| Worldwide Movie Budget Expert | The Location Manager



Producer Jack Binder, founder, takes a look at the role of the location manager and its impact on the production and the movie budget for motion pictures and television programming.


The Location Manager is an extremely critical crew member on a feature film and television show production.  As a lead member and department head the location manager has a great deal of responsibility to the project that he or she is engaged upon.  Generally the location manager is hired and brought on at a very early stage in the preparation of a movie or tv program in order to assist the producer and director at the earliest point in time.


The responsibilities of the locations department, for which the manager is the Department Head,  HOD or Head of Department (as referred to in international productions) include working with the producer and director to determine what is required in terms of location filming.  Through meetings with the director, producer(s) and their staff they determine what the script calls for in terms of shooting locations (the places where the filming will occur, or the Set) and with the producer for the movie budget impact the choices will present.


Overall responsibilities of the location manager include the following:


-determine location requirements

-advise on locales which may be beneficial for setting, film tax credits and natural vistas

-research suggested locations to film the movie

-provide initial options for creative discussion with director

-determination of size of the location department crew members

-analyze costs for preliminary reporting to producer on potential location expenses

-obtain feedback from the director to focus creative vision on the setting for the movie

-confer with producer to ensure locations site rental fees adhere to the overall film budget of the production

-continue research and building location shooting photo library and database

-preliminary contact with location owners to determine possibility of filming at the site as required

-further meetings and presentations with director based on preliminary consultation

-selection of best choices from presented option by director

-obtaining permissions from chosen locations

-reporting to the producer on determined costs for site hire

-secondary contact with location owners to verify costs, any potential scheduling conflicts

-securing of locations (the pencil) temporary hold

-confirmation with the producer and the director

-proceeding to contract for location with the production company

-manage the scheduling of the location in coordination with the First Assistant Director

-manage the preparation of the location with all department heads

-allowance for time and space for the set decoration department

-alllowance for time and space for the grip and lighting departments requirements

-consultation with the Director of Photography for specific needs of camera and lighting for the movie

-consultation with Production Sound Mixer regarding impediments to recording quality audio and dialogue

-oversee the shooting of the production

-load in of crew

-liase with owner(s)

-accomodate neighbors, local businesses

-parking requirements for cast, crew and support vehicles

-lunch room set-up for the catering and diningn of the film crew

-utilization of on-site facilities:  restrooms, support rooms (make-up & hair, production office, etc.)

 Once armed with a directive and knowledge of the needs of the screenplay and the vision of the director, the location manager begins sourcing options for the spots to create the movie setting.  Using their own database and liaising with their colleagues options are compiled.  Through careful review of photographs, videos and online databases as well, places are ranked by favorability and detailed by the area which they are situated in.  By combining these factors with the requirements of the production, suitable places to film are narrowed down.


Following a preliminary collating of location photos for presentation to the above the line crew members the location manager will schedule a meeting with the producer and director for review of the options available.  These important sessions yield valuable information for the location manager to narrow down the creative vision of the director.  Likewise they will meet with the producer to ensure that the choices being presented comply with the overall film budget for the movie.  Additionally, the producer will advise if the selections presented fit into the departmental budget for locations.


Armed with the creative vision, the film budget parameters and available scope of the locations department budget, the location manager continues to source site for filming and potential crew members to support their responsibilities.


Locations crew include:


First Assistant Location Manager


The Assistant Location Manager is the right hand of the department head.  They likewise have extensive experience in sourcing and securing filming sites for productions.


Additional First Assistant Location Manager


Second Assistant Location Manager


Location Scout(s)


 © 2012 Film Budget Inc. /

How Do I Make My Movie? Do I Need a Movie Budget For Film Financing?



How Do I Make My Movie?  I think one of the most common questions any filmmaker would ask is “how do I make my movie”?  As a seasoned film producer I can only imagine the immense frustration of a novice movie producer contemplating this question.


Even with years of experience the question remains the most fundamental.   You would not be alone in wondering what is the pragmatic answer to this complex problem.   Millions and more to come will ponder this question.   As a film producer with twenty-five years of experience I have a unique perspective on this question.

Do I Need a Movie Budget? The key in my opinion is to focus on the obvious.  Money.  We need financing to make our films and finance is the profession which generates the funding.


So yes, you need a movie budget.   When we talk about a movie budget or a film budget we are referring to the document detailing the costs.  Often people discuss the budget of a movie in general terms.   When filmmakers talk budgets they are referring to the paper budget in most cases I would think.  The answer is a certain yes of course.



Without a movie budget at your disposal the filmmaker is at a loss.  Accurate, custom made budgets are what a financier looks at.    Of course they should be real film budget documentation from a professional line producer.


So How Do I Make My Film?  Here is the secret sauce:  in order to get your film financed you need money.  In order to obtain money you need a plan.

To have a plan you need a budget and a schedule.


With these elements you can get financing for your film.   Most filmmakers do not quite have that clarity.  That is the issue and why I created to help everyone on this issue.


It may seem basic once someone has advised you however the most difficult task is the one contemplated in an apparent absence of understanding of the basic mechanics required to achieve results.


My name is Jack Binder and I am a producer of feature films including ‘Reign Over Me’ with Adam Sandler and ‘The Upside of Anger’ with Kevin Costner.


I founded Film Budget Inc.  and the website to solve this divide in a fun way that lets me meet a great deal of movie directors, producers, writers, actors, studio executives and creative people of all types worldwide.


My budgets are accurate and proven, by myself for the major studios, independent film companies and international film finance providers.   I have been using film tax credits since the early nineties and helped write the Michigan film tax incentive (where I am from although I am based in Los Angeles and operate worldwide.)


Please feel free to contact me at regarding your film production, film budgeting, incentives, film finance plans or if you need a production consultant or advisor for your film or television production.


My Producer Credits can be found here

Thank you,


Jack Binder


Film Budget | European Film Festival in China 2011


Europe is marketing its movies to China and apparently, the Chinese are loving it!


Such is the success of the annual European Union Film Festival in China that the event, which is now its fourth year, could be expecting greater numbers than ever before!  Last year, the event expanded to showcase films in three Chinese cities and according to EU Ambassador Markus Ederer, the number of moviegoers increased from 5,000 attendees in 2008 up to 13,000 in 2010.


What: European Union Film Festival


When: November 1st – 30th 2011


Where: Beijing and two other cities in China (TBA)


The film festival, organized by the Delegation of the European Union to China and supported by the Embassy of Poland,  invited all 27 EU Member States to showcase one recent, popular and successful film.


The organizers of the festival hope that the event will increase the appreciation of European films and culture among the Chinese, hence paving the way for the possibility of importing European movies into China in the future.


The films screened at this year’s festival include a diverse mix of local flavors and a wide-range of genres from comedies and dramas to documentaries. Moviegoers can view their films of choice in commercial theatres as well as in cultural institutions.


Among this year’s selections are some of the following European picks:


France – “The Piano Turner”


Denmark – “Aching Hearts”


Italy – “20 Cigarettes”


Portugal –  “Beauty and the Paparazzo”


Each film is screened in its original language with English and Chinese subtitles.


Meanwhile, the European Film Academy has unveiled its nominations for the 2011 European Film Awards. You can see a full list of the nominees on their official website –


Winners will be announced in a December 3rd ceremony in Berlin.




Film Budget | The international leader in worldwide film budgeting and scheduling production services for film finance, production incentives and film tax credits.




Film Production in the UK – Jan to Sept 2011


Film Production in the UK – Jan to Sept 2011 – Report from the BFI Research and Statistics Unit – 3 November 2011

Eighty-six films achieving film budgeting levels of £500,000 or more entered into principal photography in the United Kingdom during the first quarter of 2011.  This amount of production starts represented the lowest rate in 9 years.  Of these productions:

-Twenty-three were co-productions

-Forty-seven were domestic UK features

-Sixteen were inward investment films



Undoubtedly these figures have supported and lead to Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent extension of the film tax credits program through 2015.


Read the full report from the British Film Institute is the international leader in worldwide film budgeting and scheduling line producer film production services.