NPR Tags Along with Hollywood Location Scouts

In the spirit of shining the spotlight on some of the professional film ranks that will be nowhere near the Oscar red carpet this Sunday, NPR Morning Edition reporter Susan Stamberg today shared a breezy look at what it’s like to work as a location scout on a big Hollywood movie.

Much of her report focuses on the Cameron Crowe adaptation We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon. It evidently helps to have Damon walking around your location, because one Los Feliz resident irked at a two-day street closure says she was soon calmed down by the repeated sight of the affable Hollywood star. There’s also this great Michael Bay anecdote from Zoo location scout Lori Balton:

Balton says working with Bay on Pearl Harbor was a challenge. “He said, ‘I want something white. It’s gotta be white, it’s gotta be white, it’s gotta be white.’ Oh, week after week, into months, we’re looking for white, white, white.

And finally I see something black, and I go, ‘You know what? This kind of works. I’m going to show it to him.’ And he looks at it. And he looks at me. And he goes, ‘This is exactly what I asked you to find — why did it take so long?’ “

Stamberg’s piece is the latest in a long line of “Hollywood jobs” reports she has done annually ahead of Oscar weekend. Other professions previously tapped by the reporter include those of craft service, script girl-guy, and shoemaker.