View Full Version : Which location?

01-18-2012, 07:46 PM
Ok, I am scouting locations. I have 2 potentials. Here's the first one.

Pros: I have full reign any day, any time... I can redesign, redecorate, add, take away. Anything I want to do to it, that isn't rebuilding it.. I can do.
There's already alot of period furniture in there, period kitchen. Its secluded, and Power can be turned on at a utility pole easily for the duration of the shoot for little money.

Cons: Its smaller, and all the rooms are connected. There are no hallways. The road is pretty close to the house so there isn't a whole lot of "yard".

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/386489_287620664623725_233665073352618_875624_9820 85843_n.jpg

Option 2 is a little further away from my central shooting location.


Pros: Two Stories, and very creepy looking. Has more rooms and probably has hallways (haven't been inside it yet).

Cons: Privately owned and will have to get permission (already made contact, but have not heard back yet). This means we will probably have limited access,
if we get access at all. We probably won't be able to do alot of redecorating or bring in set dressing (but we might? who knows). Not sure this one matches the period this would have been in (mid/late 1900s). Not sure about power, and its in the middle of town... on a main road (noise would potentially be a big issue on exterior shots), and we'd have to creatively shoot to make this look like its in the middle of nowhere, because in reality its not.

Now, what I'm shooting is a "thriller" haunting style movie. Where a group of people are camped out in this old house, and weird stuff starts happening. They are there a total of 4 days, so the location has to be interesting enough to hold the attention of a viewer for about 45-50 minutes of the film. Thoughts? ideas?

01-18-2012, 07:48 PM
here's a different angle of option 1..

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/382596_287629164622875_233665073352618_875662_1860 117618_n.jpg

01-18-2012, 09:21 PM
You'll need to know all those unknowns about location 2 before you can decide.

But I agree that location 2 looks more promising as a classic haunted house. If nothing else, location 1 looks rather small for many characters to be running around in - presuming it's not practical to artificially extend it to make a bigger looking house.

Hmm, another possibility is to use both - just the outside of 1 (although access to at least the entrance would also be good), and the inside of 2, especially for any practical stunts with collapsing walls/floors/ceilings etc. Some rooms could each act as multiple locations, by shooting in opposing directions and a bit of set dressing - that takes careful planning though.

01-18-2012, 09:34 PM
Yeah, this isn't going to be a "running around" style haunting.. vs. a "legit" paranormal type haunting.

A bigger house ultimately will be better, but i thought about extending house #1 by either reusing rooms or meshing it together with rooms from another location to give the illusion that its bigger. the pictures actually make it look smaller than it is.

01-18-2012, 09:36 PM
I had a similar problem when I did a short film many years ago when I was in high school.
I was shooting at an abandoned 'Shack' which was really a house, similar to the first one. The Outside looked amazing!
But the inside was impossible to get into. It was completely destroyed and cluttered. But there was another abandoned house just down the road. The outside was horrible, but the inside was perfect!

So, we used the outside of one, and the interior of the other one.

I really like the second house. But, you need to know if you can get it.
I like the first one too. And the long road to it.

The 1st is like a Thriller type place. With a serial killer. The second one is more of a creepy horror with demons or something like that.

If both places are accessible, It also depends on your story. If its a ghost thriller type, Id say #2 (If you can) If its a murder/killer/kidnapper thriller, Id say #1

01-19-2012, 03:37 AM
Yeah, its basically an old southern ghost story "retelling" about this group of researchers who camp out there to help a friend discover the mystery behind it. Its not so much straight horror vs. supernatural happenings/thriller.

The 2nd one seemed more appropriate for that, but I did also get the feeling that it had a "texas chainsaw massacre" sort of feel to it. I mean, if it came down to it.. I think either would work out, its just that the 2nd one has a more unique look going for it. There's challenges in using both though..

the 2nd one has the added issues of lots of noises in the area, and the fact that for any exterior shots we can't show anything but the house in the background due to it being in the middle of town.

I liked the 1st one because of how secluded it is, and in the story noone has lived here in years and its supposed to be in the middle of nowhere.... realistically a BIG house like that would have never been in the middle of nowhere.. even though the one in texas chainsaw massacre sort of is.

Doc Bernard
01-19-2012, 09:00 AM
Just based on the criteria you gave, and the pros/cons, I would be leaning towards #1. I have this thing about "too on the nose" looks. I like non-descript type of looks that help me think, "wow, this could happen anywhere". The second one says it's a horror/thriller/etc.

Plus at #1, you have the run of the place. Which is important. Been on films where the property owner decided they weren't getting enough $$, and started demanding more in the middle of the shoot, despite having a location contract. Made the shoot miserable, and we finally left.

EDIT: make sure either of them are safe to have a crew and cast in them. They both look a little unsafe from the outside. Moreso the second one. Multi-story derelict houses can become very unstable over time.

01-19-2012, 11:21 AM
Thanks Doc. I've gotten a few opinions, and I get sort of the same vibe. The second one is OBVIOUS haunted house material, which would sort of give away whats going to happen.. I mean, yeah its haunted.. look at it! The first one is not as small as it looks, but all of the rooms are connected. I've already been inside it, and know that its sound. There's one problem area that is closed off, and I may either have it repaired, or just keep it closed off and film the bathroom stuff somewhere else. The closets are huge, and the rooms are fairly large. Big closets are good for haunted house tricks. There's already alot of period furniture and stuff inside. It just needs to be cleaned up.. I have a crew of volunteers willing to help do that.

Here's a few more pictures of the inside..

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/381119_287620387957086_233665073352618_875616_1502 05327_n.jpg

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/392319_287620517957073_233665073352618_875618_1859 381192_n.jpg

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/389453_287620537957071_233665073352618_875619_1849 217767_n.jpg

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/399105_287620557957069_233665073352618_875620_4549 83403_n.jpg

An idea of how big it actually is..

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/382991_287620854623706_233665073352618_875629_1794 708502_n.jpg

Ken Hull
01-19-2012, 11:46 AM
The second house definately has more "character". Use it if you can get it. Record sound while shooting, but make sure the actors will be available for foley work.

BTW, bring a couple fire extinguishers to the shoot. Those houses look like fire traps!

- Ken

01-19-2012, 08:19 PM
That's a good point re the look - instead of the characters' first reaction being "ooh, what a creepy looking house", perhaps it should be "what a lovely old house for our holiday", so that you can get more drama of the house later turning 'bad'. Depends on your plot structure, of course...

01-20-2012, 04:03 AM
While the bigger house is more of the "awesomely spooky" type, I kind of like the smaller one, and can imagine it fitting some stories and characters better (which should always be the first consideration even on over-the-top genre-films). Anyway I wouldn't comment on that without really knowing the story and backstory of the characters.

Size is super important though. If you can not fit a camera in the rooms to get proper angles, it will look crap no matter how nicely decorated it is. This depends on the lenses and camera; if you are going for the long lens - narrow depth of field, you need a lot of space between camera and subject. Same goes for lights, you might be in trouble setting up proper lights if there is too little space or if the ceiling is too low. The connected rooms might be more of a pro than con, as it enables nice angles and depth, and if you see rooms in the background that don't fit into the fictional floorplan/story, those issues are usually easy to work around.

Egg Born Son
01-20-2012, 07:01 AM
I like the first one. It's surroundings sell me on it as much as the house itself. The second one being a little more obvious is not necessarily a bad thing. But the first one looks more isolated and the surrounds are drab with a dirt road and scraggly, life-starved surrounds seemingly on the verge of decay. The background sits well with and enhances the abandonned look of the building. If you can film at the location while it still looks like in the photos with barren fields and bare trees might suggest that the spirits are drawing life from the environment. The second one, from that one photo the surrounding vegetation is lush and green and doesn't reflect the presence of negative energy. Without seeing the other angles I would guess its the old decaying building letting the whole street down. I think by physically removing your characters from all connection to the modern world, when they enter the special world your movie will inhabit it will be much more effective. Plus the furnishings are a bonus and give it a realistic character. Love that chair.

01-20-2012, 08:34 AM
Well I got access to both locations :)

The inside of location 2 is 100% sound. Probably more sound than location 1.

I'm thinking about using both. I have a character who is a "hermit" type character, who lives "close" to the haunted house as sort of a guardian to keep people off the property.

Thinking about giving him house 1.. and making house 2 be our main haunt location.

01-20-2012, 12:46 PM
You could really play with the audience's heads by:
- characters (and audience) see house 2 and apparent lunatic hermit first, and assume he and house 2 are evil/dangerous
- they escape to 'safety' in house 1, only later to discover their terrible mistake
- (but you still film the interiors in house 1 for convenience with the hallways etc)