Location Scouting: How to Find Awesome Locations for your Next Filmproduction
Filmmaking is all about visuals, so it is crucial to select locations that not only fit your vision but also proudly display your story onscreen. In order to scout locations, you need the right knowledge.
What does the search for locations for the next film production look like?
The search for real locations for fictional settings in your script is the core of location scouting. The pre-production phase takes place before the film production begins. Choosing the right locations for your film is crucial because it determines the reality and realness of the world in your film.
Location Scouting:How does it work?
The location manager is responsible for scouting locations on a film set. He is responsible for this department, but probably also works closely with the production designer and possibly the director to ensure that his ideas about locations are realised.
Location scouting can be done in a number of ways, but usually crew members start reading the script and making a list of the locations they need during the pre-production phase.
Location managers and their teams then start compiling a list of potential locations.
To determine if they will work on the potential locations, they will visit them. During this step, the director, cinematographer and producer are accompanied by location scouts who visit the locations to make sure they meet the requirements of the film.
Last but not least, they prepare the respective locations for filming by drawing up contracts.
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Filmmaking is all about the visual. That's why it's important to choose locations that not only fit your vision, but also showcase your story on screen. To scout locations, you need the right knowledge.
Use of the Moodboard during pre-production
A mood board is an aesthetic tool that summarises and illustrates your vision for the film. A mood board can include colour palettes, illustrations and quotes related to your film. Each of these elements contributes to the aesthetic of a film. Once you have gathered some ideas for locations, you can use your mood board to match the locations you are considering with the director's vision and the direction of the script.
Break down your script slowly
In order to craft a list of necessary locations for your film, you must break down your script into its constituent parts and carefully analyze them.
Please do not rush this process. Getting halfway through production and realizing you forgot where a scene is set is the last thing you want. You will lose time and possibly lose money as well if this occurs. Prior to production, make sure you plan.
In addition, ensure that those scouting your film are familiar with your script so they can accurately choose a location that reflects your vision.
Think about the logistics
It is not enough to just decide on a location based on how it looks. In addition to their appearance, other vital characteristics need to be taken into account.
The distance between your location and the base point is something you should consider.
Additionally, you should take into consideration a variety of factors, such as parking, the room for equipment, cellular reception, bathrooms, and whether you can plug in your equipment at that site.
On the surface, a location may seem perfect for you, but that’s not the only factor to consider.
Consider the cost-effectiveness of the locations you’re contracting while staying within your budgetary restrictions.
There may be no fee at some locations, but others may require large sums to be paid.
During the scouting process, don’t forget to keep cost on your radar. You can always negotiate prices.
Obtaining the necessary approvals.
As long as you obtain permission, you can film on the owner's property. Remember this when filming on private property. To obtain permission, you must contact the owner or, in the case of municipal, state, county or federal property, obtain permission from the owner. It is important that you comply with the permits, as non-compliance may result in your production being stopped or your equipment being confiscated.
Consider the surroundings of the location
Pay attention not only to the appearance of the location, but also to its surroundings.
You don’t want to film in places where it is noisy or where the lighting is not ideal.
Keeping all these things in mind is an important part of scouting. Especially the lighting should be taken into consideration.
Make the most of your connections
Choosing the right location can be a challenge in a business-like conversation where relationships are crucial. Make sure you use your contacts and reach out to those who can help you find the best location. You should use the people who are willing to help you, be it your production contacts or your second cousin.
Don’t settle for less
You want to make sure you use settings that fit the vision for your film, so make sure you use those that fit the locations where the story takes place.
For example, in a romcom film, you wouldn’t want to use a house on the end of a shaded road as the protagonist’s home, and in a horror film you probably wouldn’t want to film in a picturesque small town by the beach. Your film needs to be respected for its quality, and those visuals simply do not work for those types of films.
Use a limited number of locations
In order to make a realistic film, you will likely need to film in numerous locations. However, to make the film as cost-effective as possible, you should also aim to film in as few locations as possible.
Consider having one location double as multiple locations.
When choosing which locations to film at, you need to consider many factors when selecting a location.
If you have someone scouting for you, make sure they are aware of both what you envision for the movie as well as the factors that impact location scouting.