7 Tips for Scouting The Perfect Location
Born and raised under the neon lights of Las Vegas, Kristen Ohiaeri has always been inspired by her surroundings. After growing up with an enormous passion for storytelling, she majored in journalism. When moving to San Francisco, she discovered that film/videography was a much more accessible and rapidly-evolving medium to convey messages and spread ideas. Eventually, Ohiaeri implemented these tools to greatly expand her storytelling, working on documentaries, independent films, and online video. We talked to the successful videographer and location scout, asking for her best advice when it comes to determining a venue.
1. Get a script ahead of time
A script or shoot concept dictates the environment that a location scout is seeking. Make sure that you have this profile and set of needs. This will make it much easier to find a location based on those specifics, helping you to narrow down options from an enormous location catalog or long list of venues
2. Find a variety of lighting options
When I look at lighting in a space, I look at natural lighting as well as the ability to allow for lighting equipment.
3. Determine availability of food/drink
Depending on the size of the production, I tend to look for locations with space to serve food to a crew, or that at least have dining options nearby. I also consider a location’s access to water.
4. Think about sound
The quality of sound is important, as well as ambient sound. Traffic noises, close proximity to airports, and echoing of voices are all examples of background noise that can disrupt voice and sound recording.
5. Consider amenities
I check for power supplies, bathrooms, and available room for equipment. I also inquire about a space’s cell reception and wifi service.
6. Figure out parking options
I need to know if there is parking for crew and equipment trucks. Otherwise, I have to find out if I’ll have to secure permits and other legal permissions for parking and street access. Accessibility is important.
7. Document possible locations
As I inquire about the many facets of a location, I am always taking pictures and/or videos of the space. This way, I can share the footage with directors and producers so that a location selection can be easily made.
Words by Katie Roscoe