7 Tips for film Location Scouting

Question

7 Tips for Location Scouting in Tanzania: Follow these tips the next time you go out to find the perfect spot to film:

  1. Time your visit properly. Scout possible locations at the same time of day that filming will take place so you can see what it will look like under the right lighting conditions. Listen for any ambient sound that is present at that time of day.
  2. Take notes. Always carry a notebook with you to jot down any thoughts or observations while scouting a location.
  3. Have a contact at each location. Whether it’s the location owner or a representative of the owner, make sure you have a contact to work with at each location you scout. If you end up choosing that site, you will need to coordinate with that person to ensure a smooth shoot day there.
  4. Take photos and videos. Take photos of the location to share with the director and production designer. Take a video on your phone to capture the light and pick up any sounds you might not notice. In fact, if you’re a location manager, snap photos of any interesting places you stumble across in your daily life and note their address—even if you’re not actively looking for a location. They might become new locations for future video productions.
  5. Have your permit handy. If you’re filming out and about in New York or Los Angeles, where local authorities are film-savvy, have your permit available in case anyone asks to see it.
  6. Double up. If a location is big enough, or has both an interior and exterior area, check your script to see if you can film more than one part of the story in different areas of the same location. It will reduce movement during filming and save money.
  7. Consult satellite imagery of locations. Even if you’ve scouted a location in person, use Google Maps to check out the location and its surroundings. Is there a school or an airport nearby that might create audio interference? Cover all your bases before you book your location.
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