Why you need a "fixer" when filming on location
Whether shooting in a small city/town hours away from an airport or filming in a remote village overseas, having a "film fixer" can be an essential element in ensuring a film's success.
The word "fixer" has come to mean a person that can serve as a middle-man between a film production company and the city/town/area that the company is aiming to film in. In some instances this person(s) may have film knowledge and act as a "local producer" and in other situations this person(s) may be very well connected but new to filmmaking.
I've used "fixers" multiple times to find locations, secure extras and assist with the overall production of a movie. Below I have outlined some of the things that a "fixer" can assist with should you choose to use one.
10 things that fixer's can assist with:
Finding and securing key locations and in some instances handle aspects of the permitting process
Acting as a conduit to the local town officials (police/fire/city/film commission) and setting up introductory meetings
Having a pulse on the local news media (papers/facebook groups/tv & radio) in order to know which entities might be able to activate press
Handling passports, visas and essential paperwork to allow a company to have access to said country
Working as a translator (if a foreign land) and transcribing important documents
Serving as a peacemaker when filming in areas that could be considered dangerous to outsiders
Being a cultural leader and someone who can get others in the community excited about being a Background Actor
Providing recommendations for safe and reliable places for the cast and crew to stay
Connecting the production company with possible experienced crew or cast that might live in the area
Filling in the gaps of the production crew and potentially working in an official capacity as a Producer, Coordinator, APOC, Supervisor, Location Manager etc..