The Art of Location Scouting


 As someone who's been in the video production game for a while now, I've come to appreciate the often-overlooked but absolutely crucial aspect of the craft: location scouting. It's not all about fancy cameras, expensive lighting setups, or high-end editing software. Nope, it starts with finding the right place to shoot. So, let's dive into the world of location scouting, shall we?

What's Location Scouting, Anyway?

Location scouting is like hunting for treasure. Only, instead of gold doubloons, you're on the lookout for the perfect backdrop for your next masterpiece. It's the process of searching for, evaluating, and selecting the ideal spots to film your video. It's about finding places that not only fit your vision but also work practically for your shoot.

Why Bother with Scouting?

Now, you might be thinking, "Can't I just film wherever and fix it in post?" Well, sure, you can, but let me tell you, the amount of time, effort, and money you'll save by finding the right location ahead of time is worth its weight in, well, gold doubloons.

The Essentials of Location Scouting

  1.     Know Your Script: Before you even think about scouting locations, you should have a deep understanding of your script and the vision you want to bring to life. The location should complement the story, not distract from it.
  2.     Scour the Internet: The internet is your best friend when it comes to location scouting. Websites like Google Maps, Instagram, and even Pinterest can give you a good sense of potential locations. You can also check out film location databases for inspiration.
  3.     Visit in Person: Virtual scouting can only take you so far. Once you've identified a promising location online, get out there and see it in person. Things like noise, lighting, accessibility, and even the vibe of the place are hard to gauge from behind a computer screen.
  4.     Permits and Permissions: Don't forget to check if you need permits or permissions to film at your chosen location. The last thing you want is a run-in with the law while you're in the middle of a shoot.
  5.     Consider Logistics: Think about how easy it is to get your crew and equipment to the location. Is there enough space for your gear? Is it safe for your team? These practicalities matter more than you might think.
  6.     Weather Watch: Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so be mindful of the weather conditions at your chosen location. A sunny beach scene can quickly turn into a rain-soaked disaster.
  7.     Budget Wisely: Keep your budget in mind. Some locations can be pricey, and you don't want to blow your entire budget on a fancy locale if it's not absolutely necessary for your story.

The Location Scouting Process

Okay, so now you've got a rough idea of what to do. Here's a basic rundown of how to go about it:

  •     Research: Start by researching potential locations online.
  •     Narrow it Down: Based on your research, narrow down your options to a few top contenders.
  •     Visit in Person: Go check out these locations in person, armed with your script and a keen eye.
  •     Document Everything: Take photos, make notes, and record all the important details about each location.
  •     Evaluate: Assess each location based on how well it fits your script, the logistics, and your budget.
  •     Make Your Decision: Choose the location that ticks all the boxes.

Final Thoughts

Location scouting might not be the most glamorous part of video production, but it's undoubtedly one of the most critical. Finding the right location can make or break your project. At Rocket House Pictures we take our time while using our years of experience,  do the research for you, and find the perfect location for your next project. It's all part of the art of making movie magic happen. 

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