View Full Version : Location securing?

12-15-2004, 07:06 AM
What's usually the best way to approach a place you want to shoot at if you have no budget?

12-15-2004, 07:51 AM
Work around there needs not yours. See if you can shoot after hours. If you shoot for example when a store is open. Make sure that they can still do business. Nothing is worse too a business owner to give away a location and also lose money on sales.

Stay out of there way as much as possible. Plan your shots so you can be in an out as soon as possible.

I know you won't have a big crew, but limit the number of people who can go into the location.

Many people love the idea of a crew coming in and then hate it when they leave.

I hope this helps.

Figure this all out and just go ask. All they can say is no.

12-15-2004, 08:09 AM
Thanks very much! I'm shooting this in February. When i get it done i will post it on the board for everyone to see

12-15-2004, 09:57 AM
I recently shot part of a training video where we had to shoot in a flower shop. We went with a bare minimum crew and hid all non-essential gear in a back room.

We shot mainly in areas where we wouldn't be in the way. We needed a couple of scenes when the store was open, but the rest was shot after close. We even bought a few flower arrangements as props, so they were happy and we got a great location for really cheap.

12-15-2004, 01:41 PM
Also -- GET ALL YOUR SHOTS THE FIRST TIME. Because they'll never let you back in. ;)

12-15-2004, 01:58 PM
Also try to put across as much as possible on how they are helping you. Make them feel like a part of the team.

I have always instructed a couple crew members to thank the owners at different times, usually when we first go in, then in the middle or towards the end.

Also, I am very, very hardcore when it comes to the crew being very careful carrying equipment in and out. I usually like to have them first lay down a sound blanket or something and then put the equipment on that. Make it an exaggerated show, you might need them to do something later on, like turn off the air conditioner or something.

Bringing a small gift with a handwritten card is a nice touch too.

As far as getting locations, just ask. Try to find businesses that are closed at least one day a week.

If not, shoot after hours. Before hours kinda stinks because you are working against a ticking clock.

Also, offer to pay for an employees time. Usually the owner will have at least one employee who is trusted. Get with the owner and that employee and talk to them about staying with the place while you shoot there and you pay their wages for the day.

Of course, that works best in coffee shops and record stores where the people don't make much.

And lastly, follow through. Thank them after the film is done. Give them a copy. Invite them to the screening, whatever. You never know when you might need that place again.

12-15-2004, 02:59 PM
Also also, having a location release with all your contact information helps project you as a serious, responsible filmmaker.

Jim Brennan
12-16-2004, 12:33 PM
All good advice. I've never been turned down to use a location. I've sometimes nixed one because of scheduling/availability. But after a year and a half, and securing a couple dozen locations, no one has ever told me "no". Maybe that's because here in Colorado it's a novelty. I promise them credit, a copy, and then I give them my business and direct my cast and crew to do the same. I tell them to mention it whenever they go in to buy something. And I do provide them with a liability waiver, which also has a clause that they are giving me permission to shoot there.

Erik Olson
12-17-2004, 01:22 PM
Like baquakim said, your crew's conduct on the load-in and load-out should be a major concern when actually using a location. *I worked on a show that had about twenty practical locations each week and we always put down layout board on wood and stone floor surfaces. *Showing up early to prep and protect the location prior to load-in shows professionalism and concern for your impact on the people who extend you courtesy. *This all seems like no-brainer stuff, but when you're "chasing daylight" it can be easy to forget such niceties!

Folding a sheet of layout board around wall corners in high-traffic areas also diminishes or alleviates those grip equipment versus sheetrock accidents we're all familiar with! *

Always allow your location contacts access to the set and the personnel within safe and equitable reason. *Many people find the production process intriguing - at least for a short while. *Letting your contacts interact with the team and take part in craft service or meals brings them into the process and gives them something fun to tell their friends about at the end of the day.

If damage of any kind is done, it is important that YOU approach your location contact before they come looking for you. *If you are shooting without insurance, you'll need to manage risk and damage to your very best capacity. *Term insurance is available for third-party property damage, but can be brutally expensive and is usually a rider on a larger all-encompassing policy.

For a nice touch on the way out, provide your location contact with a storebought "thank you" card with cast and crew "autographs" and invitations to a future screening of the show once it's done. *If you're in someone's place for free for an extended period of time, a gift certificate for a nice dinner or tickets to the theatre are usually much-appreciated!