A film’s location sets the scene for the story and is regarded as one of the most important characters in a film script. Choosing the right location for your project could make or break it. However, finding the perfect location is far from easy – it takes thorough research as well as time. While the requirements and nuances are bound to differ as per the film’s storyline, here are a few points to make sure the basics are covered.
Understand The Purpose
Each film has its individual purpose, which is derived from the story you want to tell. Understanding the end-goal gives you the first direction for selecting a location. Some stories need to be filmed in outdoor sites, some indoors and others in a combination of the two. Once you have understood this
requirement, you are ready to look for or “scout” a location for your film.
For obvious reasons, noise is an important factor to consider when choosing an outdoor film location. It is easy to miss out on checking for ambient sounds, such as the whooshing of traffic, the white noise of moving water, and the echoes of voices and movements. All these can ruin high-quality
audio. Make sure you run a preliminary test for your microphone. The results will help you gauge the level of interference you can expect. Another factor you must consider is the accessibility of the outdoor location. It should be sufficiently easy to reach for you and your crew, if you have one.
Space, and the lack thereof, is a pressing concern when it comes to selecting an indoor shooting location. When scouting for such, keep in mind how much space you need to allocate to your equipment.
Visit The Site Many Times
A location may seem perfect at the first glance, but it is good to remember that conditions such as light and noise can change drastically throughout the day. This is why you will need to visit your shortlisted locations multiple times in the day before you can finalise. In the case of outdoor locations, you will need to consider a few more factors such as weather, availability of power supply and terrain-related limitations.
Permits And Permissions
Be aware that you’ll need to secure permits and other legal permissions to shoot at certain locations. While it may seem intimidating at first, it is not so in reality. Most owners of private are accommodative. For public spaces, you may need to contact the local authorities.
The type of location does have a bearing on the kind of camera you will need. A DSLR or mirrorless camera is your best bet. Canon’s EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera is one of the best camera for cinematography in the market right now. Be sure to run tests for all your cameras at the location to understand potential advantages and limitations.
It is likely that you will visit many locations before zeroing in on the perfect one. It is useful to take pictures and write down points about each location as and when you see it. Later, you can compare the notes you’ve taken to make an informed decision.
Finally, it is best to start scouting for a location as early on in the project as possible. It can be challenging, but with enough patience, resourcefulness and creative thinking, you will be able to pick location that is both within your budget as well as your artistic vision.