Location Scouting Tips and Tricks For Your Film Shoot

Location Scouting is an essential process in the pre-production stage of every film regardless of it being a short or a feature. Like any other aspect of the filmmaking craft, looking for great locations shouldn’t be overlooked by any means as this is one of the most significant and vital components of the final visual and mood representation of your movie.

In 2015, there are many practical and efficient ways to find some great places for your upcoming shooting gig, one of them being virtual location scouting. Still, seeing a location in-person is mandatory. However, you could do a preliminary look and tick off some attractive places only by scouting them online.


Photo credit: tenba.com

There are many services on the web that provide tons of useful information about great locations you could choose from. Being one of the most popular and free to use websites, Locations Hub is entirely dedicated to locations for film productions. Bare in mind, though, shooting in many of the places you find in there will be paid, so be prepared and try to do some research in advance.

You can also use some of the social networks such as Facebook and Flickr to spot some locations as well. In general, people love to take photos when traveling around, so this is an excellent opportunity to stumble upon some exciting places as well.
Finding the perfect location could sometimes be challenging so make sure you budget enough time for scouting, researching, building relationships with the local authorities and people who are in charge, arranging permissions, etc.

Try to finish the process, at least, a month before the actual shooting begins and be prepared to mark out some alternative locations as well. You’ll never know what might happen at the very last moment, no matter how well planned your initial arrangements might be. Take a lot of detailed photos while touring your locations, try to shoot different angles, look around for potential obstacles and make sure you have an excellent coverage of each place. Some apps can help you with capturing your potential locations and framing like Panascout and Map-A-Pic.

Both of these apps allow you to not only capture photos with cinematic cropping, but also record the location that the photos were shot. Panascout app, for instance, enables users to frame photos in 2.40 (Anamorphic), 1.85 (Super 35mm), 1.78 (16×9 HD) and 1.33 (4×3), and custom ratios to capture metadata such as GPS, compass, sunrise/sunset, date, time.


As-a-rule-of-thumb, try to location scout at the same time of the day (or night) the actual shooting will take place, especially if you’re going to film exterior scenes. Many things could change if you visit at a time of day different than your shooting day/night.

It’s always a good practice to understand what the lighting is going to look like at the time you will be shooting, what the sound environment is going to be, where the crew and equipment will be located, are there any events scheduled near the given location, building works, road closures, etc.

Most importantly, no matter how well you’ve planned, organised and arranged your locations, be prepared for unforeseen situations and rescheduling in the last minute. There are so many things that are out of your control, so tried to stay focused, don’t panic and make sure that you always have a firm backup action plan.

[via Premium Beat]

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