Physical Production Execs at Marvel, Netflix and More Reveal Their Top Projects

A Wrinkle in Time BTS Ava Duvernay - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Disney

Ahead of the inaugural Association of Film Commissioners International's AFCI Week event, which includes a brunch co-hosted by The Hollywood Reporter with a panel moderated by editorial director Matthew Belloni, the executives also dish on the locations that bring them to life.

The mention of Hollywood movies conjures up images of glitz and glam — but not for the physical production managers and film commissioners tasked with the nitty-gritty of filmmaking. They might not have the sexiest industry jobs, but they play a crucial role in turning a script into an actual production. This year, for the first time, the Association of Film Commissioners International, a group made up of more than 300 commissioners on six continents, is launching AFCI Week (Feb. 28 through March 3), with a mission of connecting its members with producers, distributors, financiers and other Hollywood decision makers.

"It's one of the first key initiatives we've done," says AFCI board chairman Kevin Jennings. Among the events is a March 1 brunch (co-hosted by THR) honoring some of the top production executives at the major studios, including a panel moderated by THR editorial director Matthew Belloni. Ahead of the event, those execs shared info on their top projects, onscreen and in the works.

Victoria Alonso 

May's Avengers: Infinity War and Captain Marvel (2019) are up next, but for now, her crown jewel is Black Panther, which shot in Zimbabwe and Argentina (along with Atlanta) to "create a photorealistic Wakandan Falls."

Andy Davis

In 2017, Davis supervised Baby Driver in Georgia, Jumanji in Hawaii and The Dark Tower in South Africa, where he learned "there are penguins!" He also oversaw October's Tom Hardy starrer Venom.

Bill Draper

From Ready Player One (March 29) and December's Aquaman to Dunkirk, Draper's had his hands full: "You wouldn't believe how a 13-foot difference in the tides at Dunkirk could impact a tight shooting schedule."

Ross Fanger

Molly's Game, A Bad Moms Christmas and Den of Thieves rounded out the studio's 2017 slate, and Fanger wrapped Shailene Woodley's Adrift in September.

Joe Hartwick 

Hartwick was point person on The Post, along with Deadpool 2 (May 18) and Red Sparrow. He's also currently juggling four Avatar sequels.

Jeff Laplante

Between Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22) and the Fast and Furious movies, LaPlante has a knack for franchises. He's still surprised by how easy it was to film The Fate of the Furious in Cuba: "We shut down busy streets with the help of the Cuban government and local police."

Mary Ann Marino 

After Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck, Marino turned her attention to October's Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet, and Gus Van Sant's Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (May 11).

Jason McGatlin 

McGatlin handles all the Star Wars movies, including spinoffs like Solo (May 25), which shot scenes in the Canary Islands. "Deserts, waterfronts, cliffs — I was amazed at the diversity of landscapes we were able to achieve within a short range."

Peter Oillataguerre 

With his purview extending to MGM's motion picture and TV group, he went from Hulu's Handmaid's Tale in Canada to Tomb Raider (March 16) in South Africa, where he learned about the water rationing happening in Cape Town.

Bruce Richmond 

On top of such series as Game of Thrones and Westworld, Richmond handles the studio's movies. Next up: Al Pacino vehicle Paterno and Fahrenheit 451, starring Michael B. Jordan.

Lee Rosenthal 

He headed up Mission: Impossible — Fallout and December's Bumblebee. "With six M:I movies, our mission has been to film places rarely seen," he says. "Nothing matched the high of filming Fallout in Paris."

Donna Sloan 

Last year, Sloan shot in three U.S. states and 12 cities across eight countries — Budapest was a favorite — for September's Robin Hood and 2019's Chaos Walking.

Phil Steuer 

On top of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and A Wrinkle in Time, Steuer's schedule has been filled with December's Mary Poppins Returns and the 2019 live-action remakes of The Lion King and Dumbo.

Shelly Strong 

Strong split time in the past year between 2019's The Turning, with Finn Wolfhard, and A Dog's Purpose 2.

Ty Warren

Warren has shepherded such original movies as Bright and Okja plus series Altered Carbon and Ozark, the latter of which filmed in Georgia.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.