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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sienel, Champion

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The IMDb's standard answer is:
We are aware that every department is important, and the presence of a job in this list should not in any way be seen as an attempt to trivialize it. Over time, we have split a number of job categories out of this list, and we intend to split even more out in the future as time permits.


They also say:
Our long term plan is to create more specific lists and move credits across them; however, since this is dictated by our internal data management priorities, we can't predict exactly how or when this will take place.
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Dow Griffith

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 IMDb is a great resource for people interested in movies & TV media, who makes them, where they come from and where they are made. This last item, “Filming Locations” is included in the “Detail” section for each and every movie on IMDb. This is because people are interested in where movies are filmed. IMDb has recognized this. What has been both disappointing and astounding is that in all these years IMDb seems not to be equally cognizant that there is a  professional job classification that is responsible for creating these locations, for finding them, making contractual arrangements, managing all the activity on each location. These are called Location Managers. People are interested in who these creative individuals are, just as people are interested in “Filming Locations”. But if you want to track down a location department for any given movie on IMDb it’s like an Easter Egg hunt in the weeds of “Miscellaneous Crew”. Why, many ask, is a department which has a creative impact on the visual look of a motion picture scattered around in a miscellaneous list? It must be an oversight, everyone assumes. This has never made IMDb look good. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before this is rectified.
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Kenneth Hawkins

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It is frankly insulting that on two listings for me as Location Manager, my Unit Manager is listed in Production Management right at the beginning of the listings while, I'm buried in "Other Crew" Get it together IMDb. We deserve better
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Jesse H. Rivard

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As a Location Professional I find it very frustrating that there is no specific Category for our participation in your crew listings. "Other" is not satisfactory.
(Edited)
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Jesse H. Rivard

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As a Location Professional I find it very frustrating that there is no specific Category for our participation in your crew listings. "Other" is not satisfactory.
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Kris Bunting

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According to imdb I am listed as miscellaneous crew. I only provide the canvas for the art work. No biggie.

Then manage the location and make sure the crew is following safety guidelines.

As you will notice there was no location manager on the film set where sarah jones was murdered.
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Michael Burmeister

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I am a location manager and I feel that we play a significant role in the production of movies and TV programs. I feel that it is also fitting for the location department to be recognized for their role by having a Location Department heading in IMDB. We work closely with the director, producer and production designer in finding the correct locations to enhance the look of the project we are involved with. 
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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As sienel noted above, being in Other Crew does not mean that IMDb considers the work unimportant. It just means that it is done by a department other than those that have been split out, nothing more.

While it would be nice to have this (and some other departments) properly split out, you should not consider the fact that Locations is currently still in the Other Crew section means that it is not considered important. The split of credits into different sections in IMDb is more about their processing needs than the value of the work done by a department.

(Edited)
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Peo Rousseau

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How come there is no Location Department, and all the jobs related to it go by default in "Other crew"?.


This is nonsense! It's one of the most important departments! Location, location, and location.

It would be super easy to create the department in your database and move all the location jobs into it. Come on...
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Kai Magnus McNeil

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
List the Locations Department as it's own department and not "other crew"..


I am an Location Assistant. No one knows what I do, but my job is integral to every production. As a member of the crew that is literally the first person in and the last person out, it disappoints and angers me that: a) my department is not accurately represented on IMDb and instead listed under "other crew" and b) crew members such as an "assistant draper", or "extras casting" are listed under their own departments.

That is not to say that the jobs mentioned above are unimportant. Extras are an important part of the atmosphere of any movie (imagine a scene in Times Square, or in front of the Chinese Theater without any extras?). Sets don't look perfect on their own; drapers are there to make it happen. My point is EVERY job on set is important and every department should be listed.

My idea is to separate the "other categories" into separate departments. It's as easy as looking at the back of a call sheet and breaking it down the same way.

We're all equally essential. People not in the industry should know that the Locations Department exists, even if they don't know what they do.
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Neal Prosansky

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Most departments have their own category by now.  Come on IMDB.  Please carefully explain to me how there is no algorithm to departmentalize "Accountant," "Location Manager," "Medic" etc. And I'm sure it couldn't be that hard to list the PA's under "Production Staff."   

Do we really outnumber the Visual Effects Crew or Transportation Department or the Stunt People? 

What's the verdict?  Do we just need to garner votes and responses in this section to invoke action?
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Dow Griffith

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Dear IMDb, there are two issues being discussed here: one is the perceived importance of the position of location professionals; the second issue is the organizational ease of use that IMDb provides it’s viewers as an informational resource. 

As for the first issue, it is disingenuous to suggest that just because Location Manager credits are randomly lumped in with assistant accountants, medics, and production assistants in a haphazard manner it doesn’t mean that Location Managers are not important. We can all agree that every position is important; but it must be pointed out that of all the positions whose agreed upon responsibility is to contribute directly to the visual look of a visual medium, Location Managers are the ONLY professionals that IMDb has neglected to group into a proper department. Why IMDb elected to have a “miscellaneous crew” category to begin with is curious because there is nothing miscellaneous about any crew member, least of all Location Managers who, along with Cameramen, Costume Designers, Art Directors, Actors, Editors, Makeup, Visual Effects, are assigned a job classification that is required to contribute to the overall look and visual enjoyment of a commercial visual medium. That is not a miscellaneous job. Just because the motion picture industry itself has been dim-witted and slow to grapple with this newest of job descriptions doesn’t mean that IMDb has to be similarly inept or even make matters worse when it comes to providing intelligent job categories for it’s viewing public who look to IMDb for concise motion picture details.

As for the second issue, the reason people flock to IMDb is to collect information related to the motion picture business - news, upcoming events, and particulars about motion pictures, including credits. People are interested to know who does what on any given movie and IMDb has provided a beautiful method of gathering that information, except for Location Managers. If you want to find out where a movie was filmed IMDb allows you to see that under it’s “Details”. Obviously IMDb feels locations are important otherwise IMDb would not have a special category for looking up locations. But if a producer, for instance, wants to know who found and arranged those locations it is not easy because the “Miscellaneous Crew” category folds everyone together in a sloppy, haphazard manner. In this respect, IMDb has done as disservice to those who it aims to serve: the individuals who are interested in gathering the information that IMDb has so laboriously compiled. It’s hard to imagine that this shortcoming would be difficult to correct. It must be that someone at IMDb feels it’s not important. There are many professional who disagree with this. 
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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. 


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Mick Ratman

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This is the same crap excuse that IMDB  has been using for at least 5 years or more. At one time they didn't even bother to answer any email or letters on this subject.
They have no idea what different departments do.worst yet they don't care.
The best thing to do if you are an IMDB Pro member write and threaten to cancel your subscription, it worked for the writers.
As to what departments have there own listing, this includes the transportation department. 
(Edited)
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R. Richard Hobbs

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As an ongoing, active member of the Locations Department of various shows I find it frustrating and demeaning that we are frequently ommitted from credits and recognition.

The Location Department is a bona fide skilled department with union representation in many markets with others currently in the process of gaining representation.

R. Richard Hobbs | nyc.locationscout.us
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Holder Bain

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Hey Giancarlo, that response is a load of BS. Where is the LOCATIONS DEPARTMENT???? You can't have all these ridiculous Post Production "departments" and not even have the most integral Department!!!

"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."

So a Location Manager doesn't actually have a department? And you have PRODUCTION DESIGN, SET DESIGN and SET CONSTRUCTION under differing Departments???? And then a whole different section for ART DEPARTMENT? So essentially you have FOUR DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS for ART DEPARTMENT???

Oh BUT THE TRANSPORT is a Department! You mean the people that DRIVE THE VEHICLES to the LOCATION?

So the people that DRIVE to the set have their own department, but the people that one of the first  departments to be hired, work crazy long hours, bend over backwards to make sure a Film goes ahead with everything it needs, that stands in the Public Firing line form the Stupidity of every other department, has NO awards in any award show despite every other department having them and now is not even honored with its OWN DAMN HEADING ON THE INTERNET?!!

Giancarlo and the rest of you - I thought you know about how films get made.

Obviously not because you are treating Locations like anyone else who has NO CLUE. The same disregard that would over rule a Location Manager and get someone killed. Shocking. 
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Sean

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled location manager.

Location Managers are an essential part of any production.  They are in Unions (DGA, Theatrical Teamsters) and some of the 1st people hired on any production.  Their role is Creative, Logistic, and Financial.  They collaborate directly with directors, Production designers, Cinematographers, AD's and Producers.  How is it that they don't have a category?
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Dee Ess

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IMDB is well aware of it's lack of credibility and it's role in under appreciating a handful of crew members at the expense of having to actually do a proper job.

The reason why IMDb categorizes and groups credits in a certain way is essentially down to hard work. The database stores more than 150 million film/TV credits and data items, and is broken down internally into whatever we decided when we started it, each pretending to be managed and maintained by no one, allowing us process and display this content to the raised eyebrows of those who actually work in the industry.

We at IMDB do not understand the concept of making a mistake and having to fix it.

For a new category of credits to be created (we are actually talking about Location Managers here) two things need to happen: the first would be that we watch ALL of the movie, and not just the start credits which obviously include "Set Decorators" and "Camera Department" and "Grips". An example of this are "Transport" or "Thanks", which (at least at our level of intelligence) are now often listed in the main credits of many film rather than at the end.

We reckon.

As for the second issue, the reason people flock to IMDb is to collect incorrect information related to the motion picture business - news, upcoming events, and particulars about motion pictures, including credits. People are interested to know who does what on any given movie and IMDb has provided a beautiful method of gathering that information, except for Location Managers for all the reasons we already just said okay.

WE HATE LOCATION MANAGERS OKAY.

We are the INCORRECT MOVIE DATABASE OKAY.
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Nobody

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See also:

www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/nest/256660073?d=258151086#258151086

On June 9 2016, IMDb staff member "niallto" wrote:
"You should now be able to submit location managers
to their own department in the submission system."
(See further details in niallto's other replies in that thread.)