In this filmmakers video go behind the scenes of a film set and see what the location manager is in charge of on set.
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What the Locations Manager Does On Set Narrator: Welcome to The Substream’s on-location documentary series. Over the next few months, we’ll be spending one day with each department of a real live, hard-working film crew. These are real people, doing real work on a real film set. Jed Metzger: The location department is a department that not a lot of people think about and probably a lot of you don’t even know exist. The Location Manager is in charge of the department on bigger shows that have more money. There’s a couple of a System Location Manager and sometimes there’s a Location Scout hired to find that specific location that everyone’s having a difficult time finding. The location scouting is the most fun, a couple of years ago it was listed as one of the fifty coolest jobs in the U.S. which I agree with because the scripts are different, you’ll never know what you’re looking for a police station, a park, a church, a watch shop, a bakery. Narrator: Jed handles all the location for the crime show Cold Blood, which is now shooting its second season. Jed Metzger: Well, we have two weeks of prep, which means I get the script in the first week, I break it down, put some ideas together, I talk with the Art Department, I talk with the A.D.’s explaining where I think I want to go and then I present them to the Director, and try and sell him on a couple of ideas. Narrator: Thanks to Jed, today the Cold Blood crew will be shooting at local hospital.
Jed Metzger: I show up early. I’m the first one here. I cone the road. I cone the streets. I cone the parking. I put up sandwich boards and signage so that all the cast and the crew, when they arrive they know where they’re going. Then I worry about making sure that we have enough power that all of the doors of the location are open and everything that has been asked of me is available. One part of my job is that I have to come and make sure all the parking spots are clear for, when the trucks arrive, the power, all of the crew. So last night I came here four o’clock, four thirty, I coned this area off which was empty. I arrived this morning and you’ll see that people have kept the pylons out of the way. Pylons mean No Parking; so what I had to do is now talk to my contact and arrange to take some spots over here which in turn will be a little more difficult because we got a power of the generator and now we’re going to have to be taking the power across this driveway. I tried to simplify things to have it over here out of the way, doesn’t always work out the way you want it. Okay so we’re here early obviously, this is the morgue sets. It’s kind of a standing set and the Art Department will come in and make it alive; bodies coming under the morgue. In this room here, I hope you can see in because the lights aren’t on. But this is where is we’re going to hold all the actors, the hair, the make-up; this is where they’re going to get changed, dressed. You’ll see a lot of hustle and bustle in ah, about an hour from now. Well this is interesting. Normally we’re not suppose to have personal cars here, so I’m going to look into that and this is where the trucks come, back-up, load in and we roll everything down the hallway to the morgue, to the lab, all of that. I’m here at the hospital just wondering your ETA? Narrator: As the crew begin to arrive, Jed springs into action. This is a tricky little location. Jed’s number one priority is to make sure that the filming does not disrupt hospital operations. Thankfully, Jed’s a pro. He has filmed in this location before and knows what he’s doing. Confident that things are running smoothly on set, Jed goes over to check out tonight’s exterior location. Jed Metzger: So this is our Night-Exterior shot, we’re going to be here probably around 10 PM, eleven o’clock when it’s dark. This is the scene, it’s an alley, and I spoke to the owners of both properties. I’ve ensured the property. We’re going to be putting a light on top of the building here so we can light the scene. She comes down this creepy, spooky alley at night, and she’s found in the park. Narrator: The scene requires that the actors move through the alley and into the park. This alley location is perfect but the park, not so much. Jed Metzger: You’ve got the fence, you’ve got Caledonia Road, you’ve got Kin Court, you know it’s just a very busy area and it would be no good for sound. We’re near the airport, you can hear the airplanes. So, right now, I’m travelling to tomorrow’s location to make sure everything is good and setup. When you’re scouting, you’re really looking for the location but you’re also keeping in the back of your mind, for production to make it friendly place like you’re looking for a location that has a parking lot so you can park the trucks. Or it has bathrooms that are close. This park that we’re going into we’re going into the edge of the city. There are no bathrooms there. But this is the exact park that the Director was after because we’re going to be shooting below into the field and you can’t see any buildings around them. So Mark, I'm just calling to make sure that the bathrooms are coming tomorrow. Unoccupied space I believe, it was a store at one point. This is an area that I’m going to house the crew and the cast. For background holding, lunch, etcetera. It is very nice to meet you. Male: Likewise, come on in fellows. Jed Metzger: All right, absolutely. This is where I will change all the actors. I’ll put up a curtain. I’m going to go check out the toilet. That worked well, it was a space that I haven’t seen before. You know you always got to go check it out to make sure the water runs, there’s air conditioning. You don’t always get air conditioning. We just got to get power and it’s got to be really enough space to feed fifty people. The producers probably don’t want to hear this but you never get a location for free. There always needs to be an exchange of something whether it be, a case of beer, bottle of wine or a monetary figure. You can get there on the day, everything’s all good to go and then the person can change their mind. If you’ve given them something, they then feel obligated to let you go ahead and do that. So that’s the one thing I’ve learned. We’re heading to the park, at the end of the street, the alley tonight that we’re filming at is going to lead directly into this park and tomorrow, under that slide, that is where the girl is going to be murdered. Jed Metzger: Jed triple checks that there’s enough room to park all the trucks. He’s been here many times before and he’s gone through all the proper channels to ensure that filming goes as smoothly as possible. Jed Metzger: From a production site, yes you have to have permission to film these locations. Trying to film the television office is where I go. You’re designated a Permit Officer. And whatever location you’re after, you fill out the application, you fax it in. The park is surrounded with a residential neighbourhood. Since we’re filming past 11 PM, I had to go get signatures from 80% of all the people living around the park. Door to door knock, talk to people explaining what we’re doing and then I take all those signatures to the film office; they look at them and then they give the permit. Narrator: Once Jed has everything lined up for tomorrow, he returns to set and awaits the wrap. Jed Metzger: At the end of the day, I already start thinking about the next day but I also have to make sure that the location is the exact same as it was when we arrived. So I make sure all the pylons are taken away, all the sandwich boards, all the trucks, all the garbage, everything is gone. It all looks the exact same as it did when we arrived. When you shoot on location, it’s a little more exciting rather than being in studio. I enjoy it. It’s my forte where I do some of my best work. It’s exciting to me. It brings a whole new adventure to the film and I do it because I love it. Go to bed, get up and shoot all night tomorrow night 5 PM until 7 AM.