Location managers of Hollywood blockbusters visit South Estonia

  • 2023-08-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Tartu Film Fund on Aug. 19-20 hosted film location managers from the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, who have helped to find filming locations for such blockbusters as "Tenet", "Mission Impossible", "Dune" and "Star Trek", among others.

During their trip in the three Baltic countries, the location managers photographed various potential locations and met with local film professionals. The South Estonian route passed through Valga, Karula, Voru, Obinitsa, Mooste, Tartu and Peipsiveere. In the city of Tartu, the guests got acquainted with the Estonian National Museum, the National Archives, the historical buildings of the University of Tartu in the city center and educational buildings in the Veeriku district, as well as the wooden architecture of Supilinn and residential areas in Annelinn.

On Aug. 20, the location managers held a panel seminar in the White Hall of the University of Tartu, where they shared their experiences in working with locations and large-scale film projects.

Speakers included Klaus Darrelmann, whose projects include "Tenet", "The Grand Budapest Hotel", "The Hunger GameS: Mockingjay - Part 2" and "Red Sparrow", John Rakich, president of the Locations Manager Guild International who has worked for projects such as "American Gods", "Pixels", "Hemlock Grove" and "Shadowhunters", Becky Brake, whose portfolio includes "Star Trek", "Mission Impossible", "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", "Tomorrowland", "Guardian of the Galaxy" and other films, Markus Bensch, who has contributed to Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies", Lori Balton, whose projects include "Argo", "Heat", "Memoirs of a Geisha", "Seabiscuit", "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "There Will Be Blood", and Emma Jane Richards, who has sought locations for "Wonder Woman", "The Conjuring" and "Infinite".

Participants received important instructions and tips on how to cooperate with foreign productions and what are the needs of location managers of major films.

"Hosting the top experts of the film world was inspiring in many ways for both the Tartu Film Fund and the team that organized this entire trip. We had the opportunity to look behind the scenes of Hollywood films and understand how work is done in the search for shooting locations and what we have to offer in order to meet the expectations and needs that major films have coming to the region," Tartu Film Fund manager Kulli Hansen said.

"The professionalism of the guests stood out at every step -- from the very different photos that were taken of South Estonia and Tartu, to the open sharing of their experiences and knowledge with Estonian location managers. Further cooperation with Hollywood film experts is absolutely possible, but for such large projects, we not only represent South Estonia, but all of Estonia and the Baltics. I'm glad that through this project we strengthened our ties with the Viru Film Fund and the Estonian Film Institute on the one hand and with Latvian and Lithuanian film organizations on the other -- we are now creating a mutually supportive network," she added.

After getting to know South Estonia and the city of Tartu, the location managers also visited East-Viru County and Tallinn. The tour of Estonia took place in cooperation with the Viru Film Fund and the Estonian Film Institute. Location manager Kristofer Piir and film director Moonika Siimets were a great help in putting together the program. The location trip took place within the framework of the "Film Cluster South" project, which is co-financed by the European Union under the European Neighborhood Instrument program.