Location Scouting

Posted on November 28, 2013

Tips on finding the perfect location for your film.

From your production you should breakdown what types of locations are needed. It is a good idea to keep as many of your locations in the same area to save time on your “Movement Order”.

1. Before you start you must know your script. Where does the scene take place? Make a note of every location that is required.

2. When going to see if specific locations are right (A RECCE) it is a good idea to visit them at the time of day that is set out in the script ie; Day, Night, Dusk, Sunset, as these issues good bring up other problems such as traffic, tourists etc.

3. What type of light is at your location? Where are your power sources for your equipment? For exterior locations take a note of the sun. This may sound strange but whether an alleyway for instance is fully lit, partially lit or fully shaded will effect the DOP’s choice of lenses and extra lights may have to be brought in.

4. Where are your power sources for your equipment? How will you power your lights? Seems an obvious question, but you may find that you are in a remote location and no power source is available. To overcome this problem you would need to hire generators.

5. Take a note of sound at your location or best still record each location on a video camera. Your sound recordist will not be happy if you pick a country stream next to the motorway.

6. If working on a feature film you will have a lot of equipment. It is important to make sure that you have adequate parking space and room at the location for your equipment. Your crew won’t be happy if they have to carry kit a mile down the road.

7. No matter where you are filming you will need to get permission and secure parking permits. You may have to close off a public road so you will have to contact the local authorities for this.

8. Do you have a signal on your mobile at that location? Communication is vital in film-making, so if there is no signal how else can you communicate?

9. Local amenities. You may need a new battery or extra food supplies so knowing what shops are in the area could be vital.

10. At each potential location take photographs, film the area, write up detailed notes. Be thorough.

LOCATION MANAGERS TOOLS Laptop, Stills Camera, Camcorder, Compass for checking sunrise/sunset, wind direction, Maps, Mobile phone, Watch.

LOCATIONS AND THEIR PITFALLS TO BE AWARE OF # School Auditoriums: poor audio, large space, hard to get close to action # Churches: low lighting, echoing sound, hard to be unobtrusive # Parks and Natural Areas: changing weather, difficult gear transport # Urban Centers: background noise, high traffic and pedestrian presence # Beaches: wind noise, salt air, sand contamination, direct sun # Outdoor Events: competition for space, poor audio, crowd noise

Referenced from http://www.uscreen.co.uk