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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LMGI COMPASS | Fall 2018 • 55 LMGI: The Next Generation by Paul Messana All photos courtesy of Luke Ford/LMGI PAUL MESSANA: Where were you born and how did you get started in locations? LUKE FORD: I was born on the Gold Coast, Australia, and my path in locations started whilst I was living in Vietnam. At the time, I was managing the marketing and development for Oxalis, an adventure tour company, where we set up and operated week-long underground expeditions to Son Doong Cave, the world's largest cave, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The place quickly became a drawcard for thrill seekers and location scouts, who had come across the pictures of the cave online. Our company was fortunate to assist Indochina Productions with a scout for Kong: Skull Island, which is where I first met supervising location manager Ilt Jones, LMGI. Ilt introduced me to locations and eventually offered me a position on his team where I had the pleasure of working with Leann Emmert, LMGI and Zachary Quemore to prepare a couple of key locations. PM: Where did you go to school and what did you study? LF: I did my undergraduate studies in marketing and international business at Bond University on the Gold Coast. I then went onto my postgraduate MBA with the first subject being a study tour of Europe. I quickly realized upon landing in Czech Republic that I would not be flying home that semester, and immediately set out to find work in Prague. I stayed for the three years working for a tourism development company with projects across the region. PM: How have your early days working in tourism helped your career in locations? LF: I was fortunate to work and travel through more than 50 countries during my career in tourism, often spending weeks or even months in a new country. I was primarily responsible for training tourism operators, which also gave me the chance of getting to know these cities through the eyes of a local. These experiences helped me to ultimately gain a better understanding of people—which I think is key to being a successful location manager. Working for Oxalis in Vietnam was a mind-blowing chapter in my travel career. I learned to work in a fairly difficult environment and manage large PROFILE ON: LUKE FORD AGE: 32 HOME BASE: GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA POSITION: ASSISTANT LOCATION MANAGER They're young, smart and enthusiastic about what they do. In this new occasional column, assistant location manager Paul Messana, a genXer himself, talks with the upcoming generation of location professionals on the rise.

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