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Harriet Lawrence

Courses taught:
Scouting for Location Managers

Supervising Location Manager 

I grew up in Scotland, moving to London to do my foundation course in Art at Chelsea School of Art. My degree in Photography at London College of Printing followed, and then after brief stints in retail and picture editing, I fell into Location Managing by accident in about 1994 suddenly finding a job I love. I started by working in Commercials - learning by being thrown into the deep end, given little or no information and juggling several jobs at once. Since late ’90’s I have increasingly worked in drama and independent UK films.

Despite the early starts, miserable weather and endless rubbish, I am happiest out and about and still after 25+ years (mostly) thinks it is the best job in the world.

I have a passion for architecture, geography, geology and detail. I have a huge curiosity (some would call it nosiness), which makes Location Managing the perfect job for me. I love film-making and the complex aspects of putting the practical logistics of a shoot together, enabling all the other departments to get on with their job, almost without knowing what my department have done to get them there.

I have been Location Managing for over 25 years starting in commercials in the 1990's and have found the moon on Earth, Scotland inside of the M25, the Maldives in a Heathrow hotel and Wolverhampton in Central Scotland: I have filmed underground, over-ground, on beaches, mountains, prisons and stately homes.

I have worked on all sorts of TV dramas, feature films, and stills shoots including Suffragette, Burton and Taylor, Fleming, Parks & Recreation, Henry VIII, all the Outnumbered series, setting up the first series of Downton Abbey and many of Stephen Poliakoff’s films including Dancing on the Edge. In 2016, My Cousin Rachel, adapted and directed by the late Roger Michell, shooting in the Home Counties and Devon. 2017 it was the UK part of Entebbe, and Overlord, a Bad Robot / Paramount production set in 1918 with supernatural overtones, The Personal History of David Copperfield,

directed by Armando Iannucci was a joy. Avenue 5. In the last couple of years Essex Serpent took up much of Covid and lock down ; Saltburn was 2022 and last year I was on Venom 3 until the stikes stopped shooting. I am currently in early prep for a Neal Street film.

On Suffragette, I took the crew into the House of Commons for 4 days filming of rioting suffragettes. It was the first feature film to ever shoot there – 6 months prep, a few grey hairs later, history was made.

Since 2007, I have also run the renowned Assistant Location Managers Training Course via Film London then Production Guild, and more recently supported by The Location Collective and sponsored by our wonderfully supportive suppliers. . I relish training the next generation of LM; about 150+ of them, many who are now moving on up to Supervising Location Managing themselves now….. as well as countless short courses all over the UK, and abroad.

In 2016, I was given the great honour of receiving the PG Inspiration Award at their bi-annual awards ceremony. It sits proudly on my bookshelves, nestling in amongst 3000 books.

My teenage son who is being trained to put up Unit Signs and understand a schedule and budget thinks I work in a trailer park! My partner, who also works in the industry, thinks I look after parking and toilets. The truth is of course, a little more complicated. I wouldn’t have it any other way