When it comes to prepping a location for a film shoot, Location Managers are often called on to move the priceless antiques, art work, pianos or other sensitive furnishings from the property before the set decorators, grips and electricians have access to the location.

These items are frequently expensive, one of a kind, irreplaceable objects. Protecting them is a daunting responsibility for the location professional. A  company that specializes in moving furniture for the entertainment industry is an important tool for Location Managers.

LMGI Business Member, NorthStar Moving Company, tells us how it’s done.

The best movers hate to drop things, so forgive me, but first I am going to drop a few names. Our client list makes even top Hollywood agents envious. We have been moving top productions and production companies for decades. We’ve even deployed decoy trucks to keep the paparazzi running in circles trying to discover where Ms. or Mr. Oscar or Grammy or Golden Globe Winner is living now. Think movers that would appear in a James Bond movie: fast, stealth, precise and in the final scene leaving no trace the movers were ever there.
Jim Henson Co

Our system is called Photo Perfect Packing™, a photo logging process to unpack and arrange clients’ items in an exact desired layout. It has worked for us for decades and in today’s digital world, the process is even simpler. So, how do you use your smart device to conduct a perfect production move? We’re going to make your day: we are going to share the secrets of our foolproof system with you.


Photo Perfect Packing™ is done in five steps:


  1. Lights, Camera, Action: Before one teacup gets moved, take photos of every belonging in the home that will be packed on a smart phone or device. The photos should show how the items are organized and displayed. This includes anything from overall room layout of furniture, bookshelves, the positioning of picture frames to the lineup in their medicine cabinet; no detail is too small or insignificant.
  1. File: Create a file for each room in the home. Name and save each photo into the appropriate file.
  1. Pack: Now that the photos are properly filed and saved, go ahead and pack all of the items and move them on out. Being in the industry, I have to say, this portion is definitely best left to the professionals one broken sentimental piece can ruin your relationship with the homeowner and your insurance coverage.
  1. Unpack: Once the production is complete. Use those selfies of the homeowner’s belongings to unpack and place everything exactly how it was before the production. Remember, pay attention to detail. From their sock drawer to the toss pillows on their bed, everything should be organized by color and pattern as they were before. Again, the professionals are probably best at this step too.
  1. It’s a Wrap: Step back and admire your masterpiece. Then, be sure to delete all photos or turn them back over to the client at the end of the move.


With picture perfect details such as photographing the contents of drawers and closets and the exact arrangement of vases on the bookshelves, you will ensure that the homeowner never has to live with the reality that their home was transformed into a reality set. You will be the leading man or woman for making sure the remote is right back on the coffee table exactly where the homeowner left it. I know I am not a casting director, but by using the Photo Perfect Packing™ method, you’re setting yourself up to receive the call back when the time comes to find the next perfect location.

Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company, LMGI Business Member. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving, storage services and production moves.   www.northstarmoving.com