When you are making a film with your hands and pocket really tight, you have to be street smart to optimize whatever resources you have at hand, particularly while locating, negotiating, and paying for location rents. Countless filmmakers start off with a low-budget film for several reasons, not unknown to people. Be it a deserted island or a jam-packed city, you will have to pay substantial prices for all your locations, in this ever-increasing, expensive real estate marketplace. Don’t worry, help’s at hand. We have discussed below some budget shooting tips for location shoots.
1. Scouting Location
Accommodating the crew is a great task that everybody has to perform together. It is necessary to look for locations pre-production to avoid any hassles. For this, it is always clever to send one of the assistant directors for sightseeing, beforehand. The assistant director can also be asked to get some photographs of the locations so the appropriate location can be shortlisted. This can be quite time-consuming but it ultimately saves a lot of capital for further expenses.
2. Consider All Potential Circumstantial Crises
One thing to know if you are a low-budget filmmaker is that anything can happen. You need to be prepared for what will be coming your way. Make a list of things that you will have to carry along with your crew, according to the location’s want. For instance, portable and reliable cooking gadgets that can work on batteries, instant coffee makers, carrying porta-potties or portable toilets to a deserted island is great. If you don’t want to carry that extra load with you then find some backup, such as a self-storage in (hull) service where you can safely store your set props and goodies for months at a stretch.
3. Don’t Spend Too Much On Just The Location
When you finally find the ideal spot, don’t go crazy spending on it. Think about how much you should and can pay for it. Find an alternative option for paying less, otherwise. You have the power to impress the owner of the place for getting a concession. You can clean up the place or help in promoting the same for the owner to allow you to pay less than the desired price. If the location is not beautiful enough, use a good camera or great lighting effects that can do the tricks for you. It’s time you trusted those expensive Canon 5Ds to add those perfect lighting effects to your average spots.
4. Let the Spot Pick You
You spend so much time in envisioning your film that you forget you must let the location do the talking. While sightseeing, you don’t pick the location that you like. You know it’s the perfect location when the site does the talking, helping you envisage a classic scene. That’s how you know it’s perfect for your film.
5. Familiarise Yourself With the Location
You are a filmmaker. You must know everything that goes on in your film. So, it is important to entirely familiarize yourself with the location so you know which spots you can use for which scenes. Exploring the location more will help you understand the personality of the site, and equip you with the insight to create some on-screen magic with your actors and the backdrops. Another advantage of knowing the place inside out is that it would help you get newer ideas for your film.
6. Time Management on the Location
Again, you are paying for the spot, with less money at hand, so it’s necessary to wrap up soon. For this, you have got to learn time management so you don’t end up paying more for occupying the place than you can afford. You should plan all your sequences according to the time in hand. To make this easier, consume all your time (do not pressurise the crew). Shoot all the scenes suitable for that location, at once, so you don’t have to rent the spot again.
7. Go For Government Owned Spots
Not many people know this but you can look for spots or remote areas that are neglected and are owned by the government. Since these locations need to get under the spotlight, the government rents them out at minimal rates or even free. It’s simple; you promote the place, you get the benefit.
8. Leave an impression
You don’t intend on stopping after making one film, do you? Leaving an impression simply means doing something unexpected for the owner so the next time, when you need something for your film, you will get help. Simple things like leaving the location cleaner or better than before will leave a good impression on the spot owners and create less trouble for you in the future.
Remember, the right location is just the springboard your film needs to make it big; these tips help you do that without spoiling the producer’s day.