Oct. 11, 2011
-- Changes in the economy, environment and technology have had positive and negative impacts on all phases of production, including the preproduction task of scouting for the perfect location. And how one chooses to move forward could be the defining factor between staying in the game or being left behind on the sidelines.
Many producers are turning to technology that saves time by streamlining the scouting process ─ primarily utilizing resources on the Internet. “Preparation is essential to the process of the job,” says Producer Ron Smith. “We are now in the digital age and most photos are shown on a computer, which gives us all a quick and easy way to view a location. It is much different than the days in the past when we looked at folders and folders of photos, [which] was very time consuming and tiring.”
Smith also looks for other things that help with the ease of searching for the perfect location, such as attributes that make a location manager stand out. “I have worked with some of the best in the business,” he says. “What I like in a location manager is his style and if he is up front with the people he is dealing with at a site. I have an open door and want communication all the time.” According to Smith, it is essential that the parties involved are open to filming and understand the problems that can and will occur during the production process, so there are no last-minute surprises. “I have had a few location managers, who have shown the director the site, and he fell in love with it,” Smith continues, “then [he] approached the owners, and they said ‘no.’ When that happens, the director now must have it at whatever it costs. I hate surprises ─ [except] at Christmas and my birthday.”
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