“Location, location, location!” has long been the motto for the real estate industry, but it is just as important in filmmaking. Look at its history, could you imagine Lord of the Rings taking place anywhere other than New Zealand’s “Middle Earth”? Then there’s Central Park in New York City, which has become a cliche as a character in itself. Whether you’re working on a Hollywood blockbuster, a tightly budgeted commercial, or helping your niece with her unintentionally surrealist film school project, location scouting is an essential element of filmmaking.

What it comes down to is that there’s a lot more to location scouting than just finding a pretty place. Here we offer our tips for finding your perfect set, from technical requirements to audio considerations to the basics like washrooms and holding areas. Good luck!

Technical Requirements

When picking a location, make sure you consider all things tech-related. Does it have enough power resources? If not, how will using a generator affect the production? Is there room to store equipment? How about a holding area for the extras and actors? You also need to consider noise. If you’re filming on a busy street, will you be able to get the sound quality you need? When location scouting, think about how the variables in a location can affect the technical side of things.