Compass Winter 2024



“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” 


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” begins Charles Dickens in his classic A Tale of Two Cities. For 2023, the sentiment aptly applied, for as we celebrated our accomplishments in the Guild’s 20th anniversary year, we were also trying to survive the financial hardships caused by labor actions that halted our industry for many months. 

In times of joy and hardship, we celebrate and persevere with family—both of blood and those we choose. The long, intense hours our craft demands forges our location teams into “brothers and sisters in arms.” The hours spent together in the trenches of production create a shorthand between us and our colleagues. Knowing that we have each other’s back gives us the confidence to face daunting challenges ahead. It’s a production truth that we often spend more time with our “work families” than we do with our relations.  

In this issue, we honor the artistry of our members and their chosen work families. And, as members of any family do not always get along, we see what it takes to maintain the delicate balance of an effective team. 

In our cover story, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Shaun O’Banion goes behind the scenes with SLM Mike Fantasia and his team, who worked with director Martin Scorsese to bring a dark and disturbing episode of American history to the screen. 

In “Barbie: Between Two Worlds,” Rachel Llewellyn delves into the career of veteran SLM Robin Citrin, and how she and her team collaborated with director Greta Gerwig and production designer Sarah Greenwood in this year’s box-office smash.

In “Navigating the Nuances of Hiring and Firing in the Location Department,” Chris Evans has a frank conversation with veteran location managers about a subject that is critical to a well-functioning department, but not often discussed openly.   

Our columns include “In My City” with Yaw Amponsah Apenteng, who provides an insider’s look at Ghana’s vibrant capital city of Accra. “In the News” reports on Fam Tours to Africa, the Baltics, and California’s Coachella Valley, along with the LMGI’s first Australian event and the start of another great session of Harriet Lawrence’s popular UK “Assistant Location Managers Training Course.” 

LM Sabine Schulmeyer trains her eye on a unique view of Spain’s famed City of Arts and Sciences in our “Martini Shot.”    

We wish you all a new year of “best of times” with all your families and friends as production gears up in the coming months. May 2024 be a gentler year for all of us. 

Until next time, 

Stevie Nelson, Diane Friedman, Paul Messana, Edward Mazurek, Dodd Vickers