Location Managers Guild International

Spring 2019

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 | Spring 2019 • 39 Photo ©National Trust Images John Millar "It was very different seven or eight years ago when television was a much smaller beast. Now, the scale has grown exponentially. The Crown, for example, is enormous," with 85 percent shot on location. "It's as big as most films I've done. But, on a movie, you prep for two or three months, shoot for two or three months … you've got one director, one schedule, and every time you finish a day—that's it! Whereas in TV, we shoot in blocks. So you'll be filming with one director, prepping with two others—and then we do this charming thing where we shoot two full units of two hundred people running around in different parts of the country at the same time, which can do your head in!" "We've never been busier for heritage locations," says Tom Howard, LMGI, supervising location manager for The Secret Garden, with Julie Walters and Colin Firth. "Look at what's out there—Mary Queen of Scots, The Favourite … we've got great stories from those periods, we've got the assets, we should be making more of this stuff because it's all here. In many cases, the actor might be standing on the exact spot where the event happened. I remember taking an American director to London and it kind of blew his mind. Within a few steps you can take them through a thousand years of history. He said, 'My God, this is older than America. We were just setting off in boats when this was built.' And you walk them around and they go, 'Can I use this?' 'No, that's not Georgian. I know it looks good but it's the wrong period. You need to be looking on this side of the street!'" On the other hand, "We're not obsessed with accuracy," says Pat. "It's not a documentary." In The Crown, the royal family often visits their residence at Sandringham in Norfolk; "it plays a big part of their life." But Stephen Dawdry, lead director for Season 1, preferred Englefield House, an Elizabethen residence and popular film loca- tion outside of London "because the feel of it was much better." The peril with that approach? "There's a book by Hugo Vickers called The Crown: Truth & Fiction. He points out everything we got wrong!" But Pat is quick to point out that UK architecture does not always compartmentalize by time and style. On The Crown, "Even though it's taking place in 1948 and whenever it ends up, the locations tend to be Georgian buildings. Buckingham Palace has elements from the 16, 17 and 1800s, right? Like most of these houses, they weren't all put up in one go."

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