The legendary American film director Orson Welles once shared his thoughts on what he felt he needed to make a film. His reply was, “A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army”. Today in the entertainment industry, no one understands this more than major motion picture studios and the veritable “armies” behind movie making magic. At the helm behind the complex enterprise of making a film, are producers, directors, cast and crew. Not to mention a score of company or unit managers providing tactical logistics ensuring a film production will go smoothly.
Today’s film productions come in different sizes. From the allegedly “spartan” crews of say, a Yorgos Lanthimos feature like The Favourite (2018) to blockbuster budget productions requiring literally an army of crew members (think superhero movies). New York Times published writer and film data researcher Stephen Follows will tell you that today the “biggest crews are rather staggering, with 3,310 people receiving credit on Iron Man 3”(follow Stephen on Twitter). But you don’t need to be on the budget of Iron Man 3 to require travel management services. both smaller and larger productions require that their unique needs will be met.
When it comes to film travel management, whether you are shooting domestically or abroad, you must have a travel management strategy. Travel management services are not only strategic in helping you plan the right time and place to film, but they are also an essential component of any major motion picture production. Without these services, all hell can break loose. Making a movie will always a be a battle in logistics!
Below are 7 core travel management services that every location-driven motion picture will need at some point. Bear in mind, this is in no way an exhaustive list. Think of it as a starting point.
Sounds pretty broad a category, doesn’t it? Well it is. Location driven films can require everything from domestic flight arrangement to Transatlantic travel. But how about once a film production touches down on location? Don’t forget car, bus and shuttle rentals, as well as RVs too. In some instances, productions may may require transportation by ocean and sea as well.
A dedicated travel services team also takes care of any and all administrative travel support. This includes clearing visas, passports, or any other necessary documentation.
White Glove Services
White glove services go above and beyond standard delivery and shipping expectations. Major motion picture productions cannot afford subpar delivery options, especially given their tight shooting schedules. Productions rely on white glove services when they want added security, safety, and precaution taken with their postal needs. True to its term, white glove services refer to the movers and shippers who literally wear white gloves to protect shipping and delivery products.
If heavier or larger scale shipping is involved in a film production, then freight handling shipping services will be necessary. Successful freight handling requires coordination with experienced and specialized moving services who understand the unique challenges productions face when transporting equipment or other cargo.
Private Charters and Chauffeur Services
Private charters ensure that your leading actors are not only treated like stars, but make it to inaccessible locations. Privately chartered planes or helicopters are a must for highly remote locations. Don’t forget, this also applies to your crew as well. Once you are on land, you might consider chauffeur services for your actors and production team to make it to and from set.
Short and Long-Term Accommodation
Your whole cast, crew and production team have arrived on location. Everything should already have long been coordinated. Your travel management service encompasses short or long term rentals based on your needs. This includes, but is not limited to, apartments, hotels, or private property rentals.
Health and Safety Support
A dedicated travel team makes sure that everyone on a film production are insured, working in safe production environments, while continuing to provide ongoing support for any health related services. Nothing is more important in your production than the health and safety of every individual behind it. At the same time, health and safety support will work to meet your cast and crews’ individual dietary and lifestyle needs, too.
24 Hour Support
Running a film production on location will always present complex logistical challenges. That’s where a dedicated team will always be on standby, wherever cast and crew are. A 24 hour support team works around the clock to make sure they can address any last minute emergencies or short notice changes in production planning. 24 hour support also encompasses just about any administrative support where needed. This includes, but is not limited to answering legal documentation, communicating with other administrative bodies before and during shooting, or anything else you think of.
Bottom Line: You Need an Army to Make a Film
For both film and TV production, the entertainment industry is increasingly moving towards shooting on location. In today’s film market, productions are increasingly relying on travel management agencies to provide dedicated support and solutions for on-location filming.
Travel management services make film productions possible by answering to the various logistics involved during the complex life of their production. As we have surveyed above, travel services are integral to all moving parts in a film production. From cast to crew – from tactical to administrative support – there is no truly “exhaustive” list for all the services they provide. Rather, we have just touched on the core services productions rely on to make movies.
In the end, if a film production today can be likened to an army, then a travel management agency makes sure that that army can move from location-to-location.
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