Why is there no locations department in the crew listings?

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Hi,
I am a unit manager with film crews in the north and I am frustrated to see that locations department is still under 'other' on IMDB! Why is this? I find it rather strange that the people who organise and pick the set, backdrops, entire scenes, are the first in/last out of every location, facilitate everything the rest of crew needs before, during and after the shoot for some reason do not have their department listed in credits! Please fix this.
Thanks,
J. Sumner
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Jamie Sumner

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Posted 6 years ago

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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Official Response
IMDb is well aware of the role and importance of Location Managers, and the fact that we do not currently have a specific category devoted to them is not meant to reflect a lack of recognition for their contribution to the film-making process.
 
The reason why IMDb categorizes and groups credits in a certain way is essentially technical. The database stores more than 150 million film/TV credits and data items, and is broken down internally into different data sections, each managed and maintained separately, allowing us process and display this content more efficiently.

When these categories were created, many years ago, there were two main factors playing a role in our plan to divide credits. The first was the prominence of these entries in the credits of films or TV show; the other was the amount of credits that would be grouped together if they were moved to their own department. Both considerations still inform any decisions to create new categories.
 
Changing this structure is a very substantial undertaking because it affects the way credits are submitted, processed, stored and displayed on IMDb.com and on all related sites and apps. It involves significant internal changes and major programming and data management work. This is the main reason why we have not made a change to these categories in several years. 

For a new category of credits to be created (in general, I'm not referring specifically to Location Managers) two things need to happen: the first would be that the credits gain enough prominence to be routinely or at least frequently listed in the main titles of a feature of show or in a prominent, dedicated section. An example of this are visual effects or music supervisor credits, which (at least at the head/supervisor level) are now often listed in the main credits of many film rather than at the end.

The other requisite is that there should be enough of these credits to make it technically sensible to manage them as a separate group. This quantitative approach is one of the reasons why some of the existing groups may seem a bit inconsistent to an outsider: the most noticeable example is the fact that we have a single category which groups together assistant directors and second unit directors (even though those jobs are different) because neither group of credits, by itself, would be large enough to warrant its own category.
 
At this time, location managers and related jobs do not fulfill these criteria. While this doesn't permanently rule out creating a separate department for them, it means that the work necessary to implement this change cannot currently be prioritized over required maintenance tasks and most frequently requested improvements.

We periodically revisit this topic and we will always give serious consideration to suggestions for new categories which fulfill either of the above requirements.