The LocationOnce you’ve done your initial location scout, you and the art director will want to look at the locations one last time before you decide to film there. This is just one last check to make sure that everything is the way you want it, and also to see if anything has changed since you last visited. You could discover that a building has been pulled down, or someone has changed the garden that you really liked and wanted to get in the shot. Or you could find that everything is perfect and you are ready to shoot.

Once you’ve picked the location, you’ll want to go through the script and look at every line of dialogue and think about what angle you would like to shoot the scene from. This is the point where you will want to bring your production manager and director of photography in on the discussion. They will all have different views on the scene and the location, so it’s best to get together and have a discussion before you decide to start shooting.

Advantages of Locations

  • Nothing beats the real thing: No matter how good your art director is, he or she will never be able to build a set that can beat a real location. If we go back to the dining room in a mansion example, and actual dining room will have a much better feel than one that has been built in a studio.
  • Plenty of choice: You will probably find that unless you have an unrealistically detailed view on what kind of location you want, you will find several places that meet your needs. This way you can factor in other things, such as travel and space around the location to help you make your final decision.
  • Making changes: Many directors have been known to turn up at a location and completely change the way it looks to suit them. If you have enough room in the budget, you will be able to modify your surro

    Disadvantages of Locations

    undings so then any small problems can be easily fixed without effecting the realism.

  • Yet more money, money, money: Even though you’ve picked the location you want, the D.P. may have a problem with something in the shot. You could suggest a way of fixing it, but then it will become a matter of spending more money.
  • Location of the location: If you decide to film just outside the city, you might find that some members of the crew can get there easily, but it’s harder for some of the actors. You could suggest a hotel, but the one nearby could cost too much for the production manager’s comfort.
  • Lack of answers: The director of photography and the production manager will have a lot of questions they want answered whenever they turn up at the location. If you don’t have the answers they’re looking for, it might plant that seed of doubt in your head that will make you wonder if the location is right after all.

Setting The Scene

More and more films are now being shot on location instead of in a studio. This ironically is because of the demand for realism from the audience. They want to see real locations on screen, but they also want the sets and special effects to be so realistic that they cost too much for a low budget film.

No director can predict what kind of technical problems can arise during a production. All you can do is weigh up all your options and then decide what you think is best for the artistic vision you want on the screen. You’ll find that there are plenty of avenues for you to go down, and you just need to spend your money wisely. Don’t forget to include the producer, art director, production manager, and director of photography in your discussions so then you can collaborate to create the best look for your film.