FINDING THE IDEAL FILMING LOCATION (LOCATION SCOUTING)
For any filming project to be successful, one needs proper location scouting and ample preparation. This requires a skilled scout with knowledge about different aspects of nature and research. The knowledge helps in finding the best location for your film.
Pamoja Tours and Travel Company has a variety of skilled scouts with extensive knowledge about different East African countries. We are well conversant with all filming locations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).
Additionally, we are happy to inform you that your search for the best film location in East Africa is over. With Pamoja Tours and Travel Company, we put your interests and preference into consideration. Our customers are our first priorities.
We scout various areas in East Africa. This search is what they call location scouting. Scouts look for generally spectacular locations beforehand to have a location data base in case of requests. East Africa is generally full of interesting locations within the national parks and outside the parks. With all the beautiful sceneries and the wildlife, many filmmakers have embarked on shooting in East Africa. It has a wide variety of animal species such as the beautiful primates.
Location scouting typically takes a lot of work and skill. The scout needs to have knowledge of the different places for production. However, all our scouts have all the qualities that make them the best:
- The scout should be able to operate or work with cameras. This is because location scouting requires scouts to take panoramic photographs or video of the location possibilities.
- There is use of geographic coordinates, compass directions and other map data. Wildlife filming sometimes needs filmmakers to enter into forests
- Crew access data like the way to get to the places which have been marked viable for film production
- Making notes and hand sketches on the layouts of the places where filming is to take place. The scout should identify the possible place where film producers will set their gadgets and equipment. The location should have minimal destruction and should be good for disguise while shooting a film.
- The suitability of every location to a task at hand takes into consideration different factors starting from the financial cost of production to the weather conditions in the area where production is to be done. Here are some of the factors to consider:
Permission and cooperation of the location owner and neighbors, local government and law enforcement. East Africa has a few laws when it comes to filmmaking where it welcomes freely all those who wish to make any film as long as you go through the right channels and authorities. There is a small payment to be made in the different places where filming will be done and to the government of the country which helps in preserving and monitoring the wildlife in the area and in case of any accidents or any damage made, there is a sum of money to restore the damage made on the habitant and the wildlife its self.
- The weather conditions of the area. The local weather conditions can figure highly into the location’s viability and it may also affect areas of production East Africa has got a warm temperate climate therefore, it gives its best at film production where it is complimented by the beautiful grasslands, forests, rivers and lakes not forgetting all the natural vegetation.
- Availability of electronic power or the feasibility of bringing in generators for lights and electronic equipment.
- Availability of parking facilities to crew and talent.
- Financial cost of production
The work process
- Before filming starts, the producers discuss about the script (script breakdown) and what location to use. More to that, scouts receive an appointment to look for the best location. These work hard and provide as many viable ideas as possible which the producers review by production.
- Once making conclusions on potential locations, arrangements normally begin for some of the heads of other production departments to tour those locations and confirm their suitability.
- In such times, the producers get to negotiate with the location manager in the situations with internal and external parties which may affect the ability to film in the location. The term for that is “clearing the location” where the producers investigate, confirm the availability of the location and negotiate on the fees for filming in the location.
- The next step is obtaining the necessary certificates and filming permits and there might be distribution of resident letters or filming notifications.
- This results into locking down: making sure that all the details and existing or potential issues are out of the way until production or filming begins.
When all the above steps are complete, there is need to book the location that has viable for film production. There is usually contract signing between the producers and the owner of the property. This allows the producers to put the place into media that is to say, broadcast, video, film or print publication of the place. After payment and booking of the location, filming may commence.
Things to consider when scouting locations
- Distance which depends on the number of the crew members. The distance from the main film office and the access to transporting the crew, equipment and the cast to the location.
- How the space matches the director’s vision
- The film budget determines the places of focus during scouting. In case the budget is low, one can consider scouting a much cheaper location to cut the costs on the budget.
- Permission from the property owner where the scout finds out who owns the property and if they will grant permission to film there. In case the location belongs to a state, federal property, country property or city property, there must be completing and reviewing of permits.
- The environment of the area should be as natural as possible. The scout should consider different locations and take note on different questions like is there an ambient sound from the nearby road? Such cases could interfere with recording sound while filming.