Filming is always taking place. The schedule for television, movies, commercials and parts of trailers can happen in a matter of hours. Reshoots are common. Permits and parking, access and liasion with local residents and neighbor hoods is necessary. This can be a costly hassle so directors and producers look for location shots to make their job easier. The image above would make an excellent space age set or contemporary Los Angeles scene.
Location shooting where I live (Burbank, California) is at a premium. Many places nearby like local businesses and publicÂ venues can be used for shooting scenes, but that unknown location is also great to discover. Many popular places are spoken for well in advance. It’s a little known fact when viewing a movie that every exterior location had to be organized, vetted, approved, and dressed. And that’s after the formal license application and logistics have been worked out.
Many obvious choices can work against new productions because they are too expensive or difficult to obtain on short notice. Images of available or accessible locations for various interior and exterior scenes are a microstock market all its own. The scene for a crowd of people, two people talking, or even one character following another from one side of a park to other side must be a location shoot with many unknown variable to contend with.
Location shots show what the location looks like at dawn,Â whether shooting outside or inside can work, and how much space is available to get equipment and props inside. Location shots reveal what windows and angles to inside and to outÂ what access roads looks like in natural light, shows extended atmosphere and long shot potential. Those establishing shots of places you see in films before the interior scene starts? Those probably started as location shots.
But places without defects in the background like wires, airplane noise, and bright lights or weird visual miscellaneous material can be hard to find. Location photographers can make this easier on producers by providing scout work in the form of location photography, and sometimes only someone living inÂ a particular city, town, or locale can get all the right shots.
Location photographers are looking in the film industry all the time to find the right location. Demand for outdoor venues must rule out large pedestrian crowds and vehicle traffic and noise. Special events and community calendars can hide ugly surprises. Rarely do they have the time to find the perfect location for every scene every time they read a script. But it’s handy to have someone furnish these shots before travel takes place.
The location photography is done to let the production staff know what toÂ expect. They will need immediate access to locations in an area close to all the actors and production staff and equipment with less than 24 hours notice. If another location falls through like a church or a school, they’ll need a backup. They may have five minutes to decide between Polaroids which backup to use based on availability and cost. Your shot could sell the gig.