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

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1112626

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 55

38 • LMGI COMPASS | Spring 2019 Flying Down to Whitehall: Historic Locations Bring British Stories to Life by Jim Collee "Votes for women!" The cry emanated from the Heavens, and a sudden "shower of handbills" descended upon the all-male heads of the House of Commons. A young woman unfurled a banner from the balcony above. "Mr. Speaker!" she shouted. "We have listened too long to the illogical utterances of men who know not what they say! We demand this government—" whereupon the sergeant-at-arms slapped a meaty hand across her mouth and gave a masculine yank. No go. Miss Helen Fox had padlocked herself to the banister. "For 40 years, we have listened behind this grille. We, the women of England!—" And then—crack—the whole thing gave way. Women, police, sergeants-at-arms, and locksmiths tumbled to the gallery floor. Almost 100 years later, location manager Harriet Lawrence, LMGI had a script in her hand titled Suffragette, written by Abi Morgan and directed by Sarah Gavron. The story of women's right to vote in the UK, including a rush on the House of Commons by dozens of suffragettes. "And it's brutal," says Harriet. "The police actually beat the suffragettes from horseback. It was quite violent." There was only one problem. No one had ever been filmed in the House of Commons. "And people asked, 'are we going to Parliament?'" With trucks and crew and horses and "silly women" like Miss Helen Fox hanging from balconies? Knowing there were a handful of places that could double for Parliament—Manchester Town Hall, for example, had sufficed in The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher—Harriet boldly replied, "Why don't we give it a go?" And the thinking quickly became—Why not? Let's humor Harriet! Let's let her go for tea with someone in Parliament! And it sort of grew. After a couple of months I began to think, 'This might be possible.' The landscapes of the United Kingdom are layered with deep time, from buried Roman mosaics to the bluestones of Stonehenge. Monuments to history—whether Neolithic, Tudor, Elizabethan or Art Deco—are everywhere. "We're sort of littered with these things," says location manager Pat Karam, LMGI, who had to straddle 400 years of British nation building when he sandwiched location duties for Mary Queen of Scots (2018) between Seasons 2 and 3 of The Crown. The UK 2013 tax credit was extended to include high-end television, and with the drop in the pound and the turbo-boosting spends of Netflix & Sons, there's been a flood of US productions. Historic properties are often used and reused, especially within the 20- to 30-mile radius of the M25 motorway encircling greater London. "If you've got a big country pile within striking distance of London, you do very well," says Pat.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Location Managers Guild International - Spring 2019