The folks responsible for the sweeping landscape shots and scenery porn on Game of Thrones have received their due. Last Saturday at the Location Managers Guild Awards, location managers, Robert Boake, Matt Jones and Pedro Tate won the award for Outstanding Locations in a Period TV series for the seventh season of Game of Thrones.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Boake, Jones and Tate beat out the location teams for The Crown, The Deuce, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Stranger Things for the award. Though there is something humorous about Game of Thrones being categorized as a period piece, the recognition is abundantly well deserved as the filming sites across Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland, Morocco and Spain have consistently been both believable as Westerosi/Essosi landmarks and gobsmackingly beautiful.
The other winners at the 5th annual Location Manager Guild Awards included the location teams for Dunkirk, Baby Driver and Ozark.
A well-deserved win!
Totally well deserved. I’m sitting at this very moment with a beer in (albeit rainy) Girona and visited Castillo do Zafra a few weeks ago, both stunning locations.
Okay, I’m migrating this over from an unrelated discussion:
GoT wins best location for a period series😀
Nice! Imagine making one’s living being a location scout. Sounds like immense fun, but challenging in terms of logistics. When I’m hiking I not infrequently pass through spots that seem to belong in some sort of movie (usually fantasy genre), but then I have to consider how costly it would be to get cast, crew and equipment that far from a road. And maybe that’s partly why such sites manage to retain their magical look and feel. (I suppose I have this topic on my mind this week because the rail trail bridge that figures prominently in ‘A Quiet Place’ is a place that I have visited many, many times.)
I’m pleased to see that ‘Baby Driver’ also won one of these location awards. Some small compensation for getting skunked at the Oscars, where I thought it would waltz off with all the awards for editing, sound editing and sound mixing.
EDIT to add: I must admit that ‘scenery porn’ is a large component of what I enjoy about GoT. Give me plenty of gorgeous vistas and quaint medieval towns, and you can keep your zombie hordes. These location managers and their minions have certainly done a stellar job!
Congrats to the GoT location scouts for their award! Thanks to them, we’ve seen some amazing locations “come to life” as parts of Westeros and Essos – and give an economic and even tourism boost to many places, which the locals probably love.
Yeah, my first thought: wow, to be a location scout, get to travel to all these amazing places… Then you realise few productions have multiple, diverse locations, you might end up looking for “typical contemporary suburban street #1, #2 and #3” or “typical 1970s schoolbuilding” or “generic forested area with good road and electricity access” and the like.
Plus, I’d think the job probably includes worrying about time-frames, budget and logistics, preliminary negotiations with landowners, local authorities about possible street/road closures and other disruptions to daily life, then there’s permits and their conditions especially for vulnerable nature or heritage sites – even pre-negotiations may include multiple partners such as local/provincial/national governments, national park or archeological, even UNESCO authorities… Then you have to find out what financial incentives the local/provincial/national government bodies might have, tax-breaks or grants and the like… Also, is there enough (language) skilled workforce for the more mundane production tasks (assistant electricians, carpenters etc., catering, drivers etc.)? What about accommodation for cast and crew? Are suitable extras available locally? The location scouts probably have to consider all these things before actual producers take over.
So, yeah, it’s definitely a hell of a lot more hard work than travelling around looking at gorgeous places! 😀
Absolutely, but working out those sorts of logistical knots could be part of the fun if you’re of the mindset to enjoy such challenges. In my county we have a not-for-profit regional film commission that assists producers in connecting all those dots. They even pick the brains of local residents via Facebook posts asking if anyone knows of a good spot to shoot such-and-such a scene, listing the requirements. Accessibility seems to be a very important factor.
You’re right, there are plenty of details that need to be ironed out, and potential frustrations when local property-owners aren’t happy with the idea of a film crew encamped on their lawn or closing off a stretch of road for half a day. But, around here at least, we’re finding that municipal and county officials, chambers of commerce and even most ordinary citizens see the advantages of encouraging an influx of tourism dollars from movie/TV fans, and are very eager to facilitate. I’m betting that our rail trail association puts a brass plaque on that bridge right quick, now that ‘A Quiet Place’ seems to be a hit. Horror fans will want to come there and take selfies, and then stop for lunch and a beer someplace local! Win/win all around.
Absolutely, I can imagine being a location scout being an interesting and rewarding job if you like bringing nuts and bolts together, prenegotiating, finding out about tax-breaks/grants, local clubs and volunteers (such as steam train enthusiasts or historical battle enactors) etc., always minding the budget – and even the artistic vision!
I could do the travel bit but not the negotiation or budget bits, haha!
I agree that most local communities are eager and welcoming to TV/film crews. It’s exciting (some (future) stars might come, and just seeing a glimpse of a production bts is exciting), and could result in lots of €/£/$ spent locally and perhaps an eduring tourism legacy!
Local regulation, e.g. nature protection, employment and health and safety laws, or a nimby neighbour could provide dilemmas. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that.
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