Location Scouts

There are times when a studio or backlot simply won’t do, and so when it comes to finding the perfect place to shoot your next on-location project, NEEDaFIXER is here to help.

We have a global location scout database available to help you find what you’re looking for within the UK and beyond. No matter the nature or scale of your film production, our location scouts are available to work with your brief and find the perfect place to bring your vision to life on the big or small screen.

How to pick the perfect location

There are a number of things to think about when deciding on where to shoot your next project, including:

~ Aesthetics and lighting
~ Logistics and feasibility of filming
~ Finances
~ Accessibility (for cast, crew and machinery)
~ Access to electrical and water
~ Filming permits, regulations and restrictions
~ Security

What does a location scout do?

A location scout works with the film’s pre-production team to find the most suitable place to shoot certain scenes.

Generally speaking, they’ll start with reading the script, and work under the direction of the film’s production unit along with anything outlined in the screenplay or script to find an area that would be the best place to film.

Of course, this is much easier said than done!

Narrowing down a great spot in terms of not just aesthetic but also logistics, safety, timing and obtaining permission to shoot can be a long and complex process. If films are being shot internationally, working across different continents, bureaucracy, time zones and language barriers can also present new challenges. If finding locations is the first half of a location scout job description, then dealing with shoots on location is the second.

Hours are often long as there can be unexpected issues that arise during the filming process. However, having a location scout can be hugely beneficial in terms of having someone with the knowledge and expertise necessary to handle these issues. Many location scouts have experience working on film sets in other capacities too, and so they have industry connections that can be of huge value to productions.

Why hire a location scout?

A location scout helps your pre-production schedule and planning by providing much-needed international expertise.

Their expertise can also make a big difference in the final look and feel of the images captured on camera. Most location scouts will have a strong network of industry contacts along with a strong portfolio of cities, countries and landmarks that can be suitable for use in a wide range of film projects. A film location scout will know the neighborhoods and regions of areas well, and they will often have experience working with local and national film commissions. They understand the intricacies of place, from how many hours of daylight there are in any given month to when the leaves begin to change colours. If you have a vision in mind, they can help find the ideal place to meet this vision, while open-ended briefs can result in a number of ideas being put forth.

One of the key benefits of working with this kind of professional is location scout photography. Not only do location scouts have a working understanding of the logistics of filming somewhere, but they also realise how important it is for the right feeling to be captured on screen. They’ll often take numerous photographs taking into consideration things like differing times of day and busyness, natural lighting, and frames/positioning in order to provide a comprehensive overview. Location scouts will also have a keen sense of compass directions which can help when organising things like the best time of day to shoot.

Of course, there are also the cost savings. It is not unusual for locations to double for others in film ; for example, Vancouver is often used in films to double for middle America as the costs of shooting in Canada are lower. A film location scout will be able to determine ways of still providing you with the finished film look you’re after aesthetically whilst potentially saving you money.

How NEEDaFIXER can help?

At NEEDaFIXER, we have contacts throughout our film fixer and location scout agency that can help with your upcoming project.

We have discovered production-ready places around the world suitable for use in feature films, TV commercials, feature films, documentaries, corporate videos, music videos and more. We have an amazing database of locations all around the world – simple provide us with your brief and we will find you the perfect location for your film and that suits your budget. With every country having their own film commission, council, rules and regulations, obtaining a film permit or even finding a location can be troubles. Our location scout London team and global teams have the vast experience and knowledge necessary to take care of securing the necessary filming permits and location permits in the quickest possible time.

Hiring a location scout FAQS

How much does it cost to hire a location scout?

Rates will vary depending on factors such as the length of hire or contract, along with the size and scope of the scouting required. This will also vary depending on whether the location scout is needed for the duration of the shoot or just in pre-production. Click here to enquire about the cost of hiring a location scout.

How do I choose the right location scout?

Selecting the perfect location scout will depend on a number of things, including:

~ Production budget
~ Level of desired experience
~ Fees and terms of engagement
~ Length of contract
~ Experience in scouting for your specific type of production

Are multilingual location scouts available?

Yes – NEEDaFIXER can put you in touch with location scouts who have experience working around the world with different film commissions across the world. Translation services are also available.

Do location scouts require and professional training or need any qualifications?

While no formal training is required, completing a health and safety training course is often recommended, as are courses in orienteering and photography.

Do I need to visit a suggested filming location prior to agreeing?

Of course, this decision lies with you and the production team, and also depends on the degree to which you trust the judgement of your location scouting team. Many producers or directors can be convinced by steller photography and videography that a location fits the bill if they have worked with that location team before.

Can a location scout find me a filming location in a different country?

Yes, of course! Location scouts are able to travel far and wide in search of the perfect shooting site and to report back with options that would be best suited to your requirements.

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