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The role of a location scout in the creation of a film is a very important one that can potentially make the difference in the quality of the final product. Their job often begins months before other aspects of the film have taken place, like casting and budget approvals.
They must determine which locations in the script are most important to film at and be able to make it happen within any budget and travel limitations. A lot of research must be done on location and by other means like the Internet and with photos of potential locations to get the right spots. Once a considerable amount of studying and documenting locations has been done, the process of narrowing down the best of the bunch will take place with the producers and director to determine which spots are worth visiting and moving forward with.
To find the right location to film the movie, it must be done within the given independence location scouts are allowed. If the entire shoot must be done in one city or in one general area, the scout has to be as creative as possible to make the most out of what is given to them. The more familiar a location scout is with the area they are working in, the easier it is for them to select great sites. Being familiar with architecture and time periods, will also help scouts locate good spots that match-up with the intent of the script. A local archive of locations (refered to as location libraries) can often be found in a particular city that will lead scouts to common settings that can be used, but a creative scout will need to make adjustments to the plans in order to fit their particular script.
Once a location scout has done the legwork to find the right locations to shoot at, the production phase of the film calls for locations scouts to become managers of these locations. The proper authorisation must be given by cities and property owners to film there and any police assistance must also be sorted out. There will be a large need for space to hold everything from wardrobes to film equipment that has to be near the filming location. Details like restrooms and parking have to be considered and taken care of and location scouts often find themselves in the middle of these tasks. Extra help will likely need to be hired to secure the scene and do things like moving gear from one spot to another. Being there when any concerns arise on the set, will also be a responsibility the location scout will have to be there for. Taking advantage of the many location databases that are available around the world that points location scouts to spots that are suitable for movies, can save a lot of time and effort.
Companies specialise in providing location sites and ideas to filmmakers that takes a lot of the work out of the early scouting duties. By using a combination of pre-selected locations and new spots that scouts have come across, can create a unique blend of sites that look great on film. Using good photos to review a location the scout has come across is a great way to see how it may translate to film and if it as wonderful when it has been recorded as it is in person. No matter how great a location looks in person and on film, if the other aspects of filming there do not work out like having cellphone service in the area or the ability to get all of the equipment to the location, then it will not work. Location scouts must be able to get a grasp on all of these concerns before filming can actually take place there.
The locations that you ultimately film your movie in should have character and charm, just like the actors playing their roles. The right locations can lead to breathtaking scenes and potential awards for those who found them. The small and large details of a location will make all the difference in how they look on film and the location scout has a huge role on putting it all together. When the process is done correctly, movie magic can be the result.