Cross-posted from the Sentient Cinema blog
I hope you’ve enjoyed our short series about what resources we’ve been using to grasp our roles as director and producer. I’ll be posting the third part, about the Writer’s Toolkit, later this week. Until then, I’d like to speak about a topic near and dear to my heart and a pain in my ass: locations!
The old Hollywood dictum holds true: choosing the correct locations is an important, sometimes stressful, endeavour.
Despite the general helpfulness of the books I listed in my Producer’s Toolkit post, the most difficult thing so far has been finding affordable locations. We are trying to do this first project, UPLDR, on as small as a budget as possible while still retaining the highest level of quality. Unfortunately, quality locations cost, and cost a great deal.
Before even starting the search, I would recommend you find out about insurance and permits. The first thing every site manager has asked me is about permits and insurance so brush up before even calling.
Insurance is rather easy to come by. I did a search using some names listed in my resource books but an online search is just as useful. We’re going through a company called Truman Van Dyke, who has provided friendly customer service and prompt feedback. You can check them out here: http://www.tvdco.com/
In regards to permits, since we’re planning to shoot in Los Angeles, we will more than likely need to go through Film LA for our permits. Their website is here but I would recommend calling. All states and most major localities have film commissions so it’s always best to check with them first if planning on doing formal location searches.
That’s the easy part.
The hardest so far has been finding actual locations to use. FilmLA has a useful site called LocoScout, which is your most affordable bet as a lot of it is state property and thus much much cheaper than private locations. For a broader service, that you can use nationwide, there is Reel-Scout. Much more hit and miss is using craigslist.
We are close to having all our locations in place though we are missing a key one in the form of our main character’s apartment. We’ll be shooting both day and night scenes there for about four days. Finding this one might depend on the most valuable resource, not only for film making but for support, our friends. Any of you visiting our site here and interested in supporting our efforts is considered a friend. So, if you know anyone in the Los Angeles area that might have an apartment / house available for shooting in January, please get in touch.
That wraps it up for this intro to locations. I’ll have a lot more info to give about the specifics once we start locking things down. Keep an eye on the blog the next few days as we have the “Writer’s Toolkit” post coming up with some invaluable links as well as ramping up to the release of our teaser.
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