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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LMGI COMPASS | Fall 2022 • 45 Normington points out, Hope was not suspended during Victorian times; she was displayed at eye level. JOURNEY'S REWARD The six-part Apple TV+ miniseries premiered in May of 2022. The immediate economic impact for that exposure is immense for Essex. "The benefit for us to have something like that on the screen is just fantastic," says Dawes. "Of course, the residents love it, and you get sort of a screen tourism effect where people come back to see where the scenes were filmed." "We shot for 20 weeks, plus additional photography for two weeks, in London and Essex during the pandemic," marvels Lawrence. "As someone said, 'mud, sweat and tears' went into this shoot." It's hard not to see Cora's and Lawrence's journey through the coastal Essex landscape as one in the same. "Cora does feel the elements, as well and her character is very much driven by that sort of attachment. You can't help but be inspired by and feel those locations. "It was worth it all—the epic mysterious muddy creeks and ever-changing saltmarshes, under huge, glorious skies are as essential to story as the main characters are. It was important to Clio, our director, that we really conveyed that feeling of how raw the villagers' lives were 120 years ago, driven entirely by the tides, the seasons, and their superstition, how the estuary landscape fed their fear. I cannot thank my amazing team enough for how they threw themselves into these challenging locations and how muddy they got—every day!" The pièce de résistance of the show's London locations fell into place because of the pandemic. The scene where several characters cross paths was filmed inside Hintze Hall, the largest gallery at London's Natural History Museum, which opened in 1881. Featuring an intricately hand-painted vaulted ceiling, relief carvings, a branching grand staircase and stained- glass windows, the Romanesque, cathedral-like hall is a work of art in its own right. Hanging suspended within the room's celebrated, majestic architectural features is the nearly 83-foot-long skeleton of Hope, a female blue whale who, in 1891, became stranded on a sandbar at the coastal town of Wexford, Ireland, during low tide. The museum welcomes filming but permits it only at night. This was a daytime scene, however, and the room is afforded a good deal of natural light from a series of elevated windows. With COVID having closed the museum to the public, The Essex Serpent was able to capture the room in a way it has rarely been seen in a feature production. "That was a coup. Harriet really pulled that off, which was amazing," says Barnard. "We have this sort of magical moment of going through the doors … and the whale skeleton is above you and it's this beautiful, beautiful building," says Lawrence. "There's a statue of Darwin that sits at the point where the staircase branches up, and if you get the light right as you enter in the morning, Darwin is lit by sunlight, but nothing else." Hope was suspended in Hintze Hall in 2017 after spending decades in the museum's Mammals Gallery. The filmmakers were willing to look past the whale's celebrity and the fact that, as THE ESSEX SERPENT LOCATION DEPARTMENT: Harriet Lawrence/LMGI SLM Philippa Sutcliffe LM Jenny Kinnear ALM Dave Seward Unit Manager Tom Leedham Assist Unit Manager Esther McVicar Location Assistant Zoe Thomas Location Coordinator L-R: Esther McVicar, Philippa Sutcliffe, Jenny Kinnear, Harriet Lawrence/LMGI, Dave Seward, and Tom Leedham. Photo courtesy of Harriet Lawrence/LMGI

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