Scouting Tips


IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Any good websites or online sources for location scouting? Pretty new to filmmaking and not really sure where to start.
There are many.

Most are regional not national. So if you're in St. Louis a location
service in Austin won't help you much.

How about telling us where you will be shooting? Maybe we can
If you ask vague questions you are going to get vague answers. As they (used?) to say in computer programming parlance - GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The requirements of every project are unique. The primary restriction on any project is the budget. After the initial preproduction of your script you should have a solid idea of your location budget. As noted, Google is your friend here. Your problem, as you are "Pretty new to filmmaking and not really sure where to start," is going to be your budget. The cost of the locations themselves, insurance (as mlesemann has already pointed out), transportation, security and whatever expenses are mandated by each individual location.

So unless you have respectable amounts of cash to throw around you are going to have to go "true indie," using whatever locations you can find locally and trying to convince the property owners that they should allow you and your crew on to their property.

BTW, after preliminary scouting (the selection of possible locations) a second round should be made which includes your DP, production designer, transportation captain, production manager/line producer, and production sound mixer. They will have very important insights as to why or why not a specific location should be used.

So, step back and take a really hard objective at your project and your resources, then return here with more directed questions.
Film commissions

The film commissions of your prospective locale are good resources. Many times they have pictures of previously used locations loaded already on their website along with what film used it and in what year. One website had before and after pictures (the raw space and the way the space looked in the film).