Finding the right location is important to any film as it can give the most powerful and the most believable strength to a scene.
Therefore for credibility reasons choosing a location should be your favoured choice over a studio set that is, a film would be more believable if it were shot in a natural environment. For instance, you can use an apartment, the local park, cafes or everyday places for your shot.
But location finding or 'scouting' can be a tedious job so if you have the budget, hire a Location Scout. The Location Scout is the person who helps the director to bring the film’s vision to life. They go into the world and find the locations that collaborate with the film that s going to be made.
Fortunately, whether you have the budget or not, there are now a number of apps, websites, and tools available to assist in finding the right location, a few I found were;
Set Scouter - allows you to browse the online platform and connect with owners of homes, building and various sights.
Sunseeker Pro - is a valuable tool for cinematographers who want o plan shoots, find exact hours of sun exposure, directions and times for any location.
Wrapal - (like Set Scouter) helps you connect with property owners.
Studio Binder - has a free downloadable checklist. www.studiobinder.com
ScoutLog - is useful for location scouting, managing real estate properties, and a lot more.
And of course, Google Earth!
Using Google Earth means you can save a lot of time travelling the globe, your home town, anywhere. It allows you to explore worldwide imagery in 3D, check out cities, zoom in to doorways, streets alleyways etc. You can also measure the distance and area of potential location sites. And, it's totally free … amazing!
But remember even with all these available apps, be flexible and be creative — you don’t have to conform to the trends. A Western doesn’t have to be shot in the desert. A Crime Thriller doesn’t have to be shot at the back of a warehouse in the filthy alley and a Horror doesn’t have to be shot in an old dilapidated house.
And there you have it, I hope this will help you on your location Scouting journey.
*You can launch Google Earth in Chrome Web Browser