Location Scout in New Orleans, LA
GERARD SELLERS TALKS LOCATION SCOUTING/MANAGING IN LOUISIANA
By: Andrew Vogel Published by Louisiana Film and Video Magazine (ISSUE 3 – 2013)
One of the more overlooked jobs in film production is that of a location scout in New Orleans, LA. As the owner of Island Of The Marsh, I know when you’ve been doing this long enough, you learn to tell a story with your photography. I often use my photography to convince producers and directors to come to Louisiana.
Without neglecting the business side of the industry, I continue to express the necessity of knowing the right people. It’s all about having the connections. As outsiders looking in, we tend to forget the amount of effort that goes into matching locations to the director’s visions and then actually securing those locations for use. Location scouts are often the first to hear about new projects.
Because of my connections and my crew, I end up saving production companies a ton of money in the long run. Moreover, that’s what it’s about.
Scout/manager, Gerard Sellers, is a seasoned veteran with over 27 years in the industry. He has scouted and managed major titles including:
Twelve Years’ A Slave
Texas Killing Fields
The Skeleton Key
A Little Bit Of Heaven
And Many More
Born and raised in Abbeville, LA, Sellers got his start as a true Cajun making on alligator hunting and the Cajun lifestyle. One such documentary, Alligator Hunters: A Louisiana Legacy, was aired on PBS and soon became a precursor to the hit reality show, Swamp People.
Through his documentary research all over Louisiana, Sellers quickly gained clout as a determined worker which evolved into a start in the film industry.
“I was at Antlers bar in Lafayette drinking cold beer and eating crawfish with Randy Labry and Glen Pitre. They told me about a project with Robert Duvall, Armand Assante and a bunch of others called Belizaire Waltz which later became Belizaire the Cajun. So I quit my day job as a and went to work as a P.A.I was all over the place at first. I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing. This was my first job as a location scout. However, I was a passionate artist and a hard worker, so people started hiring me for other jobs. And that’s how I got my start.”
From that point on, Sellers describes his life as a journey without expectations. Fortunately, doors quickly began to open.
“I got to be friends with Bobby Duvall on the set of Belizaire, and he told me he wanted to see mine. So, of course, I showed him, and afterward, he said ‘I got this little project I’m trying to get together called The Apostle. When I get it together would you mind if I called.’ I said ‘Hell no I don’t mind.’ Two years later I was at my house not doing much of anything, and I got a call from Duvall’s assistant, Brad a message saying ‘Bobby’s got tickets to France for New Year’s but wants to spend New Year’s Eve at Mulates (restaurant) in Breaux Bridge (Louisiana) instead so he can scout locations for The Apostle.
Since I am fantastic at, I was more than happy to assist. He’s got a million dollars to put into it now.’ However, Brad didn’t leave me a number. Moreover, I had been sending Bobby my work for two years and never heard anything, so I thought this was some kind of a joke. I finally found the number and called Bob and left him a message on his answering machine. Five minutes later Brad Wilson calls me back and says they decided not to go to France and they want to come to Louisiana and find some authentic locations. So they came down, and I spent some time with them in Lafayette and Abbeville help matching locations to director’s visions for The Apostle. We spent New Year’s together on Pecan Island. And I eventually came to find out he was also researching the part of Gus for Lonesome Dove.”
By the time Sellers received a call from Duvall to be his official locations manager; Sellers had just signed a deal memo for Hallmarks movie of the week, The Old Man, 30 minutes prior. Fortunately, he was well on his way to a successful career as a, at this point, and continues to allow doors to open for himself.
“You never know how things will play out. Thirty minutes ago I didn’t know I’d be talking to you,” says.
Sellers’ open-minded and altruistic way of life keeps him motivated and content with his work as a He says, “To be able to influence any other human being more than just the person but the things that he does… What else do we have in this life?”
Sellers also those beginning a career in the film industry saying, “Make sure you don’t think you know everything. Don’t come in with any preconceived ideas of what you are doing. If you show people that you are willing to work and expect long hours, they will remember and call when they have a new project.”
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Islands of the Marsh Productions / T 504.453.2451 / / © 2013 by Islands of the Marsh Productions