Location Managers Guild International

Fall 2018

The Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) is the largest organization of Location Managers and Location Scouts in the motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries. Their membership plays a vital role in the creativ

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Page 13 of 63

14 • LMGI COMPASS | Fall 2018 G U I L D I N T E R N A T I O N A L TM LMGI At last, recognition for our work! But I prefer the words "perfection" or "seduction" to the tawdry "porn." Wordplay aside, this marked a turning point in the audience taking note of the work location professionals contribute to a production. A few days later, a Daily Mail reporter contacted me to ask how much the locations cost. Knowing their angle would be whether the thousands of pounds paid for location fees was really worth it. I declined to comment asking if the reporter had enjoyed it. He did, to which I replied that it did not matter what it cost to make great drama. The Night Manager remains the pinnacle of my career. Receiving the 2017 LMGI Award from my peers for this series CAREER FOCUS Howard's End Was Just His Beginning … the Illustrious, Unsuspected Career of Tom Howard was a huge honor. Perhaps something else will come along and top this career- defining moment but for the time being, I am content to have made 'location porn' for millions! The Night Manager started with a call from line producer Matthew Patnick asking if I was available for six months, liked travel and could I read a script over Christmas. I love le Carré so this was not too hard a task. The script read amazingly but spanned six countries. I made notes, celebrated Christmas and waited for the call, but the phone remained silent. I presumed the production was canceled or they hired someone else. I called Matthew, it slipped his mind that he had spoken to me, but could I come to see him immediately? I went into the production office in London, interviewed with Matthew, but producer Rob Bullock was too busy. I would have to return the next day. On departing, I asked when the shoot started, second week of March. I did a quick calculation … "That's in 10 weeks' time!!" The next day, I started work immediately after meeting the producer with the words, "you had better get cracking!" ringing in my ears. But where best to film this expansive story? Egypt and Turkey had been vetoed as too unstable to work in, so where in the world would we go? Director Susanne Bier joined us a couple of weeks later, stating in no uncertain terms that we had to film 'sexy locations.' We were illustrating a world which less than 10 percent of the population would ever experience, so our locations had to dazzle. Production designer Tom Burton identified a villa in northern Mallorca for Roper's residence and after a visit, the producer decided to concentrate on our Mediterranean locations in Mallorca. In the meantime, I contacted various countries looking for the Arabic world and received suggestions from Jordan, Tunisia, Spain and Morocco. Quickly, we focused on Morocco and visited Marrakesh looking for the 'Nefertiti Hotel,' Middle Eastern streets, Arabic houses and the surrounding countryside. This was a big step up, as my previous jobs had me working with only an ALM, unit manager and assistant. On this production, I was putting together a multi- country location shoot but I felt very confident in what I was doing. I had no doubt this would be an amazing learning experience. I never planned for a career in locations. It just happened. I suppose it still does without me manipulating it to my benefit. I have been lucky with the quality of scripts coming my way. If the script reads well, I want to be involved. Early on, I scouted and managed a few commercials and music videos but these formats never satisfied me. I prefer telling stories. My interest in filmmaking began at the local art school. I had an interest in photography and Photo: Ken Haber/LMGI After the last episode of The Night Manager, The Times London published an article on how this BBC drama was on par with American productions. More importantly, a side article proclaimed, "Location porn — from Europe's best beach bar to Devon's hidden gem." Photos courtesy of Tom Howard/LMGI, except where noted.

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