Once you are done with your script, it’s time to scan through it so you can think of suitable locations to shoot what’s on paper.
Location is more important than most people think. Imagine Harry Potter set in a luxurious villa? Yeah, tacky. The location should always depend on the theme and the characters you have.
You might have to visit 10 different places before you find one that works for you. The key is to never give up and never settle for less. Some of the basic steps that will help you find the right location for your film are:
How to Find the Right Location for Your Film
Know Your Script
Everything in your film, including the location, depends on your script. Knowing your script inside out is considered as the first step of location scouting. We suggest to think of locations when writing a script or to talk to the scriptwriter for suggestions.
Of course, you will have to find the exact spot to shoot but having a rough idea will help you. For example, do you want to shoot in a desert or jungle? We must mention that it isn’t uncommon for writers or directors to make minor changes to the script based on the availability of the location.
Time Of The Day
The ambiance and aura of a location change as the time of the day changes. Hence, if you are looking for a location to shoot a nighttime scene, don’t go location scouting during day time. You will be surprised at how the same location may look different at night.
Since you will be visiting more than a few filming locations, it is always important to take pictures and keep the location specifics highlighted. Some filmmakers even use Insta360, a 360-degree camera that captures a full view.
This way, when you go back and discuss the location with your cinematographer, you will be able to recall all the tiny details.
Since filmmaking requires the use of many instruments, evaluating the area for the smooth operation of all equipment is necessary. A film shooting process cannot be carried out unless and until all the equipment is working properly.
Moreover, checking the communication systems is also necessary. If you will be working in a no coverage zone, it is advised that you take some precautionary measures for the sake of security. Make sure you have backups in place.
Other than this, take care of permissions as well. For example, you may need special permits to shoot in a public park since filming may disrupt the system. It may be a good idea to work with an agent so that all the legal requirements are taken care of.
Finding the Right Location for Your Film: Conclusion
Location scouting is one of the most difficult parts of filmmaking. You cannot always film on a soundstage or in a warehouse since it not only requires a lot of money and equipment but can also get inconvenient.
Finding the right location for your film can add depth and character to your film. Expect to spend weeks to scout the right location and prepare it according to your needs. Yes, some changes may be required to make any location suitable for filming.