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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I t was an exceptionally warm autumn day, and bot- tomless Mimosas were flowing in my favorite Hol- lywood adjacent brunch garden, where I had the pleasure of meeting with one of my favorite col- leagues—Michael J. Burmeister, LMGI for drinks and conversation. He graciously joins me to separate the myths from reality in a location career that spans four decades. His story reads like a pop culture his- tory lesson in modern-day cinema. The adventures of "Bur-Man" are many, from outwi ing mob influence to a near-death experience, Mike has seen and done it all. We gratefully wait for the more comfortable booth for him to se le his six-foot frame into. This is a conversation to be savored as much as the chorizo and burrata. Climbing Everest Discovering the Makings of a Location Meister by Jill Naumann Jill: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE AT THE TOP OF YOUR CAREER FIELD? Mike: When you're in that rarified domain, the momentum keeps you going. It's like climbing Mount Everest. There are not a lot of people up there, the air is thin, and if you exert yourself too much, you pass out. It's SO high profile if you do make a mistake or if you are caught in a situation that reflects negatively on you, like a politician with a scandal, you can disappear overnight. It's like a roller coaster, you hop on, and when it's over, it's over. Ride the coaster as long as you can. You laugh, you cry, you want to throw up, it's just a normal day at work. I'm like the Sherpa to Mount Everest. I help the big boys and girls get up there, sneak in with some cool supplies, get a little woozy, and then it's "Thanks! Please leave." Jill: YOUR RÉSUMÉ READS LIKE A HISTORY OF AMERI- CAN POP CULTURE: TRANSFORMERS, TERMINATOR, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN 1 & 2, BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II & PART III, VEGAS VACATION, TWISTER, CASINO, TROPIC THUNDER, THE X-FILES AND ALWAYS. YOU ARE CREDITED AS "PRODUCTION ASSOCIATE" ON SPIELBERG'S E.T. IS THAT LIKE PA ADJACENT? Mike: Yep! AND, I was in the movie as Michael Burmeister, my first starring role. There is a scene where Peter Coyote walks through the tube going into Elliott's house. As soon as he enters, I am Papersuit #2. I had a little four-inch to six-inch eye opening in a full-body white pa- per suit. It's my claim to fame as the camera pans by at 100 mph. I'm working on my little machine when Coyote walks by and nods. My first and last starring role. Check the call sheet, Papersuit #2. All photos courtesy of Michael J. Burmeister/LMGI except as noted

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