Media / Digital Media

Location Manager (TV or Film)

Location managers research, find and arrange access to outside locations used for film, television or photographic shoots.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Location Manager (TV or Film) do?

Location managers research, find and arrange access to outside locations used for film, television or photographic shoots.

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Work activities

As a location manager, you would:

  • assess scripts or read briefs to get an understanding of the requirements for locations
  • meet with directors or designers to discuss projects
  • find appropriate locations for film, TV or photographic shoots
  • organise access to the locations, including negotiating and drawing up contracts
  • obtain the necessary fire, police and other permits
  • draw up and distribute the schedule for crew arrival dates and times on site
  • deal with any issues that arise with regard to the locations during filming
  • ensure compliance with health, safety and security requirements and undertake risk assessments
  • ensure that members of the public do not intrude on the location during filming
  • return the location to its original condition as necessary after filming
  • thank property owners and members of the public after filming has finished.
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Key skills and interests

To become a location manager, you would need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • a diplomatic approach to dealing with people
  • talent and creativity
  • an eye for design and architectural styles 
  • photographic ability
  • good teamwork skills
  • versatility and adaptability
  • to be able to work under pressure.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Location managers work irregular hours. Filming takes place at all times of the day, and days can be very long and involve a lot of waiting around. Locations often need to be found, or changed, at short notice to meet changes in filming or other factors such as adverse weather conditions. Location managers often work on a project by project basis, with time spent in between finding new work contracts.

Conditions

You would need to travel to film shoots and to scout for locations. You may spend long periods away from home if you are scouting for multiple sites for filming on location. Filming on location may take place in all sorts of environments and weather conditions. You would need a current driver's licence. 

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How to become an Location Manager (TV or Film)?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a location manager without formal qualifications. Most location managers move into these roles after many years working their way up from junior level roles in film, TV, or commercial video production.

However, this is a very competitive occupation and environment, so most location managers are educated to degree level. You could undertake a Bachelor's degree in an area such as film production, creative arts management, or design studies. To get into these courses, you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of location managers is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Some job growth is expected to stem from strong demand from the public for more movies and television shows, especially of the 'reality TV' genre, where filming often takes place in external locations rather than in TV or film studios.

 

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