map out the team's arrival times, distribute maps, and generally make sure that everyone in the crew is always aware of where they are expected to be.
2. Oversee the location for the day: A location manager is there on location to address any unforeseen problems that may come up. On occasion, the deputy location manager will be present.
3. Set up the next location: The location manager simultaneously sets up the set for the next day.
4. Serve as a community liaison: Location managers frequently deal with onlookers who wander onto filming locations, irate neighbors, or the police who inquire about permits.
5. Wrap: The location manager's role is to supervise all cleanup and ensure that the place is left in the same state as when they found it, sometimes known as "the wrap," once the production has finished filming there.
After wrapping up the final location on the final shoot day, the location manager is finished with their duties.
To Become a Location Manager, You Need These 5 Skills.
A site manager might work with a Video Production Company without attending film school or any other type of formal schooling. Getting promoted inside the location department is the quickest route to become a location manager.
1. Leadership: Location managers must be able to allocate responsibilities and information to team members and other crew members efficiently because they have a large number of things to perform simultaneously.
2. Diplomacy: To ease tense situations or find solutions to issues that may develop, location managers must communicate with building owners and the local population.
3. Endurance: Location managers frequently work long days with a lot of physical activity, frequently outside. As a result, they frequently start their shifts early and stay late.
4. Visual appeal: Managers of locations have a keen sense of design and exceptional attention to detail.
5. Local knowledge: The finest location managers have in-depth knowledge of their communities and a vast array of distinctive venues that are prepared for any circumstance.
A movie's look, mood, and plot are all greatly influenced by the setting in which it is shot. Locating the location in the real world and ensuring that it is convenient, secure, and reasonably priced to rent are the duties of location managers.
Location managers begin their investigation using the scripts and after consulting with the director, production designers, and other department heads. They might be seeking out deserts, aristocratic mansions, or dark underpasses. They plan recess (visits) to the venues, take photos, make thorough notes, begin conversations with the location owners, and calculate prices. Following the director's approval, they discuss and finalize contracts with the owners after presenting their results to the owner.
Location managers oversee the area once filming has begun. They ensure that the actors and crew are all aware of the best routes to take. They haggle with the site's owner or management about parking, noise control, power sources, catering needs, and any required official permits. It is their duty to make sure it is secure.
They ensure that the place is tidy and locked up after the production before handing it back to the original owners in good shape. The production office must be notified of any damage so that any insurance claims can be handled.
In the final analysis, a location manager is an important member of a Video Production Company or film crew whose job description is critical to the proper interpretation of the film physical visuals from script to screen.