TLP: How did you get into location management?
MD: I fell into Location Management by mistake and I'm certain it was fate. I had just returned home to the United States after having spent almost a year working in Europe and Africa on the movie Kingdom of Heaven. I wasn't really looking for a job and had enjoyed spending the summer reacclimating to the US, when I got a call from my best friend’s husband who was an Assistant Director on a Jim Carrey movie. He asked if I'd be interested in helping out the Location Department as their office coordinator and I said I'd be open to it. A few minutes later I got a call from Molly Allen, the Location Manager on the movie, who hired me immediately. After my first few weeks of working with Molly I knew Locations was my calling. She helped me get into the union and the rest is history! The irony is that the entire Assistant Directing team was fired before I started that job, so I didn't even get to work with the person who brought me onto the movie.
TLP: What do you love most about being a location manager?
MD: The explosions! The architecture! The people! Everything! I feel lucky to have the opportunity to experience buildings and locales that a lot of people never get to see. On Transformers 3, I sat on the roof of the Tribune Tower watching explosions go off on every building along the Chicago River. It was a surreal and magical experience I'll never forget. On Westworld, we've scouted and worked in many important architectural properties that are closed to the public. Its humbling to be in a space with so much design and beauty. None of those experiences are anything without people - the people on my team, the directors and designers I get to work with and, of course, the people who introduce us and give us access to those spaces.
TLP: What do you do when you're not working?
MD: I travel as much as possible. I love Africa and any won't say no to any beach or island. I try to ski whenever I can. I'm an avid yogi. I try to do things in LA that only tourists do; it reminds me why I moved to this city and why thousands relocate here every year. I'm an architectural docent for the Los Angeles Conservancy and am honored to teach people about the history of the city through my favorite art form. I'm a huge reader of history and historical fiction. I love visiting wineries. I also enjoy cooking at home with my husband and friends. After this years’ halt in production, I’m thrilled to be back at work and look forward to each new day.