Late last year, while much of Europe was cocooning at home, Berlin-based LM Henrik Greisner/LMGI received an intriguing proposal for 48 location professionals from the UK, Mexico, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Canada and the United States to attend the second “Shooting Locations Marketplace Summit & Expo,” sponsored by the Spain Film Commission and the Ferria de Valladolid. The two-day event, held on October 21 & 22, 2022, provided the perfect venue for location managers, scouts and producers from around the globe to meet each other and network one-on-one with more than 40 international film commissions.
Said LM Sam Hutchins/LMGI (NY), “It is rare that we get a chance to spend time with colleagues like this. The ability to compare the different responsibilities we carry in different jurisdictions; the way we run our sets and staff and our departments was so helpful and will make me better at my job going forward.”
LM Michael Wesley/LMGI (Los Angeles) agreed. “It was a pleasure and very informative to meet filming representatives from countries such as Norway, Poland, Portugal, Abu Dhabi and Jordan in addition to our host nation. It gives all of us involved with advancing a filming project to a foreign destination great confidence with these initial greetings.”
Location manager and production executive James Lin delivered the opening keynote address that focused on international location filming, breaking down how production decides where to film a project and what each region can do to attract more filmmakers.
After two days taking dozens of meetings and a quick tour of Valladolid, location professionals were treated to Fam Tours (familiarization tours) of Spain, each assigned to selected regions. The hosts spared no expense in showing off Spain’s historical architectural treasures and dramatic landscapes to a group eager to broaden their knowledge of unique and welcoming film locations.
My tour was to the region of Castilla La Mancha. I was joined by location professionals from Canada, Mexico, Italy, Australia and England. It was a whirlwind trip as the local film commission wanted to expose us to as much of the region and nearby towns as they could. Castles, churches, convents, a lake reservoir and an “Enchanted City” of unusual rock formations were a delight. Real-world modern urban locations of Cuenca and Guadalajara, paired nicely with the ancient old town of Cuenca, as did the quiet and beautiful small towns of Almagro and Uclés.
Our hosts set up an early-morning visit to the Royal Monastery of Santes Creus, outside of Barcelona, prior to opening hours. You drive onto the grounds through an enormous wooden arched doorway that opens up to a large plaza. The monastery’s stone pathways lead you down long hallways, with one room opening into another with rib vaulted ceilings, gothic carvings and cloister gardens. This “Old Europe” location is wonderfully preserved and offers many filmable spaces to tell a story.
My favorite city in the Catalon Region is Girona which is set at the confluence of four rivers. It is known for its well-preserved old city which is built on a hill. The expansive views and brightly painted buildings make every photo picturesque. Girona has many hotels, restaurants and its own airport. Its proximity to Barcelona is a plus.
It was a wonderful surprise to find that in the old part of Barcelona that there are a series of unmodernized streets with beautiful alleys with a gothic footbridge, water fountains, stunning courtyards and beautiful carvings. You could easily shoot a period film in this area.
There was a serenity to the Delta D’Ebre. A flat landscape of big open skies, a vast flat expanse of glassy water, flamingos and row upon row of rice paddy fields. I could imagine a dream sequence being filmed in this area. This was topped off by a divine lunch with three different paellas!
“I learned about a wide variety of locations that were not on my radar before but will be strongly considered going forward,” reflected LM Hutchins.
Adds Wesley, “We visited just a fraction of the country in our limited four-day tour. I have dozens of images and useful information on beautiful and viable locations to bring a production to film in Spain. I wish the Spain Film Commission and Feria de Valladolid much success with the continuation of this project!”
“SLM (Shooting Locations Marketplace) was a great experience to meet many industry professionals and share our knowledge and to visit fascinating places full of history,” says Enrico Latella/LMGI. “It was very interesting and fun. Thanks to Spain Film Commission for the great organization and for the warm welcome!
LMGI members who attended the conference were Aaron Hurvitz, Angus Ledgerwood, Anna Coats, Aurelia Thomas, Benjamin Stern, Dan Connolly, Deon Du Preez, Enrico Latella, Harriet Lawrence, Horacio Rodriguez, Jessica Wright, Joe Abel, John Rakich, Kate Beall, Leann Emmert, Markus Bensch, Michael Glaser, Nancy Haecker, Nancy Wong, Naomi Liston, Robin McDonald, Ryan Schaetzle, Sam Hutchins, Tate Araez and William Doyle.
The LMGI is once again happy to partner up for the third Shooting Locations Marketplace set for October 17 & 18, 2023. For conference details, reach out to Carolina Yepes at email@example.com