The Eva Monley Award is given to an industry-related professional who embraces the work of Location Professionals.
Eva Monley was the go-to location scout in remote African locations for John Huston, Otto Preminger, and David Lean. Immensely curious, capable, and self-reliant, Eva thrived in a peripatetic film career that spanned 50 years. Her many credits include Lawrence of Arabia, The African Queen, Exodus, and The Man Who Would Be King.
Oscar-winning director, producer, and screenwriter Danny Boyle is the ideal candidate for this award. A master of working beyond the protected confines of a studio, Boyle’s locations embrace the essence of his characters, capturing moments in time, from both an emotional and cultural perspective. The eclectic range of his locations—from an exotic tropical Thai beach to a desolate slot canyon, to the rough streets of Edinborough, Boyle builds his movies from the ground up. From slum orphans to heroin junkies, to a young boy who talks to saints, Boyle understands the expressive power of locations to define characters and enhance his storytelling.
Boyle extols, “Locations are the foundation of a film—a key building block, providing life and establishing culture. From early mornings in London for an apocalyptic deserted city in 28 Years Later, to the three amazing theatres on Steve Jobs, to the teeming extraordinary complexity of the slums of India … I’ve always benefited from the mad inspiration real locations provide.”
Even though the location department provides the underpinning for a film, Boyle believes that they are “cruelly under recognized,” because “they come in so early in the creative process and are overshadowed by the clamor of over-recognized departments.”
Boyle is best known for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, nominated for 10 Academy Awards and winner of eight, including Best Director. The movie also won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. Other film credits include Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, The Beach, 28 Days Later, Millions, 127 Hours, and Steve Jobs. Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting debuted in April. His television credits include Babylon, Strumpet, Inspector Morse, and Screenplay. Additionally, Boyle was the Art Director for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. Boyle was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover to celebrate famous British cultural figures.
“To be a filmmaker … you have to lead. You have to be psychotic in your desire to do something. People always like the easy route. You have to push very hard to get something unusual, something different,” Boyle believes. With regard to the wide-ranging scope of his work, Boyle comments, “There’s a theme running through all of them—and I just realized this. They’re all about someone facing impossible odds and overcoming them.” Kind of like a day on the set for a Location Manager!