Choosing the right location is the first and most important step to a successful shoot. To some extent, location scouting seems a lot like searching for a needle in a haystack – it needs time and patience.
Whether you’re out looking for movie shooting locations or shoot locations for your next photography, you’ll need to use these tips to land a great location shoot for your next film project.
Time to go Digital
While it’s still necessary to have an official location scout especially for big budget productions, you can easily find great shoot locations virtually from online sites.
This approach is equally useful because you’ll be able to have a preliminary look before you go and see the area. You’ll undoubtedly be able to find what you’re looking for and gauge whether they’re up to your expectations.
A few online location tools to easily access from your computer include Locations Hub, Flickr Map Search, and Shot Hotspot.
Know your Script
Of course, this is the first rule of location scouting. You’re likely to face numerous possibilities while evaluating locations from natural areas, distinctive buildings and urban landscapes to waterfront settings just to name a few.
Above everything else, remember you have a story to tell therefore choose a location matching the story you’ll produce in your movie, your photo shoot or music video.
Get in touch with a Local Film Commission
If it’s a big production, chances are you already contacted your local film office for film permits. Film commissions are great places to contact when looking for a location shoot.
Most of their sites will advantageously have detailed maps and photos of some popular shoot locations within their area.
Go Scouting at the Right Time
Remember that a location can change therefore it’s wise to find a location shoot based on the time and day you’ll be filming. Factors such as tourists in historic sites, automobile traffic and noise may vary dramatically depending on the season, time and day of the week.
Take Audio Seriously
When visiting movie shooting locations or shoot locations for other projects like a music video, listen to the surrounding environment: talk and clap to find out if there are issues you’ll need to be concerned about. This is just a simple way of making sure your audio will be top notch.
Take Lots of Pictures
As a location scout, you’ll need to capture lots of pictures of the preferred location to share with producers, lighting directors and set designers. Further, take into consideration the lighting and how it’ll look like at the time of day you’ll be shooting.
Check for Power Supplies
Many outdoor locations may, unfortunately, be far from a power source. Regrettably, some indoor spots may pose the same challenge thus you’ll need to evaluate your power options while location scouting.
Where will you set up?
Ensure you have sufficient space to set up all your gear. Even when you have plenty of room in a large area, you may unfortunately realize you have no freedom to roam around.
Above everything else, take notes so that you have useful scouting reports at the end of the day to refer for shoot locations.