By Richard Lewisohn
When I was a young production assistant, production manager and then producer there was only one sensible way to find a spark, grip, camera, post house or film studio. The Knowledge directory sat open on my desk and was used every day. It was simple and efficient. Every crew member and equipment and facilities company worth their salt was in it, clearly organised by headings in alphabetical order. Every studio listing had stage dimensions, cove type and whether it was soundproofed or wet or dry hire.
The book was a bit heavy to carry on shoots, but later on The Knowledge responded and produced a cut down version to take on location. There were other directories, Kay’s and Kemp’s among them, but working in commercials, The Knowledge was my bible.
Slowly and insidiously everything has changed. Kemp’s is now online only, Kay’s still prints a directory and has a website and app, The Knowledge publishes a thinner directory as well as being online, and there are a host of newer websites mainly to help find international production facilities and services and to serve as portals for production news, principal among them The Location Guide and Little Black Book .