This week we talk to Location Manager and Fixer, Steve Ballantyne, on the challenge of working in difficult environments, finding that perfect location, and his move to Asia.
You live in Hong Kong – how have you had to adapt your career to work around this?
My move to Hong Kong was actually adapting my personal life to work around my career – from day one I have chosen to work on productions filming in remote locations across Asia. I was originally working from London which did give me direct access to clients but restricted me on my ability to develop knowledge and to gain further valuable experience in the countries I wanted to support productions in, moving to Asia was always on the cards and inevitable to support my career plans in both managing the logistics for filming projects and my own personal interest in exploration.
What prompted the move to Hong Kong?
Initially, I had planned to move to Papua New Guinea, a country I still have a strong and very close affiliation to. However, PNG was just one country of many I wanted to work in, so I set my sights on either Hong Kong or Singapore as both have booming production industries. I finally chose Hong Kong for its close association to China and the countries it borders – I also felt Hong Kong was quirky enough to match my personality. I love the buzz of city life which is where I keep my office but I live out on Lamma Island and have chosen a home in the mountains. I love the contrast of life and the gateway living in Hong Kong gives me to provide production companies comprehensive logistical support in a range of countries across Pacific, Central and East Asia.