Location Managers Guild International

Fall 2022

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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Page 14 of 51

LMGI COMPASS | Fall 2022 • 13 Stevie: ARE YOU A CLEVELAND NATIVE? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING IN LOCATIONS? HOW DID YOU START AND WHAT DO YOU PRIMARILY WORK ON? WILLIAM GARVEY: I was born and raised in New York City. My wife Carol is a native Clevelander. When we married and moved here in 2008, it was a burgeoning "Film Town" and has been a wonderful place to raise a family. I'm not the only filmmaker who has made this move. COVID brought a wave of filmmakers choosing to re- turn home to work and live here. Ohio has a 13-year track record of motion picture tax incentives bringing high-profile projects to the state like The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Fate of the Furious and White Noise. We were able to film the most am- bitious and complicated action sequences on all those films here, sequences I would never dream of attempting in many of the other states in which I've worked. A career in this industry was never part of my original plans. I have a BBA in marketing from the University of Notre Dame—the movie business wasn't on my radar until my last years in school. My major also required electives in other subjects. I'd always been a film noir buff, so I decided to take a film class in the school's tiny 12-person film department. My diversion into film classes in the forgotten attic of the College Science Building happened to coincide with a Tri-Star Pictures movie on campus. To great delight, my film professor orchestrated a lecture by the director of the movie, David Anspaugh, who had directed Hoosiers a few years before. I experienced an epiphany. Here was a professional movie buff—a successful director, sitting right in front of me lecturing the merits of a career in the motion picture industry. I never looked back. One month after graduation, I walked onto my first set. It was a low-budget film noir that never found distribution. But my first location PA job a few years later was the New York portion of the Dave Chappelle movie Half Baked. I've now been a location man- ager and scout for the past 26 years. I have worked in features (the upcoming White Noise, Judas and the Black Messiah, Hillbilly Elegy, Fast & Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Avengers, Shutter Island, Spider-Man 2, National Treasure, The Manchurian Candidate and dozens of other feature films, as well as four seasons of The Sopranos and four seasons of Law & Order. Last year, I assumed the role of president at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. Our mission is economic development and job creation via the motion picture industry in Northeast Ohio. We educate through PA training workshops, high school lecture se- ries, partnerships with collegiate film schools and internships to grow a local industry workforce. We advocate for a robust motion picture tax credit that drives business to the region. We cultivate relationships with studios and producers to attract projects to film in Northeast Ohio. We guide studios through the tax incentive ap- plication and permit application processes. And we function as a central marketplace through which producers source crew, ven- dors and filming locations. Stevie: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE PRIMARY DRAW FOR FILMING IN & AROUND CLEVELAND & ITS SURROUNDING AREAS IN GENERAL? WHAT KIND OF "LOOKS" ARE THERE? WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE LOCATIONS & WHY? WG: Cleveland is a chameleon. It can be whatever location it needs to be. It suits different architectural styles and topographies— from 19th century to modern, from flat as Kansas to the foothills of the Appalachians. Cleveland has stood in for NYC and Germany ( The Avengers, Spider-Man 3, The Fate of the Furious), a small Pennsylvania steel town (The Deer Hunter), Russia and Kazakhstan (Air Force One), and Lake Erie is a more controllable stand in for an ocean, with calmer tides. NASA Plum Brook-Sandusky, Ohio (one hour west of Cleveland), is among the most unique locations I've ever scouted. NASA Plum Brook was built in 1961 as a nuclear "test" reactor (the eighth largest ever built). From 1963 to 1973, NASA Plum Brook played a leading role in experimentation in the pursuit of nuclear airplane and nuclear rocket technology. The Space Power Facility, the world's largest rocket fuselage test chamber, was constructed large enough to accommodate the international space station. It has a 100-foot diameter and stands 122 feet high. It is in this chamber that we filmed the opening sequence to The Avengers. William Garvey/LMGI. Photo: Jeff Downie 2021 LMGI Award winner William Garvey (Judas and the Black Messiah) gives Stevie Nelson a tour of his Ohio hometown of Cleveland—home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a growing destination for film production.

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