The fourth annual Location Managers Guild Awards took place in Los Angeles over the weekend. TV dramas such as The Night Manager, filmed on various locations in Majorca, The Crown and Oscar-winning movie La La Land were among those recognised by the organisation.
La La Land’s locations team (Robert Foulkes and Steve Beimler) was recognised for Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Film. The movie was filmed entirely in Los Angeles - an unusual move these days for a high-profile feature - and included an elaborate, single-shot opening dance number that was filmed on one of the city’s freeways.
"Overall, with enough planning and a positive attitude, filming can and does run very smoothly throughout Los Angeles - well-oiled filming machine that it is," Foulkes says.
The locations team for Netflix drama The Crown (Pat Karam and Robert Bentley) and HBO’s Westworld (Mandi Dillin) were jointly recognised for their use of locations in a period TV series.
Westworld was filmed largely in California, while The Crown was shot - and continues to be shot - in the UK. "The variety and amount of locations was one of the main challenges in terms of organising the filming schedule," Pat Karam explained. "It’s a TV production that operates on the scale of a big movie with multiple full-size units working at any one time."
Westworld’s California production was made possible by the state’s boosted filming incentive programme, which now focuses on supporting TV shoots.
"Luckily for us, LA is surrounded by national forests, cattle ranches and both former and current agricultural zones, so we had quite a lot of real estate to choose from," said Mandi Dillin. The Night Manager’s locations team (Tom Howard and Daniel Sampedro Palerm) was recognised for work on a contemporary TV series.
Location filming took place primarily in Morocco and on Majorca, with the 17th century fort La Fortaleza - now a luxurious private home - standing in for the secluded main residence of the story’s villainous arms dealer Richard Roper, played by Hugh Laurie. "We needed locations that had an Arabic or Mediterranean feel and we had to find them very quickly," says Tom Howard.
"We looked at places in France and Spain, but then found La Fortaleza on Majorca, which at the time was available for filming."
Other winners included the 1960s-set Hidden Figures, which was filmed in and around Atlanta and was recognised for locations used in a period feature.
The Royal Film Commission Jordan was awarded for its work supporting scenes for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The Night Manager, which starred Hugh Laurie, was filmed for the BBC in association with the Majorca-based production company Palma Pictures. The recognition of Majorca as a choice location by the Location Managers Guild Awards is a significant honour.
Over the years, especially ever since Palma Pictures was created, different locations have been used all over the island as the backdrop for countries across the world.
The Majorcan audio-visual industry has grown significantly over the past ten years and is not only used for TV productions. It has been the location for major blockbusters, such as Cloud Atlas, which had a budget of around 100 million dollars and starred the likes of Halle Berry and Tom Hanks.
In fact, a "movie map" of Majorca has been created. The map shows locations used for films and television series that have been shown and broadcast in numerous countries.