What is a Location Manager?

And what does their job entail?

Author: Kaitlyn Hogg

One of the most crucial jobs within the filming industry is the job of a location manager. The location manager is in charge of researching, securing and providing productions with locations to film. Not only do location managers take charge of finding the locations, they are also tasked with paying property owners, alerting the public and surrounding area and being the mastermind behind a working, successful production. 

Responsibilities of a location manager

Although a location manager is responsible for sourcing the location and making it work, this is not the only responsibility to fall under the role. 

Pre-production responsibilities

Hiring a locations team. By pulling together a locations team, the location manager can free up time that would be spent on the small, practical tasks and focus on nailing the creative brief. 

Keeping the location clean. Keeping the location clean is an important element to making it work, if the area a production crew is working within isn’t clean, there are spaces for error  and this is something no crew wants. Therefore, it is vital for the location manager to maintain cleanliness, not only to reduce the risk of error, but to also keep up the production’s reputation.

Sustainability. Considering sustainability and the impact location filming makes is a growing topic for productions. Albert offer online tools and advice to enable productions to make the right choices. Read More.

Collaboration. In order for the location to run smoothly, the location manager has to be able to collaborate successfully with the likes of the director and set designers – this is crucial as without all parties being happy with the location, it will not run smoothly and errors may occur (such as props not being able to be used correctly on the terrain, and not being able to fit all cast members within the location) Click here to learn more about why collaboration is important.

Visitation before filming. Visiting the location before filming is one of the most important pre-production responsibilities. If the location seemed bigger on paper 🙂 – there may be running risk associated (not being able to fit all cast members). Therefore, it is important for the location manager to check over the location pre-production.

Production responsibilities

Managing the location. There will always be one of the locations team on-set in order to maintain the location throughout the day (cleanliness, power sources, water sources, etc).

Providing schedules. The location manager will take charge of providing both cast and crew with times to arrive and leave the location. 

Preparing the next location. It is rare that one location will provide a production with everything needed. Therefore, the location manager will need to provide more than one location. They will also be responsible for preparing, maintaining and locking up the second location, in exactly the same way as the first location used. 

Leaving it how they found it. On the final day of production, it is important for the location manager to present the location owner with a clean, well looked after location – exactly how it was given to them. 

Read more about the production process and what to expect.