Hello everyone,

Welcome to our latest Quarterly LMGI Newsletter, the first for 2023. This is going to be a very busy year for the LMGI, as it’s both the 20th anniversary of the LMGI and the 10th anniversary for our Awards Show, so it’s a double celebration. It’s hard to believe we’ve been around for 20 years! There will be much to celebrate as we both look to the past, reminding us of how we came about, and plan for our future. For those interested in helping out, please let us know.

Be on the lookout in your email inboxes for more news and upcoming events from the LMGI. Remember we’re only as strong as our membership.

All the best,

John Rakich
LMGI Board President

Submissions NOW OPEN
Now – Sunday, May 21, 2023, 11:59 PM PDT

Submissions for the 10th annual Location Managers Guild International Awards are NOW OPEN online and will close Sunday, May 21, 2023. Submissions are open to LMGI members and non-members alike.

Co-chaired by John Rakich, LMGI President, and Robin Citrin, Supervising Location Manager, this year’s ceremony is special because it occurs during the 20th anniversary of the LMGI as an organization. The LMGI will be honoring outstanding location awards in the following categories: Contemporary Film, Period Film, Contemporary TV, Period TV, TV Serial Program/Anthology/Limited Series, Commercials, and Film Commissions. Honorary Awards include the Humanitarian, Lifetime Achievement, Trailblazer, and Eva Monley Awards.

Eligible productions are those first released between June 2, 2022, and June 1, 2023, with at least 60% of the production shot on location. Nominations will be announced on Friday, June 30, 2023.

Click here for Submissions
Click here for Rules and Regulations

The entry and voting timeline for The 10TH Annual LMGI Awards is as follows:

      • Entry Submission Period Opens Monday, April 3, 2023
      • Entry Submission Period Closes Sunday, May 21 (11:59 PM PDT)
      • Online Voting for Nominees Opens Friday, June 2
      • Nominee Voting Closes Sunday, June 11
      • Nominees Announced  Friday, June 30
      • Final Voting Opens Friday, July 14
      • Final Voting Closes Sunday, July 23 (11:59 PM PDT)
      • Winners announced at LMGI Awards Saturday, August 26

Sponsor and advertising opportunities are still open.

Click here for more details

For further information about the LMGI Awards, contact Erika Howard. awards@locationmanagers.org

On social media, follow the hashtags #LMGI and the #LMGIawards.

Saturday May 6, 2023
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST

Join the LMGI, New York Production Alliance and Herc Rentals at Cinelease Studios Brooklyn for a familiarity tour and networking event with mini-golf, games, food and more!


Cinelease Studios 1245 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY 11211

Sunday, May 7, 2023
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM PST

LMGI Board of Directors Meeting via ZOOM

LMGI Members and Business Partners are invited to attend.
Click here to request access

Friday, June 9 – Sunday June 11, 2023

LMGI Board of Directors retreat – Atlanta, GA

Saturday, June 10, 2023

LMGI Member Event – Atlanta, GA
To Be Announced


Click here to access your member profile and review existing member perks and discounts, as well as enjoy recaps and video streams from past virtual FAM tours, educational panels, events and more!

Log into your LMGI Member dashboard to access the LMGI Edu-torial Series:
2-4-minute sessions with IMDb.

IMDb Edu-torials are available for all levels:

  • Part 1: Why it’s important to keep your IMDb Updated
  • Part 2: Updating your IMDb profile
  • Part 3: Advantages of having an IMDbPro account
  • Part 4: Common Q&As

LMGI 20th Anniversary Email Signature Tag

Get into the spirit for our LMGI 20th anniversary by adding our 20th anniversary signature tag to all of your outgoing emails. Download from here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Login to watch
Click here to view filming opportunities in the State of Florida.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Moderated by JJ Levine and Sasha Denisoff, attendees gathered for conversations from location pros from 2023 Oscar-nominated titles!

Login to watch
Click here to watch

LMGI Member Jen Farris was spotted at the Black Women Film Network Summit (BWFN), sitting with David Manuel, Fulton County Director of Arts & Culture, and Shaunya Chavis-Rucker, Division Director for the Fulton Films Office. Fulton Films, our LMGI Business Partner, served as an official sponsor of the summit and is the largest county seat in the state of Georgia, servicing 15 cities.

Follow Fulton County Films Office on Instagram by clicking here

Would you like one of your special social media posts to be highlighted in our next newsletter?

Tag it #LMGISocialLight so we can shine a light on you!

Education is a high priority with the LMGI. Watch as LMGI Member, Leo Fahlo, continues to educate and elevate location scouts and managers with pro tips and tricks. Check out his hack using natural sunlight on his focal subjects. Click here to view.

Do you have a pro tip that you would like to share for our next newsletter? Consider also joining the LMGI Education Committee. Let us know either way by clicking here!

Hello Ben. Tell us about your upbringing and background. Who is Ben McIver?

I originally came to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College.  Although I majored in economics and eventually graduated with a BA in economics, I have always had a creative mind.  My mother was a visual artist and that had a big impression on me.  I was a talented musician in high school and that continued in my junior year, when I started playing saxophone around Atlanta with a band.  After college, I got more serious, took the plunge and moved to New York to study jazz and make my way as a musician. As much as I loved music and performing, I realized that I was looking for something different.

Ahhhh! You were a kid and student surrounded by the arts. Did the arts draw you into the film and television industry, and is that what is keeping you here?

To be honest, my bank account suggested that I try the film industry. I returned to Atlanta in 1999 and had a neighbor who was a location manager who needed help on a low-budget film. The work was intense, but there was something about it that spoke to both my creative and analytical minds. I love the whole process of bringing the scenes on the page to the screen, with my most favorite part being scouting with production designers and directors.  Each one is different, and it challenges me to bring my whole creative side to the job.

Knowing there is a unique and creative challenge associated with every production, is that what enticed you to continue to pursue location management and ultimately become a member of the LMGI?

With location managers being unionized relatively late here in Georgia, I feel it has been a struggle for our positions to be recognized as something on par to a 1st AD or production designer or even producer, for example. I felt the LGMI, as an organization, was the best opportunity to elevate our profession through education and by promoting higher standards among our membership, and I felt collectively we could elevate our profile within the industry. So, I joined in 2020. One of the things that I have gotten out of membership so far is just exposure to the experiences of other location managers around the world. When we are working, we are so immersed in our work bubble that we hardly can see what is going on across town. The LGMI has allowed me to hear and speak with my fellow managers from around the world. Like most every industry, there is a real diversity problem in the film industry, and the locations community is no exception.  With that in mind, I want to lend my voice and experience to the DEI committee to develop strategies to recruit and support a more diverse cohort into the profession.

I can imagine the LMGI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee would love to have you on board to share your unique perspective from the many experiences you have had in the film and television industry. Speaking of work, what has kept you busy over the years, and what keeps you fulfilled outside of work?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on every type of project, from TV series, to low-budget indies, to $150M+ features. However, the projects that I am most proud about being a part of were much smaller, like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with HBO, or The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey for Apple TV+ – stories about African-American life, fictional or true, highlighting all that that means, from the struggle to the joy. Personally, I am married with two boys – a full teenager and a pre-teen.  When I am not working (either at the end of the day or between projects), cooking and riding my bike bring me a lot of joy and relaxation.  Seeing an amazing scene on screen that I was an integral part of brings me joy, too – minus the stress involved with biking and cooking.

Ben. You have had an interesting life and journey. Thanks for your current and future contributions to the LMGI. How may we stay in touch and link up with you?

You can find me on Facebook or LinkedIn (Ben McIver) or go to @innerflyte to follow me on Instagram.

Inside of the World Trade Center Film TV Showcase

LMGI Board of Directors members Eric Klein and Jimmy Ayoub were amongst a group of amazing location professionals and LMGI members who recently attend two special events in the Big Apple. Following is the event recap by Eric Klein describing the welcome given by Marriott International and Port Authority of NY and NJ.

On Friday, March 16th Marriott International hosted a meet and greet reception with reps from around the New York area at the brand-new Highlight Room New York City at Moxy Lower East Side. LMGI members in attendance were Joe Mennella, Deren Getz, Ellen Catsikeas, Les Fincher, Kate Beall, Paul Hamill, Aaron Hurwitz, Ben Stern, Karen Salva, and Eric Klein. In a bid to get the next generation started early, Ben Stern and his wife, Karen Salva, brought their beyond-cute one-year-old baby boy, Azrael. Future location manager?  I think so.  I better get him my resume!

Eric Klein and Jimmy Ayoub, LMGI Board of Directors. Jimmy Ayoub and Dan Welch, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817

On Monday, March 27, Arianna Kane and The Port Authority of NY and NJ gathered us together again by inviting location pros out for drinks and incredible snacks to the rooftop observatory of One World Trade Center, and as everyone who has ever been up there has said, the view is spectacular. LMGI members in attendance were Jimmy Ayoub, Dan Welch, Jay Horne, Adam Williams, Gahan Haskins, Paul Hamill, Kate Beall, Aaron Hurwitz, new member Miguel Fernandez, Deren Getz, and Eric Klein.

Mark McKennon (guest), Eric Klein, Paul Hamill, Adam Williams, Kate Beall, Jay “Jeff” Horne, Deren Getz, Jimmy Ayoub, Gahan Haskins, Aaron Hurwitz

Jimmy Ayoub and wife Kate

Deren Getz, Paul Hamill, Aaron Hurwitz. Dan Welch, David Moy (Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting), guest

We would like to send the sincerest condolences to our LMGI Business Partner, Savannah Regional Film Commission, for the recent loss of the Executive Director Erin Fraser. She passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 3, 2023. Before making an impact in Georgia’s film and entertainment community, Erin got her start in entertainment production as a senior assistant to Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels where she helped in the development and launch of Conan O’Brien’s long-running TV Series, Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

This quarter’s LMGI Business Partner Spotlight shines a light on Trilith Studios in Fayetteville, GA, a one-stop-shop for filmmakers with over one-million square feet under roof and more than 700 acres of backlot space to create anything you can image.

We recently sat down with Craig Heyl, COO and Executive in Charge of Production to chat.

Chatting was a pleasure because Heyl believes that being a business partner with LMGI allows the introduction of endless possibilities while filming at Trilith to locations experts, who have first-hand knowledge of what a movie needs to accomplish while executing the director’s vision. It allows his team to showcase their value proposition early in the scouting process and bring some incredible projects to life.

Before landing at Trillith, Heyl worked for over 15-years at Turner Broadcasting Systems, where he led the build and launch of Turner Studios. He supported content and technology efforts, launching a broad range of entertainment, content, news, and sports production. He gleamingly loves seeing that experience come full circle, as he helps lead Trilith’s current investment strategy into content and technology companies.

“One thing about Trilith Studios that is very unique is we’re an entire ecosystem,” Heyl states. “We are run by, built by, and operated by creatives, technologists, and some of the best operators in the world. We have some of the best vendors in the world. And it’s an entire one stop shop for anyone to come and be supported.”

To many around the world, the COVID 19 Pandemic was a setback, but when asked about how COVID affected Trilith, the response was that COVID gave them a chance to grow as a company and work together with their clients even more than “normal.” They successfully navigated that really tough time together, pioneered solutions, and got everyone back to work safely.

A common first comment amongst industry professionals that visit Trilith Studios is the studios are not only amazing, but the long-lasting impression rests upon the people and the experience they have.  He fondly recalls an encounter with five-time Academy Award-winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter who was utilizing the studio and asked to move out and get another office so he could have mine. “Of course, I said, “Yes.”

Heyl expressed that at Trilith, they are creating a place that has every resource filmmakers need to create anything they can imagine. He states, “It’s always exciting to see what filmmakers can do when they have incredible resources at their fingertips. While we may not have a permanent backlot, we can build pretty much anything a filmmaker can dream of – from a Panama beach scene with an in-ground water tank to a New York subway station. At Trilith, we like to say that “anything is possible” and we try to prove that when we are working with our productions. From using a field as a military base to building the Staten Island Ferry, our goal is to make the process as easy as possible for filmmakers to bring their visions to life. I recently had a client say to me: “The Trilith Studios team does not know the meaning of ‘That is impossible.’ Everything you guys do makes the impossible, possible.”

Staying in touch with Trilith is a simple click. Follow them on all platforms Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram @TrilithStudios or click here for their website.

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Reach out by clicking here.

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