Whether you are an aspiring or seasonal videographer, you want to ensure the perfect shot every time. That is why the filming location is an important consideration. A carefully chosen and well-thought-out location significantly affects the success of your film or television production. There are three tips you can use to guide your search for the perfect filming location:
1. Virtually Scout a Location
Although many productions, especially big-budget ones, need to have an official filming location such as a warehouse venue, often, it is necessary to look for a more specific and unique location.
Virtually scouting a location can cut down on costs and save time before choosing the location worth going to and seeing in-person.
Luckily, many online tools can help you scout for sites from the comfort of your home or office. Even the simplest Google search will often help you find a website of a company offering filming locations in the area you are interested in (will be discussed further below).
You can also visit the local film commission website to search for detailed maps and photos of local filming areas and shooting locations.
2. Make Sure the Location Fits the Story
Before getting yourself out and about in search of filming locations, make sure you have read the script.
You will be able to make a list of all the locations mentioned in the script and know if they have any specific and defining characteristics you need to look for. Also, make sure to speak to a director and other members of the creative team to understand their vision and the tone of the project.
Use these insights to guide your search for the most appropriate filming location for the production. Although you should not divert too much from the script’s spirit, it is fine to suggest some options that other team members have not previously considered.
Always choose a location because it fits the story, not because it is available, or it is a choice based on your subjective, personal preferences and liking.
3. Tour in Person
Before opting for a location, it is of utmost importance to go to the site, inspect it, take note of how it appears during different times of the day, and take photos you can share with set leaders.
Once you are at a potential location, consider the following things:
- Does the location match the story and the director’s vision?
- What is the natural light like, and how much of it can it be controlled?
- Is there electricity, running water, and toilets?
- What is cell phone reception like?
- Are there any ambient sounds such as traffic noise, river, or air-con?
- How far is the location from the primary filming location?
- How accessible is the location (is it near the airport, public transport, or parking space)?
- Is there a person that needs to let me get inside the location?
- Is there a place for the crew to place equipment and space for crafts?
- Are there any other crews filming on your shoot day?
- Who owns the location, and how much does it cost to film here?
4. Search Social Media
One of the recommended places to find the perfect filming location is social media, especially Instagram, a photo-based social media platform.
You will find many filming locations posted by novice and expert photographers and videographers.
Here is how to find filming locations on social media:
- Use Search Boxes: Social media networks are now considered search engine giants. According to statistics, Facebook is the top-notch social media platform with over 2.7 billion active users, followed by YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. You can type relevant keywords, such as “filming locations” or “perfect place to film”.
- Join Groups: Participate in social media groups dedicated to videographers. From time to time, members post a glimpse of their film work. Comment, share and support other videographers to boost your exposure and help your industry. You can ask some filming location suggestions privately from active members via the messaging app of social media networks, like Facebook Messenger, to get the best results.
- Publish and Share: Once you have filmed your projects, you can publish a sneak peek and share them with your social media groups and mention members who have helped you find those locations to get more support the next time.
5. Find the Best Filming Location in Search Engines
Use the power of search engines to find the best filming location for your next project.
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Microsoft Edge, and other search engines provide countless suggestions from blogs, news sites, location finders, directories, and other online sources.
Check the following tips to find the best filming locations via search engines:
- Use the search box and type in “best filming location in Texas” or “top filming places in California.” The more specific the search engine terms are, the better the results.
- You will find search results, which include directories, filming blog sites, and other online sources. Click on the title of the topic that catches your attention and find practical suggestions, such as “8 Filming Locations On A Budget” or “3 Most Luxurious Filming Locations For Weddings.”
6. Get Info From Organizations
If you are a member of any filming organisation, you can source info from your fellow members. Most of them are experts. You might be surprised to get a lot of referrals from these supporting organisations.
Show your appreciation by sending a “Thank You” e-mail to those who suggested filming sites, including independent film producers. In this way, you will get their support every time you need it.
If you are not a member yet, search support groups in social media or search engines to kickstart broadening your professional videography network.
Scouting for the most suitable filming location is an extensive and time-consuming venture. Finding a well-equipped filming location with all the logistics set in place is not always easy to come by. But, if you know the script and director’s expectations, you will be closer to the dream location you are looking for with the provided tips.
You can find premier filming locations through social media, search engines, and film organisations.