Episode 95 - EMMA PILL - Location Manager (4 replies)
Team Deakins sits down with Location Manager extraordinaire Emma Pill. In this episode, we learn lots about the function of the location department and the importance of their role. She tells us she sees her job as walking a tight rope between the production world and the real world and how she learned early how important it is to be honest with the owners of locations who often don’t know what the reality of having a film crew in their home or building will be like. We learn about the importance of coming up with solutions to locations with logistical problems, how she became an expert on Moroccan locations, how she deals with schedule changes, and the importance of having a signed contract for the location. She also goes into the details of being the location manager on Bourne Ultimatum, Bladerunner 2049, and 1917. A great deep dive into the role of Location Manager!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Please post further discussion and comments below.
Hi Roger and James,
In the episode you mentioned that you and Denis were discussing the look of the architecture for BR2049 in pre-production, settling on a sort of brutalist style. I'm intrigued as to how much you are involved in the look of the production design / locations of any given film as a cinematographer. I've always thought of this as something that isn't really the job of the cinematographer to discuss (other than for suggestions of lighting and shot choices of course) and more between the production designer, director, and of course location managers. Is this just something that you specifically prefer to be involved in as your role as the DP or is it something that most cinematographers are involved in?
Loved the episode by the way. Emma was a great guest.
Sometimes, I am very involved. I was on 'BR 2049' for many many months scouting with Denis and discussing idea with him and Dennis, our production designer. I like to be there when decisions are made regarding set, locations and scheduling because every one impacts the look of the film and what I can or can't do.
Roger, Emma mentioned that 1917 was one of the few films where every location was set prior to the shoot. Have there been any other productions you worked on like that?
The locations and sets were all decided upon prior to shooting 'Blade Runner 2049'. I can't think of a film where things have been up in the air after shooting started. I think Emma has worked on a few more 'chaotic' shoots.