Location scouting is an important part of planning the shoot for both photographers and filmmakers. In this video, Jakob Owens of TheBuffNerds shares seven tips to help you become a location scouting pro. They will help you not only find an ideal location for your photos or videos, but also take into account all aspects that can be important for your project.
1. Scout at the right time
When you visit the location you want to shoot at, make sure to choose the right time of day. In other words, go there at the time of day when you’ll most likely be shooting. Go around the place and watch the sun. Think about where the sun will be throughout the day, and plan the shots accordingly.
2. Check the sounds
For some video work, it’s very important to pay attention to the sounds that can be heard at the location. So, listen: is there a lot of traffic? Is there any construction noise? Dogs barking, people talking…? Pay close attention to the sounds and memorize them. Or better yet, write them down.
3. Take photos of the location
When you’re out location scouting, always have the camera with you. It can be your smartphone, as long as it allows you to take shots that will be your visual reminder. Shoot both the interior and the exterior of the location. If you’re working with a team, share the photos with your crew, because it will make the planning way more efficient. This helps you figure out how you’re gonna shoot the scenes, and also how you’re gonna light them.
4. Check for power
While you’re at the location, don’t forget to check whether there’s power there and how much of it you can pull (if any at all). This helps to plan which lighting gear to bring and how to power it. In case there are no power options, you can work with the available light and plan on the modifiers you need to take. Or, work out the plan how to power the artificial lighting with generator and batteries.
5. Evaluate the area
If you plan to shoot in a remote area, make sure to check whether there’s good cell phone service at the location. Put the place in Google Maps precisely, and share the info with your cast and crew.
6. Take notes
I’m a big fan of notes and lists, and from what I’ve learned, so is Jakob. Taking notes helps you get organized and makes sure you don’t forget anything. So, while at the location, take notes of whatever you think your crew should know. Write down anything you want to check later, or anything you want to discuss with them. You can use a good old pen and paper, write stuff down on your phone, or send yourself email reminders. Whichever works for you.
7. Use Google Maps
Finally, don’t forget that you can scout some locations by only using Google Maps rather than physically driving around. This will save you some time (and fuel). So, use Google Maps and Google Street View to browse through the locations. Save the ones you like on the map, and then physically visit them for further inspection.
[How To Location Scout For Videos! | TheBuffNerds]