Getting the right location is just as important as cracking the concept, choosing the right equipment and casting the right actors. A few more hours spent thinking about location and the odd recce can save days of trying to make shots work when the magic just ain’t there – or dealing with unforeseen delays on set.
Read our top tips for choosing the right location below:
1. If you have to recce yourself – prioritise, then re-prioritise, at regular intervals. Before you leave, quickly identify the locations you need – and then get out there. Time can be quickly lost on a recce but re-assessing your requirement at regular intervals is essential. Don’t waste your time barking up the wrong tree.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask – whether its face-to-face or online, don’t be afraid to tell people what you need and when you need it. Pooling knowledge can get you to that perfect location quickly. When you’re on a recce, local knowledge is invaluable so speak to the farmer, the business owner, the passing cyclist etc. We’ve found numerous amazing locations that way. We’ve also found great locations by asking our friends on Facebook or Twitter, many of whom have been in the same situation before.
3. Be observant at all times – always have your location head on! Even when you don’t need a location – never forget a good location when you see one. Whenever we’re out enjoying ourselves we’re still looking around us, taking in our surroundings. It could be a park, nightclub or industrial wasteland viewed from a passing train but all these places could be just what you’re looking for to bring that next script to life. If you don’t have a good memory, make sure you take a picture and store it in a location file in the company Dropbox.
4. Permissions – understand when it’s best to get them. It’s not always necessary to get permission for a location as a lot of great work will be done on the fly. However, at Brickhouse our truly great work on location has been done where we’ve had permissions. That’s because we’ve prioritised the right scenes and inevitably more crew and production resources will be on hand. You don’t want the work you’ve put in jeopardised by an irate owner or proprietor so don’t overlook certain permissions, even if you take a hit financially.
5. Adapt to the weather – When you think you’ve found the perfect location start to think about how you’re going to make it look good. Weather changes everything, especially in the UK, so keenly watch the 5 day forecast and if it’s not doing what you want, postpone the shoot as early as you can. If you have to do it on a certain day, then re-organise the day to cater for breaks in the weather – outdoor locations when it’s sunny, indoor locations when it’s raining.