You think you have the perfect location found but did you make sure it marks off all the checklists your production and story may need. Here are a few on our list that we like to ensure will forward the production and allow your shoot day to run seamlessly.
In our opinion the most important thing during a location scout, in particular to an indoor studio are whether or not the space serves to propel the story. In our case, a lot of the productions that come through already know they will require a cyclorama. Whether to create that sense of a never- ending horizon or just shoot interviews against a white backdrop, producers already come with the fact that they want to utilize a white cyclorama. However, should the script require a more a sci- fi/ dystopian setting, you would have to consider the space a little more thoroughly. This is when art direction comes into play. Can you build a set on our white cyclorama, or opposite to it? Is it just easier to source a location where the aesthetic already matches what you wanted. These are all questions a producer has to consider and look over from a budgetary standpoint. In our case, our 21′ x 18′ cyclorama cove has sufficient space to build a @set(hyperlink to photos of sets built) and light it properly. We have also had scenarios in which the camera is set up on the cyclorama and the shot is framed against the remaining 1250 square feet of shooting space (more than enough space to build a custom set). These setups of course come with lots of planning and a strong art team to make the director’s vision come to life. But size does matter ultimately and how you utilize the space. How much room do you need to pull off your shoot? Is it going to be all tight close-ups so that you only really need a few square feet to place lights and separate your subject from the background? Or, does the image require depth? How many people will be on set? At Firelight, we’ve held some pretty substantial productions, ranging anywhere from 15-50 person crew and cast with in depth lighting set-ups, jibs, dollies and multiple cameras. I always suggest the DP and director come along on a location scout to really picture how they can make the space work best for them.
QUIET ON SET!
Next on our checklist and one of the most important factors in media making- SOUND! It accounts for at least 50% of your production, so you need to make sure you are getting the best possible audio you can. When you walk into a space, you have to pay mind to several things. First off, white noise appliances like HVAC’s or refrigerators can be a pain to correct in post. So double check that shooting space is not affected by these. In our case, our units are in the main foyer, far away enough that you won’t get a trace of them in your audio recording. For those who want the ultimate silence, we can always turn them off via our breaker, but it has never been an issue, giving that our shooting space is triple sound layered. This leads to another factor, outside sounds that could affect your dialogue recording. It is always terrifying rolling up on a studio and seeing construction outside. Ambient noise is easily picked up, but here at Firelight, we are not affected it by it.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Another crucial part of the scouting process is how easy is your location to get too. If most of your crew is coming from Brooklyn, would it make sense to rent a space in New Jersey? Ideally you want a location that is a middle ground for everyone working. One close to public transport but also easily accessible by vehicle. One that has parking spaces near by, or even a curb so you can park your van and unload. That beckons the next issue- loading your gear in! One of our strongest selling points being located in NYC is the fact that we have easy roll in street access. For most studios one has to navigate through hallways and freight elevators or worse yet- narrow hallways and steep staircases to get to the studio. Your crew will thank you when after a long day of shooting they don’t have to lug 1000 pounds of equipment down a set of stairs and instead can easily roll out onto the street like we can here at Firelight.
I forgot to mention we also have an ample supply of gear and lighting packages available at submarket prices. This is another factor that a lot of producers consider when booking a space. Do you want to source the gear and have to transport it in or would you like it in studio, arranged by department, ready to be used as soon as you walk in. Our fully stocked grip shelf comes included in every rental. No more having to carry stands and bulky frames or flats around!
The last overarching factor I will mention that truly matters when deciding on a location are it’s amenities. While I have experienced make- up artists set up shop in whatever corner they can find available, it makes the experience much more pleasant for everyone, if for instance there is a hair and make- up station. A dressing room, plenty of client space area as well as tables and chairs to accommodate everyone also goes a long way. A little more space and designated areas lead to a happier and much more engaged talent and crew. Not to mention, throwing in coffee, water and gum-balls keeps people happy. Finally, a good host is always indicative of how your experience will be. Here at Firelight we pride ourselves on fostering a community of the arts in the most inclusive way possible. We understand that you put a lot on the line when you book with us and so therefore we take our job very seriously. We we always arrive prior to your call time, have the studio in tip condition and will check that all equipment is functioning. This allows you to roll right in and begin production without any stalling. Someone knowledgeable will always be on call with you throughout your production should any issues arise.
These are just a few key things we feel are crucial to selecting the right space for your shoot. While every production differs, rest assured these should all play a factor. Where you chose to shoot will have a big effect and potential benefit to what you shoot.
- Posted by SecurityPro
- On November 5, 2019
- 0 Comment