Location manager Georgette Turner visited Belgrade last year when she was tutor of SFC Training for Location Managers and Scouts. On this occasion she succeeded to explore Belgrade quite good, so we asked her to tell us which locations she loved most and which project would she place on the bustling streets and forgotten buildings of Serbian capital.
Can you share your impression while scouting in Serbia?
My scouting was very concentrated around the Belgrade area. What I didn’t expect to find just outside the city were the most incredible farms and factories set on hillside which were very cinematic. The undulating hills just outside the city would work very well for a movie with multi country locations. Belgrade itself could double for most European cities and there are also locations with American influence so there is a lot of variety here.
Any particular location that you would like to come back and shoot?
For the Brutalist and Art Deco locations were my favourite. A lot of our sites here in the UK have been developed so it was really satisfying so see such history. The Guard House in Topčider were of particular interest to me. You could certainly see a big car chase or stunt sequence take place here.
What are the two most important tasks that a site has to have to be a successful filming location?
It was really important to see the infrastructure in Belgrade. The crew being so accessible especially with Budapest being just a few hours away manning if you had a huge picture you could easily crew, the hotel facilities within the city are excellent so I was assured there would be enough local accommodation to put up crew, the studio being so close helps so that there is weather cover if needed and the lighting stores on site – knowing that plant is already there is good.
What is your experience working with young location managers during Film Skills Academy? What are three personal or professional characteristics you appreciate the most?
The young location managers on the course were so talented and well rounded. I was so thrilled to have such a strong and intelligent bunch of young people. They really wanted to learn new skills but there understanding of all departments was impeccable. There was even a production manager on my course who wanted to understand more about location managing and techniques that are applied. Everyone turned up every day, no one was late and as a class they were so concentrated- I also learnt a lot from the experience.