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At the very beginning of every project there are a lot of choices and decisions to be made. All those decisions carry a lot of weight to them, and they all accumulate to the outcome of the final product. Today, I want to cover one of those decisions that plays a major role in your production. That decision is…location.

Location is KING! Where you decide to film can literally make or break your production. It’s the backdrop to your movie, commercial, or scene after all. It is where you will have your actors and models interact and create this alternate world. Not to mention, it’s where you will be spending all your time filming at, so you want to make sure ​​it meets your criteria so your shoot will be a success. As you can see, it is crucial that you secure the right location or locations for your production.

To do that you need to get very clear on what it is you are working on and what your overall style of video you want to create is. By getting clear on the style and type of video, you will get a much better understanding of what it is you are looking for when you are out location scouting, and will easily be able to recognize ​​it when you come across it. Location scouting can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, here are some questions to ask to help you narrow down the search and find the best location possible for your shoot.

Questions to ask when you are scouting locations:

  • What kind of video am I filming?
  • What is the style/mood I’m going for and does this location represent that?
  • What is my script/story/shoot about? Does this location express that?
  • Does this location have good acoustics, or will getting clean audio be difficult?
  • Does this location have good natural lighting? Or do I need to pack different lighting gear to accomplish the look I want?
  • Are there power outlets nearby to charge my gear?
  • Is there easy access to and from this location?
  • Is this location within my budget?
  • Do I need to get special permission to film here?
  • Can I film multiple scenes here or is this location only going to accomplish one scene.

By answering these questions, you will be more confident in finding the best location for your shoot. Not every location is going to check off all the boxes, but the location that checks off the most boxes is most likely going to be the best fit for you and your shoot.

I always suggest you tour the location in person rather than virtually, and to bring your camera, or phone with you to get some test video clips, as well as to take some photos. These photos and video clips will be very helpful to reference back to when planning out your shoot.

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