As expert filmfixers, NEEDaFIXER know all there is to know about producing films, screen plays and documentaries.  

From talent sourcing to budget planning and set design, we can help with all aspects of your film shoot.

One of the roles involved in the creation of a film is, of course, that of the location scout.

And there is far more to it than simply finding an interesting location for a shoot…

What is the location scout?

The location scout, or location manager, has a vital role in the putting together of a movie. The primary importance of the location scout’s job is in the pre-production part of the filmmaking.

Their specific job is to make sure the filming location matches the vision of the director. The location scout will need to consider the demands of the movie in question and find an area that fits the bill.

They will then need to work out the feasibility of filming here and other logistical information, such as transport, accommodation, whether a film permit is needed and more.

What skills should location scouts possess?

A location scout should be confident at networking, communicating and negotiating.They will be required to find out a lot of information about a given area, as well as find out how much it will cost to shoot there.

Being multilingual could perhaps be advantageous when shooting abroad.

A location scout should have an element of creativity, and able to find a real place for the film director’s vision.

Not easy-but someone’s gotta do it!

A location scout should have a good eye for locations, as well as a cultural awareness. They should not waste too much time researching locations that will be unsuitable for filming. They’ll also need to be able to speak with locals and convince them that filming there will be good for the local area and will bring finances to the area.

Therefore, location scouts should be personable, in addition to logistical.

Do you need a degree to become a location scout?

While a degree in the film industry or a logistical degree can be beneficial in order to establish yourself as a location scout, it is not always necessary.

Sometimes experience in the industry speaks volumes in comparison to a qualifying degree.

How do you become a location scout?

There is no set procedure to becoming a location scout. It can often be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Becoming a location scout is possible for those who already work in the film industry, and those who don’t.

For those working in the film industry already, they will no doubt be pushed towards location scouting if they’ve got an interest in seeking out interesting locations.

If you don’t work in the film industry currently, it is a good idea to get yourself a job working in a film crew. That will give you an insight into how the industry works.

Ideally, you’ll want to work alongside the film crew members working on the logistical side of filming.

That way, you’ll learn the location aspect of filming before you take on the responsibility of a film location scout.

It doesn’t come easy.

Expect long hours and jobs that are anything but glamorous. While there is no promise these jobs will lead to establishing yourself as a location scout, working hard and keeping determined can definitely help when it comes to landing your dream scout position.

Don’t rule out small productions.

Getting your foot in the door in small production companies can help get your foot in the door for larger productions.

Basically, seize any opportunity you get and be prepared to work hard.

Very hard.

What is the difference between a location scout and location manager?

The location scout and location manager are indeed two separate jobs. They can be done by the same person but this is not often the case.

The location scout works on the pre-production phase of the film, mostly researching the destinations online before visiting. The scout will then take photos of the location for the production team to look over.

The location manager you could argue is slightly higher on the hierarchy scale than the location scout.

The location manager oversees all the production on location and organises film permits and negotiates with local organisations. They also find local talent for the cast and crew, and oversee the project on-location.

The location manager works on location during the shoot, working with the production co-ordinator and unit manager.

How much does a location manager make?

A location manager would generally work on a contracted, freelance basis and, as a result, earnings vary from manager to manager.

It is unsurprising that larger productions will have a bigger budget to pay location managers than smaller ones.

Can NEEDaFIXER provide a location scout or location manager?

We work with expert location scouts and location managers that possess all the skills required of a successful location manager.

Rates will vary depending on the length of time you’re hiring, the scale of the film and the experience of the candidate.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to enquire about our location scouts or indeed any other of our film crew roles.