Follow Jan Adler /LMGI on Instagram @instadler

Hello everyone.

Welcome to our latest quarterly LMGI newsletter.

As I write this, the SAG/AFTRA strike is coming to an end. I know it’s been a rough year for us all but I’m hoping that in the next few weeks we will all start getting calls to get back to work to do what we all do best.

You’ll see in this newsletter just a small sampling of what’s been going on with the Guild in the last few weeks. Quite a few FAM trips (both virtual and in-person) have taken place. You’ll get a little sneak peek here, but there will be more to show you in upcoming Compass issues and on the LMGI website.

We aren’t done yet, either. We’ve got other events and plans in the works for the remainder of the year, and beyond. So be on the lookout for news and upcoming events from the LMGI in your email inboxes and make sure we have your most up-to-date info and details on your member dashboard.

All the best,

John Rakich
LMGI Board President


On November 17, 2023, LMGI hosted its first membership event in Sydney, Australia at Pier One, a boutique edition hotel directly on the water under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in conjunction with the newly formed Australian Location Managers Guild (ALMG). The event was coordinated by LMGI Board Secretary / Location Manager Lisa Scope and gathered local LMGI members, and prospective members.


December 1, 2023: The California On Location Awards (COLAs) honored the best location professionals for their specific work tied to a California production. This year the Awards Show returned to the Hilton Los Angeles in Universal City.


December 5-6, 2023: LMGI hosted a booth near the entrance at the FOCUS trade event in London at The Business Design Centre. As the only UK trade event where attendees can meet with content makers and facilitators from over 100 countries, this was a packed program of meetings, networking and conference sessions spanning film, TV, advertising and games.  We are grateful for our new Business Partners who have joined, many new members who applied, and we were thrilled to see so many of our members stopping by the LMGI Booth!



The winter Compass will feature a story on Robin Citrin and her team’s work on the international smash hit Barbie, as well as our cover story on Mike Fantasia and his team’s work on Killers of the Flower Moon. We will have stories on the past Baltic and Africa FAM tours and an educational piece from writer Chris Evans, who interviewed several top SLMs on how they choose their teams and how they make changes when necessary.


We are sending a hearty welcome to Masanori Aikawa, our first LMGI member in Tokyo, Japan.

As a new member, log in to your LMGI member dashboard and be sure to catch up on our Virtual FamTours to be enlightened about new regions, past episodes of Coffee Tuesdays (our chat series exploring all different locations topics, take advantage of our exclusive member discounts, and more!  Be sure to check the LMGI YouTube Channel for panels from around the globe our members have taken part in!


Congratulations to Supervising Location Manager and LMGI member Rick Schuler who was the lucky winning recipient of the California Gold Rush Virtual FamTour draw!  LMGI members had to be present on the call to be eligible to win the coveted prize of a three-night hotel stay, complimentary dinners and wine tasting, and a whitewater rafting excursion in the region.

Did you miss the California Gold Rush tour? Don’t fret. A link to view the edited event has been posted to the member portal. In the meantime, download handouts from the tour.  Or tune in today!

California Gold Rush Virtual FamTour Recording

We are grateful to our hosts for sponsoring such a valuable member event!


Thank you to all members who continue to put our 20th ANNIVERSARY LMGI signature tag in your emails. Log into the member portal to download the logo and to check for more member-exclusive information!

Contributor: Russ Gladden

“Being in the right place at the right time” is the story of long-time LMGI location manager Mick Ratman. Most of us choose to work in the film and TV locations industry, but locations chose Mick Ratman.

Fresh off an LMGI Awards Committee Zoom meeting, Russ Gladden reached out to Mick to learn more about his journey in LMGI and his 35+ year career in the film and TV industry.

Mick, when you began your career as a location professional, what instrumental events lead you to the world of locations? How did you arrive in the entertainment business? I have always had a love for the cinema. In 1962, I wandered around London’s West End, lucked out, and got inside to see the premiere of Dean Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia masterpiece. It blew my mind. I had been taking pictures with an old 120 camera my uncle gave me since I was 6 or 7. Later, my father got a Bell & Howell 8mm and [gave] me a more basic model that I really got into using. In my early teens, the club scene in London exploded with R&B, blues, and jazz. At 15 years old, I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time with my camera, taking photos of the [Rolling] Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, and many more. Occasionally selling some pictures to the music press, I was invited to the best music TV show of the time, Ready Steady Go, to take photos as a freelancer.

And to think how I wasted my teens while you were rubbing elbows and taking pictures of legends. Wow! When did you transition from music to film? It was a Catch-22. I tried to get into the industry. I took some film courses to get the basics, but to get a job, you had to be in the union, and to be in the union, you had to have a job. I got work as a runner/trainee in an editing house where I met actor Charlie Chaplin and helped him up some stairs. Then my education grew while working at a sound and editing supply store, followed by another break working at what we call a camera hire store/gear house in Soho. There, I learned about every make of camera, film stocks, grip gear, and got loads of contacts. Some asked me to take BTS/stills on shoots. Some asked me to be the Second Assistant Director, and there I was, in film, and eventually the union.  As the Second AD, I was working commercials with some of the top directors and crews. Eventually I worked as a First AD. McCartney and Lynda was a memorable one.

With all of those titles and contacts, how did those jobs take a back seat to your current work as a scout and location manager and is there a project or two you are most proud to have been a part of the creative process? Because of my BTS skills, I was able to scout locations, as well as be the Second AD, during the shoots. I was working on a music video and was able to close off a shopping center on a dead end so we could film a car crash and a riot in the street. This kind of stress was more appealing.

I understand that. We have to be a certain-kinda-something to do what we do. Indeed. Because I chose to concentrate on scouting and the locations side, I had great fun scouting one week for avalanches in the Canadian Rockies in January, then a car job in the Israeli desert in August. One director had the idea that the film crew could sail between the Canary Islands in four different boats. Not advisable to seasoned sailors. That sequence had to be scouting in a small plane, then we opted for a small helicopter. That pilot left an indelible memory, with his halitosis being upwind while we bounced up and down between the wind updrafts; up 100 feet, down 50 or so, up 200 feet, down 150 feet.

I think I am getting squeamish hearing this story. I worked on Welcome to Sarajevo and we got to film in Bosnia and the Balkans; at that time, [it was] impossible to shoot there. BUT IT IS ALL FUN as you remember it afterwards.

With the pandemic and now the WGA and SAG/AFTRA strikes, the film industry has gone through and will probably go through more changes. What are some major ways the landscape and the film business changed since you started? Any part of the job to like or dislike more because of those changes? Now we have tighter budgets, less prep time, larger departments, the possibility of undertrained crew due to the volume of projects; and so it goes. Like I said, it is ALL fun when you look back and see what was accomplished.  

What enticed you to join LMGI? What drives you to be an active voice within the Awards Committee? I was chair of the UK Guild of Location Managers. After going to the AFCI show and meeting members of the LMGA on the other side of the ocean, I realized the two organizations needed to talk. We both were experiencing the same problems of recognition in the industry—IMDb, the need for training, rates—so we talked about making an international linkup. The Awards Committee needed help getting more international films, TV, and commercials to submit. As a voting member of BAFTA, I have access to lots of films and TV that are not released in the US during the window to be submitted and vetted. I wanted to widen the range of the countries that nominated film and TV to the awards. The new challenge, part of the recognition process for the LMGI Awards, is to get filmmakers, distributors, and streamers to generate codes that allow [the] membership to view and vote on their productions outside of their region and prerelease in the US, the same way the Academy and BAFTA members can.

You have shared some amazing things about your life, Mack, and I am compelled to ask you a few final inquiring thoughts. What are some of your hobbies and passions, some little-known things about your non-film life; and how can people link up with you and stay in touch? I enjoy cooking… and eating; I have worked in restaurants and pop-ups over the years. I have an extensive knowledge of food, farming and products in that world. [I love] travel and [I] love music. I love podcasts, especially Team Deakins and Locations on Two with Dodd Vickers, and visiting public and private art galleries around London, where I call home.

Click here to enjoy my stills from the 60s music photography

I also use WhatsApp.


Instagram @ratking250



On October 5, 2023, LMGI President, John Rakich, and LMGI First Vice President, Alison A. Taylor, spoke with Locations Africa’s Azania Muendane at the fourth edition of the Locations Africa conference in a one-on-one discussion about the Location Managers Guild International. Discussion focused on topics surrounding the influence of location professionals on set and how being part of the LMGI opens conversation opportunities and supports common challenges of location scouts and managers globally.


On July 18-25, Locations Africa hosted nine guests from across the world in the beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa (7/18-21) and on the island of Mauritius (7/22-25). Included in the nine were three LMGI members: Aaron Hurvitz (New York), Sabine Schulmeyer (Germany) and Nick Rafferty (Chicago). KwaZulu-Natal, also referred to as KZN, and nicknamed “the garden province”, is a province of South Africa roughly the size of Portugal in land mass. Mauritius, an island country in the Indian Ocean, is located off the eastern coast of Africa and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

From the bustling streets of downtown Durban to the white sandy beaches of Mauritius, and everything in between, we left no stone undocumented while on our FAM tour of South Africa and Mauritius. We saw one-of-a-kind locations and untouched nature and even managed to squeeze in a local film thanks to the Durban FilmMart. From vineyards to lions, historic buildings to modern ones, we saw firsthand just what kind of diversity South Africa and Mauritius have to offer. Guided by local film professionals who face similar tasks around the world, we immediately felt a kinship that can only come from a shared experience.

—Recap by Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

L-R, seated: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI, Mike Merrill (Actor), Sabine Schulmeyer /LMGI. L-R, standing: Cindy Jarvis (Media Cape Town), Azania Muendane (Locations Africa), Tarek “Terk” Stevens (Producer), Nick Rafferty /LMGI, Al-Teron Williams (Actor)

The Capital Pearls Hotel – uMhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

The Ponte Apartment Tower – Berea suburb, Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: Sabine Schulmeyer /LMGI

Shakas Rock – Thompson Bay, Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Photo: Sabine Schulmeyer /LMGI

The Platform Gallery at Lions River – Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Pietermaritzburg City Hall – KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

L-R, front row: Thembi Zikalala (Media), Sabine Schulmeyer /LMGI, Al-Teron Williams (Actor); back row: Tarek “Terk” Stevens (Producer), Bas van der Ree (Netherlands Film Commissioner & Chair of the AFCI Board of Directors), Chuck West (Producer), Bree West (Producer), Siphesihle Dlamini (Locations Specialist, KZN Film Commission), Azania Muendane (Locations Africa), Mike Merrill (Actor), Nick Rafferty /LMGI.

Fabric World & Bridal Centre – Durban, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

Madressa Arcade – E thekwini, Durban, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

Dr A B Xuma St & Ingcuce Rd – Durban Central, Durban, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

Chambers Club Building – Durban Central, Durban, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

Chambers Club Building – Durban Central, Durban, South Africa. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

Sockalingum Meenatchee Ammen Kovil – Port Louis, Mauritius. Photo: Aaron Hurvitz /LMGI

North Coast Toll Road No2 – North of King Shaka International Airport, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


GARDEN ROUTE & KLEIN KAROO – FILM FAM Trip in collaboration with Garden Route Film Commission, Locations Africa and Wesgro Cape Town & Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment. On October 10-18, three American LMGI members, Joseph Mennella (New York), Jen Farris (Atlanta) and Kate Beall (New York), traveled throughout South Africa’s Garden Route, home to the largest stretch of indigenous forests in South Africa. Tahey made stops through Nelson Mandela Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Sedgefield, George, Oudtshoorn, Tsitsikamma, and Mossel Bay to visit 57 site locations, including Bloukrans Bridge Bungy, Sundays River, Alexandria Dunefield, Goudveld Forest (Rheenendal), Wild X, Kaaimans River Gorge, Outeniqua Transport Museum, Garden Route Dam, Outeniqua Pass Lookout Point, Old Toll House, Rust & Vrede Waterfall, Cango Caves, and Mossel Bay Harbour.

Locations Africa’s Garden Route FAM Trip Group poses in front of the locations marker at the Cape Recife Lighthouse – Gqeberha, South Africa. L-R: Jen Farris /LMGI (Atlanta), Doné Louw (Nelson Mandela Bay Convention Bureau), Joe Mannella /LMGI (NYC), Shadley Lombard (South Africa), Khanyeza Khanyeza (South Africa), Lwazi Mvusi (South Africa), Thembi Zikkalala (South Africa), Sunni Faba Gutu (South Africa), Kate Beall /LMGI (NYC), and friend of Locations Africa. Not Shown: Azania Muendane of Locations Africa. Photo: Kate Beall /LMGI

L-R: Shadley Lombard (South Africa), Kate Beall /LMGI (NYC), Joe Mannella (NYC), Azania Muendane (Locations Africa), Thembi Zikkalala (South Africa), Jen Farris /LMGI (Atlanta), and Khanyeza Khanyeza (South Africa).

Cape Recife Lighthouse – Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Kate Beall /LMGI

Pezula Private Castle – Noetzie, Knysna, South Africa. Photo: Jen Farris /LMGI

Tsitsikamma Village – Stormsrivier, South Africa. Photo: Joe Mannella /LMGI

Summerstrand Community – Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Photo: Kate Beall /LMGI

Cango Caves – Oudtshoorn, South Africa. Photo: Jen Farris /LMGI

Mendi Arts Centre – New Brighton, Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Joe Mannella /LMGI

Van Stadens Bridge – Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Jen Farris /LMGI

Garden Route Dam – Western Cape, South Africa. Photo: Jen Farris /LMGI

Nyosi Safari Reserve – Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Joe Mannella /LMGI

Nyosi Safari Reserve – Gqeberha, South Africa. Photo: Kate Beall /LMGI

For more information on the Garden Route, visit Locations Africa.


This October, the LMGI was once again involved in the third Shooting Locations Marketplace that took place in Valladolid, Spain. Over thirty LMGI members from around the world were invited to participate in two days of direct meetings with various film commissions, which then culminated in small groups being sent off on series on FAM tours around Spain.

Below are some images taken by Atlanta-based location manager, Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI on his ground trip in and around Madrid, Spain.

M30 Bypass Tunnels in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Eduardo Torroja Institute of Construction Sciences in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Monasterio de Santa María de El Paular in Rascafría, a small town in Sierra de Guadarrama, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Palacio de Fernan Nuñez in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Eduardo Torroja Institute for Construction Sciences in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI

Madrid City Tour Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Matthew Chamberlin /LMGI


Eight LMGI members recently attended a FAM tour to the Eastern Coachella Valley, located in southern California (outside of Palm Springs), thanks to our business partner Dan Taylor of Inland Empire Film Services, Inc. The Eastern Coachella Valley is made up of four rural and unincorporated communities and boasts year-round warm weather and desert climates, making it one of the main agricultural producer bases in the world.

The LMGI members in attendance were: Velvet Graves, Michael Glaser, Joe Abel, Alyssa Dimare, Brittany Petros, JP O’Connor, Zachary Quemore and Jeff Clark.

La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, CA
L-R: Velvet Graves, Joe Abel, Jeffrey Farnsworth of Visit Greater Palm Springs, Alyssa DiMare, Brittany Petros, Stephanie Stethem of Riverside County Office of Economic Development, Zachary Quemore, Michael Glasser, Dan Taylor of Riverside County Film Commission, Jeff Clark and J.P. O’Connor. Photo: Dan Taylor

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, CA
L-R: Velvet Graves, Joe Abel, Jeff Clark, Zachary Quemore, Stephanie Stethem of the Riverside County Office of Economic Development, Michael Glasser, Alyssa DiMare, Brittany Petros, J.P. O’Connor and Dan Taylor of the Riverside County Film Commission. Photo: Brittany Petros

The Living Desert. Photo: Velvet Graves

J.P. O’Connor at The Walk at Shields Date Garden, Indio, CA. Photo: Brittany Petros

Church Recording Studio, Cathedral City, CA. Photo: Velvet Graves

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, CA. Photo: Brittany Petros

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, CA. Photo: Brittany Petros


On Tuesday, September 12, 200 location pros paraded into 767 3rd Avenue in Manhattan’s Grand Central Business District and gathered at one of Sage Realty’s most beguiling, frequently filmed and renovated office tower properties from the early 1980s. Co-sponsored by the LMGI, the “Sunset To Starlight” event was held on the seventh floor in the Oasis Room and featured an open bar and hors d’oeuvres, and its rooftop viewing area boasted the incredible views of the New York City skyline. When you put 200 location pros on such an amazing spot at the magic hour, it’s no surprise the cameras were flashing at lightning speed. The event was organized by board member Eric Klein and past board member Les Fincher. Sage Realty was represented by Yvette Rivera, Sage’s amazing and hard-working film liaison. Location manager Deren Getz did a short presentation on NYC finally allowing drone filming.

Photos: Stephen McBbride
Event Recap by Eric Klein /LMGI


On October 24, LMGI members enjoyed a virtual FAM tour with our business partner, the San Antonio Film Commission. With moderation by Kim Dillinger Davis /LMGI and knowledge from Kimberly LeBlanc (film commissioner and music program manager), Christine Hill (film and music liaison), Ali Nichols (Texas Film Commission) and Danny Ramos (director/producer), the membership was educated about several one-of-a-kind locations in San Antonio, competitive film incentives, filming accommodations with real-life filming scenarios, and opportunities for funding. Engaging Q&A followed the FAM tour. Click here for more information on the San Antonio Film Commission.

Stay tuned for much more detailed coverage of some of the recent FAM tours in the Spring 2024 issue of Compass Magazine and on the LMGI website.

Margarida Adónis

Ready to Shoot is a Portuguese production service company that has provided world-class production services to international and local clientele and has been in existence for over 23 years. It prides itself on providing truly excellent work in a wide variety of fields (advertising, documentaries, feature films, fashion, theater and more!) It is not a location, but a PSC that finds the right location and manages the project from A to Z. It set out to present Portugal as an incredible destination to shoot feature films or TV series.

Ready to Shoot can provide not only excellent on-production experience, but knows how to inform and assist on every step during the application process to the incentive program. Jen Farris /LMGI recently sat down with its CEO/Executive Producer/Managing Director, Margarida Adónis, to chat about its origin, the foundation that leads to its success, and the characteristics that make Portugal so special.

For starters, Margarida is no stranger to production. As a showrunner by the age of 25, she was already heavily involved on the production end of successful non-scripted television shows on TVI International and SIC (Independent Communication Society) via the production company Endemol. “To produce is my passion. I love my job,” says Margarida. “I love the planning, the problem solving, the dealing with the creative and logistics issues, and putting all the team efforts and resources on making compelling images.” Ready to Shoot prides itself on providing obsessive attention to detail and the ability to bring even the most challenging brief to life. They have great communication and leadership skills, have a very good reputation in the local market, and only work with “A” crews. Plus, Margarida loves, loves, loves traveling, meeting new people, and learning different ways of producing. “Ready to Shoot’s first major studio production was for the Netflix feature film Heart of Stone and it was an amazing experience,” says Margarida. “The production, the crews, all the procedures and then checking the amazing final results—every detail was hard work, but very rewarding and perfect.”

It definitely does not hurt that her family is “the foundation” of her life and business and is a high priority. Being married to an amazing husband who gave up on his career to become a father full-time so she could be a producer and company owner is a major asset. Since Ready to Shoot not only provides excellent production experiences, but also a smooth workflow, they land in the top slot. “We are the best ones,” says Margarida. “We are very professional, reliable, have great skills on communication with foreign producers. We understand their fears, their doubts, and we deliver reliable results in all the production stages and tasks that we are required to do. We provide quality services with A crew teams and our production workflow is very smooth, although we are many miles away.

When asked how solid the company’s foundation was during the COVID pandemic, as expected, it held fast. “As it was the case worldwide, it was something unexpected that had never happened before and there wasn’t really a backup plan, so the plan was created as events unfolded. As with all the others, everything slowed down, but fortunately it didn’t stop.  We had a few jobs and an extra layer of work with all the safety and health rules, but we continued to work. Keeping our clients safe was a top priority.”

Building with LMGI began with a past LMGI President. “Lori Balton made me understand the importance of being a part of the association if I wanted to make a greater presence in the US market,” she says. “Due to the distance between locations and the interest that exists in this industry, we have great added value in terms of collaboration with US location managers and producers.

“LMGI is a credible entity of recognized merit, with a very relevant reputation in this sector. What’s more, being a member gives me access to more information, as well as allowing me to publicize and make Ready to Shoot’s known work; e.g., winning a prize for outstanding locations for a commercial in 2019 with a commercial we made with Reed Morano for National Geographic.

“We’re a small country, but with a diversity of giants. As we always say, if you want a location with certain characteristics, we’re sure you’ll find it in Portugal.”

Stay in touch!



My other passion Handmade weaving. I also own one of only single handmade weaving mills in the Iberian Peninsula in Europe, for making wool fabric patterns.

As an active LMGI business partner, please take a moment to log into the LMGI dashboard.


Join the Quarterly LMGI Newsletter team for 2024. We have four issues per year (one per quarter). We do interviews with members and business partners, pull news and events from LMGI committees, and engage with members via social media for their highlights and achievements. We would love your insight and consistent energy!

Contact us by clicking here.

Jen Farris is a native of Atlanta, GA USA and is a location scout who is a former Executive Board Secretary for the LMGI. Because of her love for history, storytelling, architecture, music, exploration and wanderlust, she is an archivist who would love to travel the world doing all of those things simultaneously.

Follow Jen on Instagram at @msjenfarris

Russ Gladden currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia USA with his scout partner Petey the dog. Russ has been a member of LMGI since 2018.

Follow Russ and Petey on Instagram at @russgladd or @gooddogpetey.

Chase Hughes is an ALM who joined the LMGI in 2022. Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee USA, he is excited to be moving to Los Angeles after wrapping his current project in Utah. He loves studying languages, researching new technology, and exploring anywhere there’s a No Trespassing sign posted. His favorite locations tool is GIS software, and his favorite part about working in the locations department is learning how to anticipate the needs of a production so that the crew gets to focus on being creative and enjoying the work.





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The Location Managers Guild International/LMGI is a global organization of career location professionals in the motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries, dedicated to upholding the highest ethical standards. Through local commitment and international strength, we support strong relationships between production and government agencies, businesses, and communities. We promote awareness of the location professionals’ place in the entertainment industry as indispensable creative collaborators through a variety of innovative programs. The LMGI was founded in 2003 as a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation as the LMGA and rebranded in 2016 to reflect its growing international membership. The LMGI is not a labor union and does not represent Location Managers or Scouts in wage or working condition negotiations.

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