How to Choose the Right Filming Location

Location, location, location. It’s not just related to real estate; it also translates to filming video. Where you film is just as important as what you film. In film and video production, the location sets the tone and tells a story of its own. For instance, filming in an office setting often exudes a more professional feel, while an amusement park conveys more liveliness and excitement. When scouting for filming locations, one needs to keep a few things in mind, including:

  1. The Script. Does the script specify a location or require equipment that can only be found in certain locations (kitchen, office, police station, etc.)?
  2. The Budget. Does the budget allow for use of a sound stage and/or other video production equipment needed for lighting or dressing the set?
  3. The Law. Does the location require special clearance, releases, or permits to gain access to or use film equipment?

Two Choices in Filming Locations

When looking for the best options to go from set to screen, you have two main choices: filming on-location or filming in a studio.

On-location filming entails traveling to a real setting that relates to the subject matter. For example, if you’re making a training video about horseback riding, you may decide to go on-location to a local stable. Filming on-location will add more realism to your video. You’ll be able to capture real footage of real people and/or places in which your video is connected. However, the location doesn’t have to be the exact one being depicted in your video. Filmmakers often substitute locations in order to lower production costs. Films thought to be set in major cities, such as New York or Paris, are often filmed in other cities set to look like somewhere else.

When something is filmed on-location, you’re not paying for use of studio space and there’s less of a need to construct an elaborate set; therefore, on-location filming is easier for those on a small budget who need outdoor or scenic shots. One expense may be in obtaining the proper permits or releases for filming at a particular location, and if the location requires indoor shots you may have to pay the resident or owner of the building for use of the space.

When filming in a studio or on a sound stage, you have a more controlled environment where the sound and visuals can be edited to your specifications. Sound proof studios make it easy to keep traffic and other noise out of your footage. You can also choose to shoot in front of a green screen and insert a multitude of backgrounds during the editing process. While in-studio shoots are ideal for indoor scenes, some may still go for an outdoor feel with lighting and props, especially in areas where weather is an issue. While on a sound stage, you have the option to shoot several different interior shots without moving a crew all over town. An office, factory, bedroom, etc. can all be set on the same stage just with different set pieces, saving precious time and money.

No matter whether on-location or in a studio, you should make sure your location is equip with the facilities needed to make the video production run smoothly, including electricity, restrooms, internet and/or cell service, etc. Even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you need to be prepared for anything.

Professional Video Production in any Location

If you’re in need of studio space or on-location video production, Dynamic Digital Advertising (DDA) can help. With a state-of-the-art studio in-house, equipped with a full range of video production equipment and experienced videographers, DDA can accommodate productions of all sizes and budgets. Located just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PA), DDA has produced videos for clients from coast to coast and has traveled across the country for on-location shoots. The video department uses the latest technology in filming, recording, editing, and producing videos for a variety of clients. With full film crews, editors, writers, and a gallery of professional actors and voice over artists, DDA is ready to help you produce the video you need. Contact DDA Video today to learn more.


Photo Credit: Microsoft Office Clipart