Location Managers Guild International

Winter 2023

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 13 of 63

12 • LMGI COMPASS | Winter 2023 In March 2020, our world stopped. The project I had been working on for four months was cancelled. The production designer had just landed only to discover the three- continent schedule was tossed. Many phone calls were made. I was disappointed... I really liked the novel. The reality of not knowing when or where the next pay cheque would arrive landed hard. Film industry workers are very familiar with the uncertainty of the "gig economy," but a global pandemic was next level. Compared to the reckoning of our health and safety, however, finances were a pragmatic concern. Within weeks, the restlessness set in. Then flares were shot into the sky by location manager Mary Jo Beirnes/LMGI. A producer had inquired about 360 virtual tours. My mind starting bouncing. What was 360? Which scouts were doing it? Do I really need to spend more money on additional gear? Was I irrelevant? I had heard about GoPro cameras for sports but was not tracking the technology. I was content existing in a state of humble ignorance. I started down the "google- hole." My inter-web searches weren't coming up with much ... until Bond. In 2015, the UK's national tourism agency funded 360 images for an international publicity campaign. The "Bond Is GREAT" 360-degree experience created crossover marketing to tourists and film audiences. Brilliant. I live in Canada. Canada is a commonwealth country. Canada's first filmmaker—James Freer— immigrated from England. "Queen and country!" James Bond and social distancing? Indeed, Miss Moneypenny! On this side of the pond, virtual tours were common in the real estate industry and Matterport was the standard. The image quality and transitions were superior, but it was expensive, required internet access on site and the company owns your images. Next in the research lineup was stitching DSLR images shot with fisheye lenses. This system is the OG of the 360 worlds and has been used by the VFX Department for years. Long before consumer cameras offered convenience, there was a whole lot of stitching. This workflow did not seem conducive to our industry's Surrey Library, BC Disruption Scouting With 360 tight deadlines. I found my answer in the Ricoh Theta. I acted decisively. I took the plunge. I had no idea how I would pay my bills in three months but investing thousands of dollars in new "toys" seemed reasonable. I reassured my credit card that quality never comes cheaply and sang A Tribe Called Quest lyrics. "Scared money don't make none." I settled on the Ricoh Theta V and 3D Vista—a software company in Spain. Within weeks, I upgraded to the Ricoh Theta Z1 for better image quality. 3D Vista's software and hosting were expensive, but the features were incredible. I was not concerned with the learning curve. In retrospect, I should have been very afraid. I had a credit line at Henry's TALK TECH by Tonya Hartz

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