In a year like no other, the LMGI rolled out a Virtual Red Carpet and put on a show like never before…
by Diane Friedman
“Hello from Prague… Best wishes to all the nominees… LMGI, break a leg, everyone! Beautiful day here in Vancouver! Hello from Ireland. Come on The Crown! Hi to everyone from Mallorca!!!… Patching in from Portugal to send good luck to all the nominees…”
The live chat started before the pre-show, even before the title sequence exploded onto computer and phone screens around the globe announcing that the 7th Annual Location Guild International Awards 2020 show was on!
Behind the scenes, there was a huge sigh of relief—it had been a long road getting here. Months earlier, those planning this October event had been caught off guard, like everyone else, by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
And now, people were actually logging on to watch the event that celebrates the creative work of location professionals from all over the world. Viewers were excited—reaching out and engaging with one another!
“Grazioli, ciao a tutti da Roma… Guten abend aus BERLIN!… New York in the House!… Hello from Tennessee… Aloha, congratulations and best to all!… Congratulations to all the nominees!!! Can’t wait to see who wins—but you are all winners!!!”
“Man plans… and God laughs…” –Michael Chabon
Best laid plans…
2020 Awards Committee Co-chairs Lori Balton and John Rakich convened the first of many Zoom meetings with a core group of subcommittee chairs, PR and marketing mavens and dedicated LMGI staff in early November 2019. Some had worked on previous shows, others were new to the process and excited to be part of it. All of us were passionate about the visual mediums we had chosen as our life’s work—in movies, television, commercials—and the creative role we, as location professionals, play in it.
“Our yearly awards show is one of the Guild’s crowning achievements,” says Balton. “The September 2019 show was a big hit. The Broad Theatre in Santa Monica was the perfect venue for the awards presentation and the after-party. We hoped the 2020 event would be even better.”
Early on, we agreed on a theme for this year’s show. “We must use ‘2020 Vision!’ someone suggested. It only comes around once!” “How about ‘We see it first!’ offered another, “because as scouts, we actually might!”
We put them together: “2020 Vision: We See It First,” creating a rallying cry to encourage TV and film submissions from around the world.
For the 2020 awards, we hoped to expand the subcommittees in the Film, Television, Commercial and Outstanding Film Commission categories to do more outreach, to discover the international gems now available for streaming with a click of our remotes. “We wanted lots of eyeballs watching everything,” says TV Subcommittee Co-chair Stevie Nelson. “In addition to scouring the internet for worthy projects to bring to each other’s attention, our goal was to have everyone in the various committees view every submission that might come in!”
“This would require a huge amount of effort to research and view,” adds Commercial Subcommittee Chair Angus Ledgerwood. “We wanted to see that there was consideration for spots that were not just from our home countries or just our personal contact lists.”
Volunteers came forward as TV and movie-watchers, dates were suggested for a fall event, timelines sketched out. The PR and Marketing Committees put out the word, lists of potential presenters and honorees were drawn, a fabulous venue was scouted and negotiations were underway.
Then, in mid-March, the world came to a sudden halt. We had been working toward a glamorous social event when the reality of the pandemic began to sink in. “We had to rethink everything,’’ recalls Balton. “Could people fly into L.A. to attend? Would we have to leave empty seats between people? Could we have a bar and food at the after-party? How could we celebrate while keeping everyone safe?’’
As executive producer, Balton teamed with Jill Carrigan of IngleDodd Media (IDM), event producer/director Erick Weiss and writer Shelly Goldstein to create an awards show in this new reality. Weiss’ company, Honeysweet Creative, has worked its magic on the LMGI Awards for the past five years, helping plan the event and create the supporting visuals.
“I was in New York when the lockdown hit,” recalls Weiss. “Right away, I started to reimagine the events my team was working on, including the one for the LMGI. I flew back to L.A. on an almost empty plane—it was really strange.”
Balton and Weiss first thought they might keep the venue and tape a live show with presenters and recipients spaced in the theater. But COVID-19 protocols were not yet in place and the venues were concerned about safety precautions and issues of liability. “We realized we could not afford insurance for a venue in the times of a pandemic, let alone run the risk of the virus worsening and the show being canceled at the last minute. Canceling the event was never an option!” stresses Balton.
“We pivoted early on to going virtual in some form,” adds Weiss. “I started to realize that this might be a great opportunity for the Guild. It might be easier to book talent and reach a wider audience—many more than the 450 guests that had attended the show at the Broad.”
“This was a learning curve for us,” says Rakich. “The team had to work through clearance issues, for instance. Permissions for the clips we wanted to use were different than when the show was live and in a venue for one night only.”
“Going virtual actually complicated getting presenters at first,” reflects LMGI business partner Alison Miller (Reel Estate Partners) and a member of the Event and Commercial Subcommittees. “Some actors wanted time to shelter with family, while others had concerns about the production quality of virtual recordings without the attention of glam squads and crew to perfect lighting and sound.” Nevertheless, with a background in talent wrangling, Miller jumped in to help shape the lineup.
One of the dream hosts on Balton’s wish list was Isaiah Mustafa, who, after his enormous success as “the man your man could smell like” in a decade of viral Old Spice commercials, had since gone on to be a successful actor in several seasons of Shadowhunters. “Coincidentally, I actually knew him,” says Miller. “With one phone call, he was onboard as our host!” Says Balton, “Isaiah came on in early April and immediately added so much to the mix!”
“We thought we would tape him live and pre-package everything else to roll in,” remembers Weiss. “We were scrambling for studio space when a friend offered his warehouse that had just been converted into a studio with an LED wall and pro lights and cameras. And, his staff had just certified as COVID-compliant! Isaiah is already known for his ease in front of a green screen, but doing anything like that live has its own risks. So, finally, we decided to just pre-record the whole thing!”
The obvious upside of being stuck at home over the spring and summer months was having time to watch everything and curate the submissions. This was a particularly ambitious task in the case of television, as all members committed to watch a minimum of one to three episodes of every series—which made for a staggering amount of peak TV-viewing hours. “We had over 100 entries for television,” says Nelson. “We were blown away by the quality of the work—in scale, in scope and in execution.”[/caption]Balton was equally impressed with the feature entries. “Every year, we see a rise in productions that fit the bill and truly have creative use of locations as a lynchpin for storytelling. Regarding the Film Commission Award, we were pleased to have such strong international representation—all with impressive visual contenders. This award in particular illustrates that the LMGI Awards are global.”
Not to be outdone, the commercial team parsed over 75 spots. “We didn’t have too much issue narrowing down the top 10 but had great issue in cutting that number to five,” admits Ledgerwood. “It was important to the committee, and especially the location scouts and managers that work in commercials, that the nominations truly showed the best of what our medium can produce and inspire others.“
“Our primary objective was to choose work in which the story was so clearly told through the locations themselves,” explains Miller. “We decided early on to watch the commercials, as a group, with the sound off, to test if the clips stood on their own. In the end, our nominees represented projects from China, Argentina, the UK, Spain and the U.S.”
Narrowing the submissions is an intense process, with several rounds of voting within each subcommittee. “It’s not about how many or how beautiful the locations are, or even how logistically challenging they are to film. We look for that magic mix—location, character, action—all have to work together to tell the story,” says Nelson.
By the end of July, the five or six nominees in each category had been selected and were ready to present to the LMGI membership for a vote. Finalists were announced in late August.
LMGI administrative manager Erika Howard picked up the ball from there, gathering contact data and guiding 81 nominees through the event process. “I keep an eye on everything and swoop in to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks!” she explains. In the past, sponsors and nominees were flown to L.A. for the awards gala and treated to a pre-awards mixer and after-party. Howard was worried that this year they might feel short-changed. “I wanted to find a way to give them more exposure and meet each other. I got this idea to create Zoom panels for the finalists in each category. I had already been in contact with all the nominees about recording their acceptance speeches in case they won, so I just took it to the next level.
I sent out invites and we recorded a series of moderated conversations with whoever could join in to share their behind-the-scenes stories. The location team on ZeroZeroZero worked across three continents and had never met before! Jill Naumann/LMGI and Paquita Hughes/LMGI hosted several of the panels and they did a great job!
The panels were a great way to create excitement and publicize the show on a number of platforms leading up to the event. We also invited our sponsors to a Zoom “brunch” to meet nominees and LMGI members. Over 150 people participated!
“For the first time, sponsors were invited to contribute video ads,” says IDM sales rep Carol Skeldon. “Some of our past supporters had to understandably bow out this year, but we were able to bring in companies who had COVID services to promote and international film commissions who had beautiful locations to show off. We could be like the Super Bowl, with the ads being a part of the program!”
By fall, presenters in all categories had been confirmed. Finalists, presenters and award honorees sent in acceptance speeches or intros recorded on their phones. Everyone had adapted to the Zoom universe and felt more confident taping themselves. The honorees for the Guild’s signature Trailblazer, Eva Monley, Humanitarian and Lifetime Achievement Awards were falling into place.
The last puzzle piece arrived just in time. “Spike Lee had agreed to accept the Trailblazer Award early on,” shares Balton, “but getting the actual footage was a nail-biter—it was the very last thing to come in, just hours before our production deadline.”
“We were so excited to honor Spike this year,” says Event Subcommittee member Alison Taylor/LMGI. “Both Tim Stacker/LMGI, Spike’s location manager on BlacKkKlansman, and I felt strongly that Spike was truly deserving of this award. He was the first person to have people of color on both sides of the camera and was also way ahead of his time on social issues. We were so relieved when his tape finally came through!”
On an afternoon in October, before four cameras and in front of ShowPro’s LED stage, host Isaiah Mustafa knocked out his intros and segues with his signature sassy comedic touch while poised atop the Statue of Liberty, sitting on the Hollywood Sign, jumping into a Mardi Gras parade or surrounded by bursting fireworks. “He is such a pro—we shot all his bits in about three hours,” marvels Weiss.
All the show’s elements were now in the hands of Balton, Weiss and his editor, ready to be pieced together, along with clip montages, motion graphics and special effects. The much anticipated LMGI 7th Annual Awards show was thus expertly crafted into an entertaining one hour and on Oct. 24, 2020, at 2 p.m. PST was live-streamed on three platforms to an eager and receptive global audience. “We wanted to make sure that we had backups just in case,” says Howard. “If YouTube dropped out, we still had Facebook and Vimeo. We were live! Luckily, it all worked beautifully. I was able to watch and also keep up with the chat!”
“ Amazing show you have created LMGI!!! WOW … fun to watch… Love your Hawaii sponsor commercial. Thank you sponsors!”
“All’s well that ends well”
“Strangely enough, it all turns out well…It’s a mystery.” –Shakespeare in Love
L.A. location pro David Doumeng/LMGI kicked off the pre-show sitting in an empty bar, cocktail glass in hand. With his usual witty banter, he reminded us why we were all here. “Why honor location managers?” he asked. “You can’t have a production without us!”
Thanks David Doumeng, always entertaining… Great job David Doumeng!… David Doumeng rocking the house!!!
“COVID-19 has turned our world upside down,” said Guild President Mike Fantasia, standing before a majestic Montana mountain landscape—in a tux. “But true to the mandate of location managers everywhere, when it became impossible to gather in our original location, we did what we always do, we improvise! And we landed in a new location—cyberspace!”
Before tossing to host Isaiah Mustafa, Fantasia had his camera operator zoom out to reveal that he was only wearing shorts!
Dapper host Mustafa welcomed the captive home audience noting that he was coming to them “…via that special place in your house that you have been glued to for the past seven months while bleaching your produce,” setting the jaunty tone he would carry throughout the proceedings. “Before we landed in our current Zombie Apocalypse, the expert work done by location professionals brought the very best of films, TV shows and commercials. Tonight, we also honor some very special artists!”
Speaking from an ironically mundane office in Soho, director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver) introduced writer, producer and director Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible – Fallout) as the recipient of the Eva Monley Award, named for the fabled pioneer location professional who had worked alongside John Huston, John Ford and David Lean. “I want to give big props to my good friend McQ for this award. His films thrill me and his use of locations thrill me!”
“Gorgeous locations in these clips … the show is going great, really enjoying it!… Great LMGI show professionally produced and fun to watch!… I even like the commercials…”
“The Gary Sinise Foundation supports the real heroes in our lives and their families,” said Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) as he introduced this year’s Humanitarian Award recipient—his friend and fellow actor, Gary Sinise. His foundation offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military and first responders. “If the past seven months have taught us anything,” said Mantegna, “it’s that we owe so much to those people who live their lives with one goal—protecting the rest of us.”
Sinise graciously accepted the award, sharing that there is a long tradition of military service in his family, and his interest in vets was not inspired by his role in Forrest Gump! “We owe a great debt to our freedom fighters … they sacrifice so much. I will try to do my bit to always remember where our precious freedoms come from … and are never taken for granted.” The LMGI is proud to honor Gary Sinise for his dedication and commitment.
“Gary Sinise and presenter made me tear up!… Love the work he and his organization are doing… Sinise is a treasure… An excellent and truly deserving honoree. Well done, LMGI… He doesn’t seek out publicity. It’s just a true heartfelt service and commitment for him…”
Los Angeles hometown favorite Veronique Vowell/LMGI was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by two production designers with whom she has worked over the years. “Give her a location challenge and she will take you to places you never imagined,” said Jessica Kender, also praising Vowell for her talent, humor, smarts and great scout lunches. Corey Kaplan said she “considers V a creative producer… The artist in her finds locations with intrigue for the sake of good storytelling.”
“Great tribute from the designers and great speech… Congratulations!..
“It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for 30 years!” said Vowell, clearly touched by the Guild’s gesture of recognition. Known for her many credits, including Cold Case, Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere, Vowell reflected on a time before cell phones. “When I started, all I had was curiosity, ambition and determination, along with a polaroid camera and a roll of quarters for the pay phone. Much has changed from those early days, but what hasn’t changed is what I love most—hunting for interesting locations to tell interesting stories.” V also thanked the many assistants she has mentored and trained over the years.
“ V is sooo deserving of this award…
Just like her to bring in others to share in her award… Your big heart shines … good job Veronique… V—you are amazing!”
Location manager Tim Stacker/LMGI was proud to introduce his hero for the Trailblazer Award. “Spike Lee is a visionary who always keeps it real. He loves filming on location. His work comes straight from his heart and does what the best art does—illuminates the truth—and that has led a generation of filmmakers to build on the promise he had made possible.”
“Without location managers, I would not be able to do what I do,” admits Spike. “Over the four decades of making films … very rarely have I shot on sets. I’m out in the streets. I love shooting in the streets of New York City, especially in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn, New York.” The stories Lee has chosen to tell are groundbreaking and remain just as relevant today. The impressive montage of his work, which included clips from She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing and BlacKkKlansman, attests to the tremendous impact his work has had on filmmaking—a true Trailblazer!
“Wow. Spike Lee, well said. We all LOVE the streets of NY. Let’s wear our masks and get back out there!… “The People’s Republic of Brooklyn, NY.” Awesome, Spike… Beautifully done compilation! … yessss, ah mazing… In da houuuuuuuseeeeeeee (Morehouse)…”
Actor Graham McTavish (Rocky, Rambo, Hobbit trilogy) introduced the nominees for Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Television Series, noting that this year’s slate “features locations from every point on the globe. From the deserts of Jordan to the mean streets of Tokyo, to Eastern and Western Europe and LA’s favorite dive bar!” Location manager Jamie Parsons accepted the award for the quirky, dark, comedy-thriller Killing Eve, thanking his London crew and fellow location manager Jordi Utset in Barcelona for being so much fun to work with and Lucian Asan in Romania for making sure no one was eaten by bears. “We hope we alI get back to doing what we all love doing best,” he added.
“Vamos Killing Eve!!… Way to go to all nominees of Contemporary TV… This was a super tough category!!!…”
McTavish also thanked the New Zealand location pro on the second Hobbit movie for saving his life. The manager had rushed over to the director, not once, but twice, in the midst of a huge stunt setup warning that “we have to wrap and we had to get out now. The entire little army of crew were evacuated and 45 minutes later, a massive storm hit and the entire place was swept away into the river.”
“Outlander! Mr. Graham McTavish!”
As an actor, Blair Underwood (Deep Impact, Gattaca, Self Made) knows that locations give actors a world. As a director, he understands that locations are the heart and soul of the story. Introducing the nominees for Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series, he noted that “locations are a special challenge when a series has to bring the past to life.” In a field of stellar period pieces that gave life to ’30s Berlin‚ ’60s London, ’60s and ’70s California, a fantasy world in the Canadian wilderness, ’90s New York and a futuristic cityscape that scanned three continents, it was the recreation of 1930s Los Angeles that gave the crime series Perry Mason the win. Location managers Jonathan Jansen/LMGI, Alexander Georges/LMGI, and scouts Brian Kinney/LMGI and Alex Moreno/LMGI appeared on screen together, with masks, to accept the award. “When we got the screenplay,” says Georges, “we were really excited about the opportunity to highlight and showcase the hidden gems of architecture and design from Southern California and the 1930s.”
“Perry Mason was gorgeous… Great work… Well deserved… Good luck to all, big shoutout to David Pieper/Babylon Berlin!!! Wow, that was rough! But hurray for L.A.!”
This year, the LMGI created a new awards category, and actor Noah Wyle (ER, The Red Line) presented the first-ever nominees for Outstanding Locations in a Limited Anthology Television Series. “While we have always loved devouring great storytelling, for the millions of viewers living in the age of COVID-19, watching creative, complex fascinating stories has never been more of a priority,” said Wyle before announcing a tie!
ZeroZeroZero is an epic story that follows a shipment of cocaine from Mexico to Italy while passing through the Senegal and Sahara deserts before reaching Morocco. Eight location managers and scouts from around the world shared the award. From New Orleans, Virginia McCollam thanked the team and Gianni Antonio Grazioli, standing before a picture-perfect view of the Coliseum, invited us all to Rome to see the beautiful locations for ourselves.
“Congratulations Gianni… Gianniiiiiiiiiiii… Congratulations!!! Juan Pablo Noval & Lily Flaschner VIVA MEXICO!!!”
Little America, on the other hand, was a more intimate production that featured immigrant stories from around the world and all over the United States—and with the exception of one episode, was creatively filmed only in New Jersey. LM Rocco Nisivoccia accepted the award for himself and co-manager Mike Hartel in NJ, and for LM Adrian Knight/LMGI in Canada.
Just as television pushed artistic boundaries this year, so did feature films—but on a larger canvas. “Scripts are vital, directors are the shepherds, but locations help an actor to transform,” said actress Sylvia Hoeks (See, The Girl in the Spider’s Web) as she presented the nominees for Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Film.
“Sylvia was excellent in Blade Runner 2049 … she is giving locations lots of love!… Contemporary features … a nail-biter!… Isaiah is doing a fabulous job!!… He gets around quickly. Must have a transporter in the studio…”
Comprising an eclectic field of high-octane stunt thrillers and character-driven and action road movies, it was the scrappy indie The Last Black Man in San Francisco that won for its poetic take on gentrification in an iconic American city. Location manager Daniel Lee/LMGI accepted the award before a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge, thanking the California Incentive Program for making this film possible.
“Congrats Daniel Lee… I must see that film, looks amazing … great script!… Having done a couple films in the city, I can only tip my hat to the work you must have done…”
“The nominees in the awards category for Outstanding Locations in a Period Feature Film truly kicked things up several notches,” said actress Damaris Lewis (Pose, BlacKkKlansman, Fatale). They recreated a specific moment in time, including a WWI battlefield, a look at life in L.A. in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Germany during the Third Reich and a classic 1870s family drama set in Massachusetts. The award went to Rick Schuler/LMGI and Steve Mapel/LMGI for a reimagined 1969 Los Angeles in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. “This is amazing!” said Schuler, “considering this award is bestowed upon us from all of you amidst this impressive body of work this year.” Schuler went on to thank director Quentin Tarantino, his crew, their wives, and all the government agencies that enabled them to travel back in time!
“Great show!… Congrats Rick and Steve! Loved the movie! … yeah, Once Upon a Time had some great locations. I loved all the ’60s period stuff…”
Miller noted that many of the presenters who handed out the awards were actually on location. By October, filming was gearing back up. “Their pieces were being recorded in trailers from sets around the world. We also created some unique moments from presenters’ homes, like the hilarious backyard skit by Progressive Insurance spokesperson Jim Cashman—a tongue-in-cheek example of every location manager’s nightmare with leaf blowers and sirens drowning out his introduction to the nominees for Outstanding Locations in a Commercial.” The familiar commercial actor presented Allen Cao and Ben Qian with the award for the winning spot Mask of the Zodiac.
“Hi Jamie from Progressive! … that’s awesome. Only thing missing was the plane or helicopter … locations on two locations on two…”
An equally amusing move was enlisting Trivago spokesperson Tim Williams to present the award for Outstanding Film Commission. Breathtaking clips were shown from scenes shot in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Port Hope, Ontario and New Jersey. But it was the Toscana Film Commission that took the award for the amazing support it had provided during the filming of the 6 Underground hair-raising stunt sequences that featured the historic buildings and streets of Florence, Italy. Stefania Ippoliti accepted the award on behalf of her city.
“Toscana amazing collaborators… Congratulations Toscana!…
Ho’omaika’i to all the nominees and Toscana!… Go film commissions!… BRAVISSIMI!!!…
Even as Isaiah wrapped up the show by inviting us all to kick off our own after-party, the chat continued…
“That was so great! Well done, LMGI Awards Committee and congrats to everyone!… This was great. It was one of the best award shows, only an hour… Congratulations to all and thank you LMGI!”
“I don’t want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.” –The Silver Linings Playbook
There had been concerns that in a virtual format, the LMGI Awards show would be somehow less satisfying. Would the absence of networking while holding a drink and balancing a plate of hors d’oeuvres leave us wanting more?
“You can plan and plan—but not really predict just what magic ingredient will make it all come together. For me, the live chat made it real,” reflects Howard. “You could feel the collective energy. How proud the nominees and honorees must have felt, sitting at home with their families and watching the show. It warmed my heart.”
“I was blown away by how many countries were in the chat. And, it was blissfully short,” laughs Weiss. “The LMGI Awards show has now become the gold standard for the organizations and nonprofits we work with. We now have the template on how to do this.”
“The team effort brought together the necessary ingredients of celebrities and creativity to deliver a really entertaining show,” says Rick Markovitz, whose company Weissman/Markovitz Communications orchestrates the PR and marketing efforts for the Guild. “We worked very closely with the LMGI to build an all-important community through social media which was seen in the chat participation during the event. We are very pleased with the media support and the overall viewing online.”
The numbers reveal that on the day, the show was watched on more than 700 screens on three platforms. YouTube hosted 464 chat messages. “As of now, viewership has risen to over 3,000!” exclaims Balton. “As Erick Weiss likes to say, ‘We are the little Guild that could…’”
Many nominees found that being involved in the awards process provided light during the darkest days of the pandemic.
“We are back in lockdown in London and whilst some filming is going ahead—it’s been a difficult year for us all—this really was an incredible boost and a thrill we really needed!”
–Jamie Parsons, Killing Eve
“We are so grateful that you all continued in the face of COVID challenges to do the awards show this year. Bravo!”
–Virginia McCollam, ZeroZeroZero
“I’m very appreciative of the recognition, and it was a welcome reprieve from the upheaval and uncertainty of our time!”
–Adrian Knight/LMGI, Little America
“Thank you for everything you all do and the wonderful much needed energy you brought to my team during a really rough time.”
–Trevor Brokop, See
“Isaiah Mustafa’s positive energy and comedic timing, with all the creative backgrounds, was the perfect antidote for these pandemic times…”
–Brian Kinney/LMGI, Perry Mason
“We are proud of all the winners and participants,” concludes Balton. “From the difficult work of vetting the record-breaking numbers of submissions to enlisting top talent, we produced a great one-hour awards show that entertained an international audience. We timed the show to maximize global members’ ability to watch—and the live chatroom interaction was immensely rewarding. We took a chance, and ended up stronger for it, with absolutely the best LMGI Awards to date.”
Best of all, we were able to connect with each other. No matter where in the world we were, we were all in the same room, celebrating as a community. We had faced the moment and made it ours!
Eva Monley Award: CHRISTOPHER McQUARRIE
Producer, director and Oscar-winning screenwriter “McQ” is this year’s recipient of the Eva Monley Award, named for the legendary scout and logistics manager whose credits included Lawrence of Arabia, Exodus, The African Queen and The Man Who Would Be King.
On location in Norway, standing before a magnificent mountain and fjord backdrop, McQuarrie describes how this locale inspired him to write the next Mission: Impossible. “After being a writer and a director and a producer on numerous movies, I now understand it is all about story and story for me comes strictly from locations. I chose a location like this before I wrote a single word. It dictated scope, scale, mood, photography, design, action. I believe that every location has a story inside of it waiting to be extracted… I may not know the what, the why, the who or even the when. But so as long as I know the where, I am always delivered. So to everyone at Location Managers Guild International, wherever you are, I am sincerely grateful for this honor and I thank you.”