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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Adele Cooper spent years in theatre management before moving into work in locations. She is the filming manager for English Heritage, with over 400 significant sites in the UK. What's a typical day like for you? One of the things I love most about my job is the variety. I share my time between our London office and exploring the English Heritage portfolio, assessing how we can best facilitate filming. We also spend a lot of time out on the ground overseeing shoots, and building relationships with our site teams and the production companies we work with. All income generated by filming goes back into the preservation of the historic monuments. How do you work with location managers and scouts to find suitable locations? We work closely throughout the process from the initial enquiry to finishing a shoot. Building mutual trust is important. When someone shares a brief or expresses an interest in a property, they need to feel confident that we know our portfolio inside out and that we will show them the best options. I have a wonderful team who are experts when it comes to our portfolio. It's brilliant working with someone like Adam Richards, LMGI, because he fully understands our processes and ensures our sites are treated with the utmost care. The working relationship we have with him was a big contributing factor in allowing Victoria & Abdul to be the first feature to ever film inside Osborne House with the Royal Collection. We also work with regional film offices such as Film London to ensure that our portfolio is accessible. Regional support and expertise can be an incredibly valuable resource to production companies considering where to work in the UK. What are your most popular locations? • Tilbury Fort, a brilliant site with interiors and controllable water ways, as well as a large area of hard standing (a hard-surfaced car park area) ideal for set builds, situated on the edge of East London in Essex. • Eltham Palace, a mansion house with unique Art Deco interiors, as well as a medieval hall; South London • Audley End House and Gardens, a Jacobean stately home with a variety of interiors from a full-service wing to a great hall, as well as stunning grounds, including an active orchard; Saffron Walden, Essex • Dover Castle, an impressive hilltop fortification with interiors spanning from the medieval up to World War II secret wartime tunnels; Dover, South East England And the biggest production challenge you have faced? Filming at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall requires a steep climb of over 100 uneven stone stairs to reach the top of the island. For The Kid Who Would Be King, we helicoptered kit across to the island. But on the first prep day, a storm hit Cornwall with 80+ mph winds and we had to evacuate the island and wait it out. Luckily, we had worked with the location team to factor additional time into the schedule in case of adverse weather, and everything was tightly locked down so no kit was lost or damaged. English Heritage is in the process of constructing a bridge to join the island to the mainland so it should be a bit less of a climb for any future crews! What productions have used English Heritage locations recently? We have really enjoyed working with Pat Karam, LMGI and his team over the last couple of years for The Crown, and recently on Mary Queen of Scots at Harmondsworth Barn. Trust, the TV series, filmed with us for several months at Audley End House and Gardens. Tom Howard, LMGI brought the Ridley Scott series Taboo to Tilbury Fort. Stan & Ollie filmed a couple of scenes at Eltham Palace. What films or series have prompted the biggest increase in visitation? We saw a significant spike in visitors the summer season following the release of Victoria & Abdul. We also had a costume exhibition from the film, which visitors really enjoyed. Peterloo has also brought lots of Mike Leigh fans to visit Tilbury Fort which has been wonderful! I was also told that UK crews were generally respecul of historic properties… I'm pleased to say we have worked with some incredibly respectful crews. One example that springs to mind is when we were working on Darkest Hour with Adam Richards at Brodsworth Hall. The scene involved Gary Oldman sitting on the edge of one of our beds. The bed frame is historic and can't bear any weight, so the crew built a freestanding support frame that allowed Gary to appear as though he sat on the bed itself. It was so well executed; it looked brilliant and meant that the beautiful bed could be captured on screen. Managing English Heritage: Adele Cooper I byJim Collee Taboo set build at Tilbury Fort Photo by Tom Howard/LMGI

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