Filmmaking is a long process, and perhaps one of the most important parts of pre production is choosing the right places to shoot. Searching for proper locations is essential to save you and your crew potential trouble further down the line. Here we will take a look at 3 main tips you need to follow to choose the perfect location to shoot your film.
How to Choose the Perfect Location for Your Film
Mind the Layout
Sometimes you write screenplays with specific shots in mind, but when you get to the set, you find out you cannot shoot the scene how you had pictured it on paper. You can avoid this by thoroughly going through the rooms of the house or the terrain of the land where you plan on shooting.
Taking a tour around the location will help you get a feel of the place, where to set up your lights, where to set up your camera angles, and how to direct your characters in general. If a single scene of your film is particularly important for a specific sequence, you need to get familiar with the layout of the location beforehand.
Use a Location Scout
If your budget allows it and the pre production is organized with enough time to do it, hiring a location scouting service is one of the best things you can do to pick the location for your film with as much precision as possible. This process is essential for films that shoot in tons of different locations, or in which there is a particular sequence that just requires the right place and mood to work on camera.
Scouts are professional location hunters than can get you dozens of options for a single location depending on what you have in mind for the project. They can put together picture books of the place and take you on tours to check out the layout and get a hands-on experience with different options so you can weigh them all objectively.
Bring Along Gear to Test
Last but not least, you cannot get the whole experience out of a place you’re scouting if you don’t test the gear you plan on using during the shooting. You don’t need to set the whole thing up with rigs and lights, but testing out the sound and shots you plan on using on the film is pretty useful to do in advance so as to avoid any inconveniences when it comes to shooting.
Bring along your audio recorder and mics to test how they register on site, so you can tell if you need special equipment to sort your way out of undesired feedback or excessive echo. A DSLR equipped with lenses of the same or similar focal lengths to the ones you plan on using for the project can help you visualize the space better and check if what you had in mind truly works. You can play around the location while you’re there to rework your shots, and leave the place with a clear picture of how the end result would look like if you choose to go with it.
There you have it, some tips on how to choose the perfect location for your film!