Location is key to making a good film. Not only does a good location make something visually captivating (remember the 80/20 rule? Check out that post if you missed it), but a good location can enhance the story that you are trying to tell. I am also a firm believer that part of the magic of film is that you can take an audience to a place they have never been to before.
Last Monday I had the chance to shoot a little promotional video for an upcoming Young Adults event. The concept was simple...a few friends hanging out and going on a little roadtrip adventure. The whole concept was designed for one purpose… to make our target demographic say “I want to do what they’re doing.” We started shooting in the afternoon and filmed a few scenes down in East Vancouver with an old Volkswagen Cabriolet. We then drove for about 40 minutes to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver to catch the setting of the sun. We could have gone to a closer park but it simply would not have been as visually stunning as Lighthouse Park. The park also enhanced the story by drawing the viewer into the characters’ adventure to this beautiful park by the ocean.
Finding good locations is tough. I find myself spending a lot of time on google maps, looking for different parks and lakes. I also tend to use google street view as well. Sometimes I will spend time on instagram looking up different hashtags of Vancouver or British Columbia. I also try to make a point of going on little adventures with my wife to scout out locations. Even if I don’t have a specific shoot or project in mind at least I have the location in my back pocket. These methods work well for nature shoots and I actually tend to use the same methods for finding locations in the city as well. If I’m looking for a house, barn or horse (reference to my last post) I tend to ask friends and family and they are usually able to point me in the right direction. I also have heard that people have used airbnb to rent locations to shoot in as well.
I do agree that finding specific locations can be time consuming and can create scheduling challenges if you are trying to shoot at different locations that are far apart. For me, finding locations is all about exploring. It’s about getting out there and experiencing the world around me. It is about taking the next step to make my film better and location plays a huge role.
Here are a couple photos from our shoot. I will hopefully post the video shortly.