Location Filming – What You Need To Know

Film and video production on location will always present a variety of logistical challenges that need to be overcome to ensure a successful shoot. Here’s a an 8-point check list outlining what every film and video producer needs to know.


Film and video production on location will almost always present a variety of logistical issues. From filming in contributor's houses to filming outdoors or in a foreign country, where you choose to shoot and how you prepare for the conditions can make or break a production.

Wherever your shoot may be taking place a simple check-list should always be drawn up as a guide when considering your filming locations:

1.    Recce: In these days of fast turnaround and lower budget productions, recces can prove few and far between, but if possible make sure you go and visit where you will be filming and if that is not possible, ask as many questions as possible to get to know the location beforehand.

2.    Access/Parking: Whatever size the crew, they will need to know if they can park nearby and how much it will cost. Problems with this can eat into valuable shooting time. Larger crews may require use of a field or special parking arrangements. It is possible to reserve spaces even in central London for filming, although this does come at a price and can be arranged through the council’s film or events office.

3.    Power: Access to sockets? Need for a generator or is it battery only? Failure to research this properly can mean a shoot may not place at all.

4.    Utilities: If there is a cast, they will need somewhere to get ready. For cast or crew, access to refreshments is very important – even if it’s a location gazebo (bound to come down in a breath of wind so prepare yourself) and after all the hot tea you’re providing, a nearby toilet is essential. Town/Village Halls are great to hire as a base for the crew.

5.    Noise/Light: Interviews on location can be ruined by things you wouldn’t expect to be noisy, but which actually are. Watch out for humming vending machines, whining air conditioning, or rooms next door to canteens which can burst into a concerto of banging crockery, scraping chairs and percussive cutlery. Light considerations are important too – is the natural light going to be sufficient or should special lighting be provided?

6.    Equip for Conditions: You need to know what you’re going to be in for to get the best shots possible, but also make sure you protect your equipment. High humidity or heavy rain or sub zero temperatures can all effect equipment differently and may ruin all your hard work.

7.    Risk Assessment: By law you need to demonstrate that you have assessed the hazards, and reduced the likelihood of there being risk associated with your activity.

8.    Fees/Permissions: Some council authorities regulate filming in their areas. If you want to film on a pavement its best to check. For areas like Westminster in London, they have a strict 5 days notice policy and a small fee for administrating the application. Forms can usually be found on the council websites under filming or events.

There is rarely a single location which has all the elements needed for perfect filming conditionsFind Article, it’s a case of weighing them up and preparing for the difficulties. And if you can’t get around them then think creatively and adapt – a process which could actually enhance the story.

Author: Christiaan Harden
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com