December 2020 Newsletter


Message from LMGI President Mike Fantasia

Greetings LMGI members and friends,

Mike Fantasia, LMGI President

As we near the end of this most unusual year, I reflect upon our resilience as an organization.  When the pandemic essentially shut the world down, we immediately jumped into action to continue, as best we could, to find normalcy.  Our in-person chats transitioned into ZOOM chats and we grew, learned, and shared through our recurring virtual ‘Coffee Tuesdays’ educational programs with our members, business partners and corporate entities.  We transitioned our 7th Annual LMGI Awards into a live stream experience that allowed thousands of members and friends around the world to watch the show, with many chatting in real time with one another, on YouTube and other social media platforms. We also shared the digital version of our quarterly COMPASS Magazine with new friends and industry colleagues.

In this December newsletter we take a peek at our members from a social point of view, we welcome our newest board member, Ken Brooker, recognize our impressive members via the 7th LMGI Awards and the COMPASS Magazine. We learn about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that formed after our June 30th virtual town hall discussing the complexities of racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the film industry.  We also spotlight two of our amazing business partners, LocoMats and Reel Estate Partners, and share a new alliance with the Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) and their Native American Film Career Development Initiative.

Dive into the newsletter, enjoy it, and have happy and safe holidays!

Mike Fantasia
President, LMGI


Tuesday, December 1
Coffee Tuesdays: Special Edition FamTour:  Warsaw / Poland

LMGI Members and Industry Professionals are invited to a Virtual Familiarization Tour (FamTour) hosted by Film Warsaw to partake in an exclusive virtual tour of locations in and around Warsaw, Poland. No need for a passport to scout this beautiful country!  Sit back, relax, and enjoy in the comfort of your home or office.  JJ Levine and Dodd Vickers will moderate this robust tour along with many Polish city officials. Other participants include Vice President of City of Warsaw, Head of Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission, Alicja Grawon-Jaksik /President Polish Producers Alliance, Ewa Puszczyńska / Producer, Oscar winner for “Ida”, and Michal Sliwkiewicz /LMGI.

Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am PST

Thursday, December 3
Webinar: “How to Put Poland on the Production Radar”

LMGI Members to lead in a discussion with Poland-based film commissions, producers, business leaders and government agencies on ways to promote filming in Poland and what practices can be applied with prepping for international productions. Audience members will join in post-panel open discussions.

Time: 7:30 am PST

Tuesday, December 15 – Thursday, December 17
FOCUS, The Meeting Place for International Production

For its sixth edition, the highly anticipated United Kingdom trade event, FOCUS, will return in December 2020 in a digital format. Expanding from two days to three days, global content makers, film commissions, production services and locations providers in film, TV, advertising, animation and interactive will gather on Zoom.

Wednesday, December 16
LMGI attends FOCUS: The Meeting Place for International Production

LMGI Panel: “Future-Proofing the Screen Industries”

Join the LMGI as we share the virtual stage with location managers from around the world.  The LMGI will also be featured in Makers Magazine, a leading content source featuring interviews, commentary and opinion from leading figures in production from around the world.

Register today to choose which panels you will tune in to:

FOCUS Registration

Time: 4:40pm – 5:20 PM  GMT

SPEED MEET WITH THE LMGI – Connect  with location managers, scouts, production managers and general location chat.

Time:  5:30 – 6:30 PM GMT


Ken Brooker /LMGI Board

The LMGI Welcomes Board Member, Ken Brooker.

Our newest member of the LMGI Board of Directors, Ken Brooker, hails from Western Canada and is a location industry veteran with over twenty years of production experience on projects such as Noelle, Underworld: Evolution, Bates Motel, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Arctic Air, and most recently, Resident Alien.

Brooker has been a member of the Directors Guild of Canada for 20 years and has served as an actively involved member of LMGI since 2016 with his mission focused on promoting and expanding the LMGI membership-base in Canada.  In 2019, he hosted an LMGI Fam Tour in Canada’s Northwest Territories and most recently contributed to Compass Magazine (Spring 2020).

Lori Balton /LMGI Founding Member

“In the midst of a rapidly changing production environment, the LMGI has an important role to play in advocating for our craft and advancing our creative contribution to our industry,” says Booker. “For me, joining the Board is an exciting opportunity to work with, and serve, other location professionals around the world who are equally interested in promoting ‘excellence on location’, and highlighting the creative contributions we make on projects each and every day. Thank you to everyone who gave me their vote of confidence to serve.”

Ken’s membership to the LMGI Board of Directors follows the departure of founding member and past president of the LMGI, Lori Balton, who passionately served as co-editor of the LMGI Compass Magazine and co-chair of the annual LMGI Awards.  Her trailblazing accomplishments and accolades as the first location professional accepted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) and winner of multiple California On Location Awards (COLAs) will continue to shine a positive light upon our expanding location community and we graciously thank her for her many years of dedicated service.


“Because sometimes your career says hello to one of your passions.”  ~ @_leo_fialho

During the coronavirus pandemic, we quickly learned that connection with others is more important than ever. We at the LMGI want to shine a brighter light on what our amazing members and business partners are up to via social media. Tag #LMGISocialLight on your snaps so you can take us with you on your adventurous location journeys.  We are merely a click away to cheer you on your accolades, hard work and success!  Follow the LMGI on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Featured December 2020 #LMGISocialLights

Ehrin Davis   @ehrinfoto
Stephen Weissberger  @stephen_weissberger
Peter Gluck @petergluck
Leo Fialho @_leo_fialho



Photos shown (L-R): Apple Hill, CA, Maine, Washington & Vermont


California-based LMGI member, Jill Naumann, has mastered the art of studying diverse species of trees’ patterns while scouting in an extreme range of elevations. Her treasure hunt route for the most glorious and precious forests begins with the science of understanding the weather. With Mother Nature leading the charge, her predictions have to be precise and on-schedule or she will miss the sweet spot.

Whether it is the intoxicating draw into an autumn purple ash or an autumn blaze maple, the brilliant yellows of Utah, Colorado, and California that favor the quaking aspens, or the deep brick magentas from red maples in New England, as a location scout it’s hard for her to resist the wheat, browns and umber colors of brunt orange against a fresh snow welcoming in Winter.

“I’m obsessed with the hunt because my blood type is Autumn, but beware as the chase can be addicting,” states Naumann. “With our ‘work comes first’ mindset it is sometimes hard to imagine planning advanced time away for a few months, so it’s great that leaf peepers like me rely on the science of meteorology to determine where the trees will “peak” in each chosen state and when!”

This self-proclaimed “leaf peeper” finds that autumn is a glorious time of year for a photographic road trip – and lucky for us, she has welcomed us to view her photography showcase while stopping throughout Washington, Utah, Colorado, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and yes, even California!

Visit her photography feature on LMGI’s website by clicking here and allow it to conjure up visions of crunchy leaves beneath your feet, cozy socks and sweaters, a bevy of comforting concoctions and cocoa, and hopefully a romantic fireplace somewhere COVID compliant!

Check out all the other beautiful LMGI member galleries here

Submit your own collections for consideration to the member galleries here!


The LMGI offers several volunteer opportunities to help plan and execute programs around education, diversity equity and inclusion, marketing/public relations/communications, membership, regional and international events, the LMGI website and social media. The LMGI is only as great as its member base, so join a committee and share your ideas.


7th Annual Location Managers Guild International Awards

Thanks for watching the “2020 Vision: We See It First,” 7th Annual LMGI Awards.  Seen by more than 3,000 viewers worldwide, we were a streaming success, with the chat rooms exploding:

“Ciao a tutti”
“La mejor de las suertes amigos!”
“Bienvenidos, Mallorca!”
“Guten Abend aus Berlin”
“Ho’omaika’i to all the nominees and Toscana!”

Previous Awards host David Doumeng/LMGI returned to rock the preshow, featuring our many sponsors and resurrecting some of our greatest hits: Regina King, Jeff Goldblum, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Michael Mann.

Host Isaiah Mustafa brought down the house, from atop the Statue of Liberty, to London’s Notting Hill Carnival, to perambulating with arctic penguins.  The tightly crafted, one-hour show’s presenters featured the hilarious Jim Cashman, director Edgar Wright, actors Damaris Lewis, Noah Wyle, Sylvia Hoeks, Blair Underwood, and Joe Mantegna.

Our stellar winners and nominees – as well as our great sponsors – can be found on our website: As the chat room chatter attests, you are all winners, and we are grateful to have you in the LMGI family. Honorary Awards were bestowed upon Supervising Location Manager Veronique Vowell (Lifetime Achievement), Gary Sinise (Humanitarian), Christopher McQuarrie (Eva Monley Award), and Spike Lee (Trailblazer). “God willing we’ll all be back working together,” Spike said, accepting the LMGI Trailblazer Award. He continued to praise location managers, saying without them, “I would not be able do what I do. I’m out in the streets… And I’m looking forward to going back. I know we all are… Wear a mask, be safe.”

You can view the show on our YouTube channel for a limited time:  2020 LMGI Awards

Contact the Awards Committee here


LMGI’s newest committee, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (DEI), which was birthed out of our June 30th LMGI virtual town hall, has been hard at work since Summer 2020 to shape itself into a thriving and productive piece of our amazing puzzle. The DEI is chaired by LMGI Member, Miguel Tapia.

The LMGI has partnered with Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI)’s Native American Film Career Development Initiative to bring jobs and revenue to Native communities by teaching the art of location managing to Native Americans through seminars, panels and other programs.

The initiative launched with a November 5th virtual Master Class in “Location Scouting and Management” at the 25th annual Red Nation International Film Festival with a panel including LMGI President Mike Fantasia and LMGI members Todd Christensen, Kokayi Ampah and Kristin Dewey. The Red Nation International Film Festival officially honored both the LMGI and Location Manager Todd Christensen /LMGI during the October 28th press conference announcing the Red Nation Award nominations.

Click here to read more about the LMGI / Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) partnership.

Diversity in New York

LMGI member Paul Hamill and LMGI Board member and DEI Committee member Eric Klein have recently joined with the NY Film and Television for Diversity and Inclusion group. The group’s aim is to help people of color move up the ladder within the film industry, and arose from the Black Lives Matter movement. Although the group includes mentoring in all crafts and departments associated with filmmaking, Paul and Eric focus on mentoring for protégés specializing in locations.

Contact the DEI Committee here



The LMGI COMPASS Magazine is published quarterly by the Location Managers Guild International to showcase the many talents of our members. Our Winter COMPASS cover story will focus on the LMGI Award winning 2020 TV series, Perry Mason on HBO.

Our members and business partners will receive a physical paperback magazine, to have and to hold. Beginning with our Fall 2020 issue, the digital COMPASS was sent around the world to a variety of media outlets and production personnel.

Click here to read the Fall 2020 COMPASS

Please share your story ideas and news for COMPASS with us here


Our LMGI ‘Coffee Tuesdays’ virtual coffeeklatch developed as a social gathering alternative while safe distancing at home. For more than 22 weeks and 44 Zoom calls, the program continues to inspire, engage and educate LMGI members and business partners from all over the world with percolating hot topics, tips and tricks of the trade surrounding location careers in the entertainment industry. Now running once per month vs. every Tuesday, the sessions have been moderated by LMGI pros Jennifer ‘JJ’ Levine, Ryan Schaetzle, Leah Sokolowsky and Dan Connolly. Since its inception, we have video-archived the topics discussed, from Scouting for Features vs. TV vs. Commercials to “Sky High”: Aerial Work with Drones and Helicopters to Working with the Military

Click here to log into the LMGI Member Dashboard to watch and learn from past events.

For other questions or to propose topics for future calls, please Contact the ‘Coffee Tuesdays’ team here


Photo Credit: @coldhouse_

Congratulations to all of our new and returning members to the LMGI including Tom Carr-Griffin, who is featured in the Fall 2020 issue of COMPASS Magazine!


New Members:  Adam Baxter, Melissa “Zippy” Downing, Ernest Belding – Los Angeles,
Adam Williams, Daniel McCarthy, Jen Quesenbery, Rob Coleman – New York,
Benjamin Sutton, Mark Redman, Laura Bryant, Jeff Williams – Georgia
Estee Chang – Australia
Matthew Fleischman – New Jersey

New Associate Members: Andrea Mazzucchelli/Chile

New Dedicated Business Partner: Film Set Locations

Not a member yet? Want to refer a colleague? Click here to see all the benefits membership brings, or click here to join the LMGI today.


LMGI Member in Magazine Feature

LMGI member and long-time business partner Russ Fega (Home Shoot Home), has a great write up in the November 2020 issue of Arroyo Magazine. Nice piece, Russ!

Click here to read the article digitally (Page 14-15)

LMGI Members Host Arizona Masters Panel

On Friday, Nov 13, Location Manager Diane Friedman/LMGI (Insecure 4, Versace, 90210) moderated a two-hour panel on the art of location scouting and management to the “Producing Film” class at Northern Arizona University.

“This is the only class that focuses on what goes on behind the scenes, like script breakdowns, production schedules, budgeting, etc.,” explains NAU Professor Paul Helford. “I also try to expose students to industry jobs besides the usual. They all want to be writers, directors, cinematographers, but there are many more paths into production for them to consider.”

Friedman invited veteran location manager Walter Roshetski/LMGI (Criminal Minds) and Key Assistant Frances Reyes-Bolinger/LMGI (13 Reasons Why) to join in the Zoom and share their expertise.

“I jumped at the opportunity to enlighten these 60-plus future filmmakers on what we do, and I put together a panel that included perspectives from seasoned pros and also from someone who is just starting out. It was so much fun to explain the nuts and bolts of our craft and tell stories of on-the-job drama and how we each got into Locations,” says Friedman. “We dazzled the students with sizzle reels and “before and after” location pictures from shows we all worked on. We stressed that no matter where they eventually find their place in the Industry, it is so important to understand what the Location Team brings to the creative process, both visually and logistically.”

The format for the presentation was inspired by LMGI’s recurring program ‘Coffee Tuesdays,’ which gave Friedman the idea on how to structure the eye-opening virtual experience for the class.

Contact the Membership Committee here.


Take Advantage of Member Benefits

As an LMGI member, you are entitled to several member benefits accessed by our updated Member Dashboard!

–Update your profile to include searchability attributes for our online directory (features, commercials, if you’ve scouted outside your region, etc.…)
–Request a FREE LMGI swag box!  Simply enter your desired t-shirt size and we’ll send a T-shirt, embroidered hat, luggage tag and sticky note pad! *Please note only 1 box per member
–Download your custom LMGI email signature (once downloaded you can personalize with other affiliations)
–25% OFF your IMDbPro account link
–Invite a colleague or a business to join with us – personalized invitation link
–Over 60 hours of recorded ‘Coffee Tuesdays’ material – customized programming tailored with tips to improve all levels of location professional skillsets.  A few of our most popular are:

  • Photography & Lightroom TipsSerge Remelli shares tips that will up your photography game
  • Tech TuesdayFeaturing GoPro, Matterport, Insta360
  • Photo WebsitesFeaturing Smugmug, Zenfolio, SlickPic,, RataData
  • Sustainability & Ethical PurchasingSustainability directors from NBC/Universal and Warner Media, and Paramo Sales Director discussion.
  • Optimizing Your WorkflowMembers talk about their successes using Slack, Smugmug, importance of photo classifications

Sign in today!

LOCOMATS: Business Partner Spotlight

A man of “small miracles” – Dave Smith

As the world turns toward sustainability and waste mindfulness, LMGI spotlights the original eco-friendly alternative to layout board, LocoMats and President Dave Smith. Dave always has an eye on the horizon and uses his knack for technology to keep LocoMats at the front of the pack. The lightbulb moment for LocoMats came in the early 2000’s while Dave was living and working in Utah assisting Kristi Frankenheimer on Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde. Always the pioneer, Dave learned his approach of using mats was quick and easy compared to the wasteful yet common cardboard on sets in Los Angeles. Realizing an opportunity, Dave found the funds and returned to his native city and by 2004, LocoMats open for business.

Snap to an unprecedented 15 years later and LocoMats still leads the charge in embracing the constant change that is COVID. The company now provides excellent sanitization services which go hand in hand with floor protection, since the locations department and their vendors are usually some of the first people onto a set. Adding the skill of sanitation to their arsenal has helped LocoMats adjust to the changes in labor practices while continuing to minimize the waste on current productions. A former location manager himself, Dave understands the unpredictability of this industry, now more than ever, and gets great satisfaction when a last-minute change happens to a project and his team help pull off all the “small miracles” that keep the cameras rolling.

We are so happy at the LMGI to have had Dave with us from near the beginning. His role with our lovely group has shifted from location manager member, to event sponsor, and current Business Partner. Regardless of title Dave continues to frequent our mixers and coffee klatches to help keep his company on the pulse of location managers’ concerns and ready to provide the best protection in our ever-shifting world of safety.

Visit for more information!

REEL ESTATE PARTNERS: Business Partner Spotlight

Reel Estate Partners is a boutique location service representing design-forward and one-of-a-kind, best-in-class properties in Los Angeles. One look at their website only furthers their reputation for luxury locations with their newly expanded portfolio and added 360-degree imagery crucial for these times of remote scouting and social distancing. Never one to sit idle, Reel Estate Partners Founder Alison Miller spent the beginning stages of our lengthy shutdown embracing something usually in short supply, time. Perhaps some of you spotted her in multiple Awards Ceremony committees this season or weekly coffee klatch gatherings. Alison stated, “LMGI was an absolute lifeline in the early months of the pandemic offering invaluable information, education, and networking opportunities during a time that was nerve wracking for all of us.” Outside her volunteering and safety-first socializing, expect a refreshed brand, website, and image sharing tools that Reel Estate Partners is launching next month.

Since starting the business three years ago, Alison still considers it one of the best decisions of her life. After departing her rural hometown of 500 people, Alison had the great fortune of traveling the world, living in Europe, and working in NYC. These experiences influenced her interests in all things design whether it be in real estate, art, or fashion, and helped her establish the excellent taste representing her business. To this day she can’t stop her wanderlust and even frequented open houses just for fun before the pandemic. After building a global events business followed by a decade in entertainment media, and a few encouraging nudges from development colleagues, Reel Estate Partners was created, marrying so many of Alison’s passions into a single initiative. As the Reel Estate Partners network grows Alison hopes to enjoy that level of camaraderie unique to entertainment, networking with the best of the best in our Guild, and of course, the excitement of something you helped create being featured on the big screen!

The firm also advises film festivals including the Asian World Film Festival and the Burbank International Film Festival, which could provide additional synergy for LMGI involvement.

Visit for more information!

We encourage you to follow and actively engage with our Social Media accounts. Tell us your stories, share and comment on our events and activities, and encourage your colleagues – Location Professionals, Businesses and Industry Members – to join us at the LMGI.


Jen Farris
Kristin Dewey
Lexington Graham

JJ Levine
Edward Mazurek
Do you have photos or stories of interest to LMGI members
and other industry professionals?
Email our LMGI Newsletter Team:
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