It can be very hard finding good film locations. Especially cheap film locations! Below we’ve outlined some of the methods we use to find film locations that are cheap, practical and just… you know perfect! Have a look and start scouting for your location!
And of course check out if its already on http://quicklocs.com/
(Or contact us with your brief/budget/needs we’re out scouting this month anyway, so we’ll let you know if we find something suitable: http://quicklocs.com/contact/ )
1) Know your story!
What are you looking for? What does the director want? What is this magical castle in the sky going to look like? Be clear on what you want. Define exactly what you’re looking for; use Google, pictures mood boards, whatever you need. If you know what you are looking for you’re way more likely to find it! (Or to communicate what you want). Goes without saying really… But there I said it!
2) Know your budget!
That beautiful floating castle might be perfect… But if you’re an independent filmmaker there’s a good chance you don’t have the fifteen pots of gold it costs to rent! So make sure you keep it realistic. Compromise and be creative, sometimes you can end up with a cheaper location that is better than that super sexy castle you wanted! Also don’t be afraid to contact holiday rentals/and short-term rental services like https://www.spareroom.co.uk/. You might be able to get a nice deal! (There’s also plenty of locations that are free in London, contact your local film office and they should help you!)
Ps: sometimes more expensive locations will make a deal with you if they’re not busy, so make sure to try… Just always have a plan b!
3) Get in the trenches
Now its time to start the search! What do you do?
First, Google around to find areas that have the type of places you want, Google street view is a great and CHEAP way to get a lay of the land so to speak and it saves both time and tube fare! Once you’ve decided on an area that seems to have the right look, feel and type of properties its time to target different properties and make enquiries. You can do this by going door to door, finding the address and then looking up their phone number. Or just buzz on the door. The key thing is to have a battle plan, have a few options, at least 5-10 properties that seem suitable before going in.
Note: We oftentimes get better results in person, on the phone people might mistake you for a phone-marketer and hang up!
4) Is it practical?
Once you’ve found the location that has the perfect look and feel you have to summon your inner producer. Is this a practical location? Is the light bright enough? Where does the sun rise and set? Is there enough parking? Can the crew fit in and do they have sufficient power supply? Look around to find areas of the property that you can designate as kit spaces and make sure there is enough room for your production to fit in. Check if there are any shops nearby and if there’s good transport links. All of these things are vital to a successful shoot and if you can figure it out while scouting locations, well that would be pretty great!
5) Let the locations surprise you!
This last point might contradict the first one slightly. But it happens all the time. You have an idea of what you want, then while out on the streets you see something different. But perfect! So while you should do as much as possible to know what you want, you also need to be open to new ideas. Let the locations surprise you!
If you can’t find what your looking for, give it a search on the website (http://quicklocs.com/) If you still can’t find it you’re in luck. Over the next month we’re sending scouts across the London area finding a huge variety of locations so if you send us a brief with what you’re needs are and your budget we’ll notify you if our scouts find anything (since we’re so nice, we are doing this for free… Already out scouting anyway) Good Luck!