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Admin 08 Jun 2018

Things you should remember when you plan a Recce/Location Scouting

Selecting the perfect location is the first profound step on the path to a successful shoot.
Every Filmmaker have had that disastrous shoot, where the memory card filled up or the battery died at exactly the wrong moment, and we vowed never to let it happen again. But there's one kind of readiness you might not have thought of, and of course it's as essential as keeping spare SD cards and batteries. Yes scouting locations is as important as keeping the batteries and SD cards in spare, a vital and much important pre-production step that will help you meet almost any challenge when you plan to work on shoot for your project. 
So we are here with several tips that will help you make things better for your next film project
Make sure that there's sufficient space for you to set up all of your gears, so that you're able to get the shots you have in mind. When you are scouting for a potential location, remember look for enough space always for the lights and the camera and the small group of people who will sit behind the monitor. If you’re carrying camera such as the Arri Alexain this scenario you might also need to make allowances for the size of camera track you will need. 
Listen carefully!
While scouting the location, keep your ears on and listen to the surroundings carefully. Though clean, high-quality sound is critical in making a video that rises above the ordinary, but sometimes there may be a requirement of noisy location. Hence hear all possible sounds coming from the surrounding.
The soothing noise of moving water, and the echoes of voices and movements can all get in the way of high-quality audio. When you scout a location, check for any of these conditions by listening to your camcorder's microphone pickup through headphones. 
Locations like restaurants, bars, offices or any packed indoor spaces features very low amount of available light. You may test the location using your camcorder to get an instance and visibility of the location on screen, so that you can arrange the necessary light and equipments which are needed according to the conditions. Eventually outdoor location with adequate sunlight can also be a challenge, hence we recommend you to study the sunlight and the movement of the sun to get the more idea about the outdoor lights.
Power Supplies
Mostly when you plan for an outdoor location the problem of power supply arrives. In such locations carrying multiple batteries can help, but still you need to find the sources at nearby locations so that you can convey and get help.
Lights, camera, sound equipments and there are lot more such essential things which are totally dependent on electricity. Most filmmakers carry their own power resources like generator to avoid dependencies and on spot troubles and complications. 
Permissions are one of the most important factors you should keep in mind while scouting the locations. If you are out for scouting public properties like temples, forests, roadside or any government offices, take care of the permissions to be taken from the specific authorities, which then, won’t create problem while shootingIt's better to get permissions in advance than to have a shoot interrupted by the authorities.
Toilet is the most important part while shooting a film, hence you must keep in mind while recce that there are working toilets nearby. If your location doesn’t have toilets then you absolutely can’t film out there. You might need to hireportable toilet however if you only have a small crew you might consider shifting your production office to a nearby working centers like restaurants or coffee shops which may allow you to use their facilities. If you have a crew larger than five people we wouldn’t recommend this approach.
When to scout the location?
Always remember the location changes with time. A location which you may feel is suitable for your project this morning, can appear totally different at the evening. The climate and the weather can also affect the appearance of the location. These factors can produce surprisingly large changes on the suitability of a location
Hence while you are out for scouting a location. Spare a whole day at the location to get and feel all the appearing changes through-out the day.
Examine the climate
The weather can create a strong impact. Sun, rain, snow, wind, sunlight, moonlight all these elements can either help or can make your work hard. It also depends on what you want to capture and how you want to capture. For example shooting in rain can generate problem for electronic devices like video cameras and sound equipments. Cold weather can drain your batteries. And there are many such conditions which can and either hurt you or can make you feel good. Hence plan and keep the required equipments according to the weather which can help you out if anything goes wrong at the location

Note down everything: 
After you visit such location intentionally or if you are in a middle of vacation try to note down all possibilities and your views including dos’ and don’ts. If possible try to create a scouting report and include all the above discussed points with date and time. Try to get the still imageries along with small video clips to examine it later.
All the best for your next shoot and start recce here!
Tags: Location, Location Scouting, Film, Filmmaker, Pro Recce

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