Location Managers Guild International

Winter 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 | Winter 2018 • 19 O N A L floor manager. The duties were basically those performed by the second AD in the American feature system: call sheets, setting background, tending to cast etc., but unlike our DGA colleagues, we also scouted locations. I was assigned to the popular show All Creatures Great and Small, the James Herriot stories about the vet and the animals he treated. We were welcomed at almost every lovely Yorkshire village and farm. The units were small and the crew parties were big! The director was a splendid old gent, who took a shine to his callow assistant and taught me the elements of a great location: architecture, angle, light path, color, texture, etc. Freddie Laker just started his walk-on transatlantic airline: 50 pounds one way! At the end of the series, the director gave me the 50 quid and sent me off to America with the type of encouraging comment only the English use among friends and which is unprintable here. I indulged my bohemian years in the American Southwest before heading 'down under.' I financed my travels with occasional AD, production and location management work out of Wellington, New Zealand. Across the Tasman in Sydney, I landed a fascinating gig: a segment director on a candid- camera show. For a year, I tormented the Sydneysiders with a panoply of absurd setups. Location work was important for the gags to work and my experience at the 'Beeb' proved invaluable. As my editing skills were practically nonexistent, while my location finding soon gained recognition, I traded duties with my colleagues who were more comfortable in a darkened editing suite cutting footage I'd shot while I would be on the road finding spots for their segments. The Antipodes have great proximity to the magical Southern Pacific isles and of course, Southeast Asia, to which we often made forays either for shooting segments or unbridled trips of R&R. But much as I loved the vibrant and social life of Australia, I longed for the high desert and arid mountains of the Southwest. Fond memories of time I'd spent in a lovely town under the Rockies called Taos drew me back, and here I met my wife. Unfortunately, there was little film work in New Mexico during the eighties, so we packed our pickup, headed to Los Angeles and settled in Venice Beach. The move to any city necessitates a period of breaking into the scene and gaining acceptance, especially into the guarded entertainment world. Once we'd scaled the barricades, the work started to flow, we made many good friends with whom we are still in touch, and were blessed with two lovely daughters. As soon as the girls required less oversight, I persuaded my spouse Leah, a fine artist in her own right, to translate her creative skills to the eyepiece of a camera. She learned fast and her eye for a shot, her sense of composition and tone, her determination and not Slator on the set of Appaloosa, 2007

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