An Ultimate Location Scouting Guide for Film Shoots in 2020

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Shooting a film might require serious planning and scheduling, but finding a location to shoot particular shots might become a tedious process. You will have to scout locations that resemble the storyline perfectly and helps bring out the imagination into reality. Although the process can be tedious, it can become easier if you follow certain things to find the right location.

You have to search for every aspect of the locations to make the film idea look authentic and appealing. For instance, the factors like the surrounding environment, size, space, noise, weather conditions, and various other things play an essential role in making your film look realistic and true to the storyline. Thus, we have created this ultimate location scouting guide for film shoots that you can follow while searching for the perfect locations for your next project.

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Begin with the script

All the creative aspects of your film must begin with its script. So make sure you read the script repeatedly until and unless you are clear with the perfect imagination of shots and the locations that best fit into them. You must intimately know the story that you are going to tell through the script. Besides, you must be able to create a comprehensive list of locations that you think would be suitable for the film.

Next, fill the location list with your dream locations as it will help you find the top places as per your expectations. But remember that you will have to do whatever it takes to find and get those locations for shooting. Besides, every production house has to be realistic with their budget and dream locations to avoid any confusion in the project. Select the locations that you finally want to be in the film shoot by compromising the ones that can be removed from the list.

Make some key decisions

Once you decide about the locations, the next thing you need to do is start making decisions about the underlying factors related to places. These decisions will help you conclude where in the world you film should actually be shot. So the basic things to consider are as follows:

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  • Price: When you start looking for the locations, you will find that some places will be cheaper, while some will be expensive to fit in your budget. During such times, you must prefer a location that encourages film production and provides tax/financial incentives.
  • Look for available resources: You must know what all resources are available at the locations that you will choose for filming. So ensure you check for spots that have easy access to things like a nearby airport, accessible rental stores/ gear, available crew, and a supportive community that will be happy to share their space.
  • Logistics: You must consider the logistics of filming the movie or advertisement at the selected location. It can include cell reception, parking, space for craft services, electrical power sources, etc. You need to understand that if these things aren’t available and you cannot afford them, then no matter how perfect the location is, it will always be problematic for filming.
  • Environment: Think about the natural light that will enhance the filming process because the more the natural light, the less you will need to invest in light exposure equipment. You can also look for the surrounding sounds such as nearby road or creek that could interfere with the recording sound while filming the movie. All in all, make sure you notice the general climate of the location.
  • Can you build it? If you want a special set to be a part of your film, then you can consider building it. But remember that building a set or stage will also increase your time, effort, and money. So it wouldn’t be the best option, but if you think you can manage to build a location or set, you can consider doing it.

Scout Locations

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The location managers and their team will start searching for the places or properties relevant to your location list. While searching for rental properties to shoot films and advertisements, you can consider searching the places on giggster.com. You will find great deals and properties with impressive surroundings to enhance your film shooting. So you can skim the property listings to find relevant houses or contact a film commission. Moreover, you can contact local government offices as they have a film commission or film liaison to assist the productions in their country.

Once you find the location relevant to your expectation, you can ask the scout or location manager to visit the property to check it in person. This person could also take notes and photograph the property. After that, the director of photography and production designer will often check the location as well to ensure that it is perfect as per their vision.

Make a deal

When you decide to take up the location, you need to ask the property owner for the proceedings. Ensure you contact the authoritative people and ask them to grant you access to the property for a certain time and sign an agreement. If it is private property, then you can just approach the property owner for the process. But if it is owned by a non-profit, business, or other organization, you will need to connect with the property manager for getting the approval from their leadership board. The same thing would apply if you want to shoot on public property, but you would additionally need to seek permits and insurance for that. Ensure that whenever you are making a deal, you must be clear with the number of people and the duration you would require to work there.

Be careful while using the property

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Once you are done with the agreement and start filming at your selected location, you need to see that everything stays in place and unbroken on the property. You can capture the photos of things before work, take care of fragile items, keep the place clean and tidy, and keep the property well maintained as you got after the agreement.

Conclusion

Make sure you follow this guide to get the best location or property for filming your next project.

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