You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers:
We are an international trade organization whose primary goal is to raise awareness of the contributions location professionals make to the creative process. The LMGI is a gateway for greater opportunity–a ‘go to’ resource for other reputable organizations. We provide a supportive platform for a variety of interests–from photography shows to mentoring future filmmakers to philanthropic events. We can set global standards of location management. We provide Professional Development, Networking and Educational Opportunities. Whether you are high profile or entry level, our guild offers opportunities to interact and stay connected with location professionals worldwide. Through membership, you help us continue this work. Choose to add your name to our roster–and you are in the company of the best scouts and managers in the business.
A mentor. Advanced skills. A recommendation. Access to the collective knowledge of the world’s best location managers. The opportunity to meet with national and international film liaisons such as studio heads, producers, production companies. Partnering with 300 of the best worldwide location managers. A guild membership that, in your name, works DAILY to elevate the status and visibility of your profession, on issues of credit placement, imdb categories, Academy membership, location managers as product placement, representation at major film festivals, awards shows, and trade shows in panel discussions that focus on your contribution to the artistry of film. Exposure in Daily Variety, American Cinematography, NPR, The Hollywood Reporter, Location Magazine, P3Update, and others. Invitations to national and international fam tours. Phone apps. News. A website dedicated to the specific needs of location scouts and managers. The LMGI is the single most recognizable face of who you are and what we do. There is power in numbers…none of us is as smart as all of us …cooperation and collaboration–the most powerful tools of evolution…and survival.
Location Managers have a variety of union representation for rate negotiations and employment issues. Some have none. The LMGI exists to promote our craft. We are a unifying force in what is often a solitary endeavor – providing professional development, networking and information that can further your career. Your support allows us to explore, discuss and improve the issues that affect us all, worldwide. It enables us to celebrate our craft and the people in it.As we move into a global economy, we need you more than ever to help us expand our ranks and strengthen our ability to continue this work.
Many of us started doing other things in the business and gravitated to location managing for different reasons. There are no college courses. You need many skills, including photography, management, communication (both written and oral), computer proficiency, budgeting, sense of adventure, stamina, and great people skills. The best suggestion is get some experience working on a film, TV or commercial project in your area. Once you become familiar with production and make contacts with working professionals, you will be in a better position to possibly help out the Location Manager on a project.
Contact your local film commission. Volunteer, maybe by photographing and cataloguing local locations. Get a list of local Location Managers and ask if you can apprentice with any of them Develop your skills. Apply for Apprentice Membership in the LMGI; use it a networking opportunity to meet working Location Managers. Volunteer on committees, and make an impression, e.g., writing articles for the website.
Local 399 (ht399.org) represents Location Managers in Los Angeles. You can find the requirements for joining the union if you are interested. We are represented by other unions indifferent parts of the country such as IATSE and DGA. Please review our website’s “helpful links”section for contact information. As you begin, take advantage of any opportunity, union or non-union, paid or volunteer, to get experience. Keep a positive attitude, no matter how small or insignificant a job may seem—that’s how you impress people and get a foot in the door.
Renewal is very simple. You will receive an email reminder 45 days before your LMGI Membership expires, with a link to pay for your new year’s membership dues.
Contact location professionals directly from the LMGI membership listings. You can check credits at imdb.com. And you can check availability through most union offices…see our website’s “helpful links” section for contact information.
You can check the name on the LMGI membership roster, or call your local film commission. In Southern California, you can check with the Teamsters Union, Local 399. Always ask to see a photo id for identity confirmation.
We prefer actual locations to studios—in general it costs less and provides a depth of realistic detail you cannot get on a backlot. Filming provides revenue and is good for the regional economy. If you film fewer than 12 days, the revenue is not federally taxable. Simply put, location filming is a win/win deal.
Build a website with property images, featuring any unique aspects…there are places that will let you post the web address and a description, like www.locationtalk.org. Anyone can post. It’s free.It’s as easy as posting pictures on Craigslist. The site owner makes no money from this so there is no support or representation of any kind. A similar option with a small annual fee is www.reellocations.com. Contact your local film commission—most have location libraries and would be happy to list your property. If you are actively seeking filming, register with the many excellent location services listed in theBusiness Member section of our website. The LMGI does not represent properties for filming. Only Business Members can be listed as a location in our directory.
It’s like inviting a traveling circus into your home. But rest assured, we are professionals and have shot in museums, estates, working hospitals…it is actually a very organized chaos! Get a security deposit and make sure you are named “additional insured” on their policy. Standard liability coverage is up to a million dollars. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Include as much information in the contract as possible. Payment should be made the first day the company occupied the premises. The average shooting day is 12 hours. In addition to filming, there are prep and strike days. Remember to share the wealth–make sure your neighbors are compensated if inconvenienced. If you educate yourself and are working with a good location manager, everything will be returned to the same or better condition and you will be fairly compensated for the experience. To learn more, go to Your Property In A Starring Role.