When it comes to location shooting, most aspiring filmmakers make the mistake of simply picking a location based on looks alone. They often have this ideal area in mind when they were first coming up with the scene, resolve to shoot there and that’s it. However, location scouting isn’t as easy as this. There are a multitude of factors you need to remember to ensure you not only get a good location, but it translates into quality when shooting as well.
Here are five things to remember to help make location scouting easier.
1. Always prepare ahead of time.
Before you head out the door to check out potential spots, know what exactly you’re looking for and how it plays out in the final outcome of your film. If it helps, write down crucial things to consider once you’re at the location. Does the place have noise pollution? How will you go about staging the scene in the area? Is there any fee? What power resources are available to you? etc.
2. Always take good pictures and shots.
Don’t just jump right in and say that yes, this is it! Make sure to take pictures – lots of it when in location. Later on, when you’ve done the scouting and ready to decide. You can sit down sift through the images and see if it’s really what you need or if any possible problems (in terms of visuals) could come up.
3. Always consider how you’re going to stage the scene or the shot.
This is one of the most crucial questions you can ask while scouting locations. You have to consider how your shot or scene will be framed while you’re there. This will help you eventually decide if the location is right for your project or not.
4. Always bring a light meter.
You can never predict if the lighting you have will be okay when translated into your film. Having a light meter helps you gauge whether it will work for your shot as well as inform you whether you need more or less lighting to compensate.
5. Always consider other options if your first choice doesn’t fit.
Don’t be afraid to say no to a location if something doesn’t fit or work out. There’s always another location to check out and consider so always keep your options open.