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 to help 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 who are well conversant with all filming locations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC). 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 since all our customers are our first priorities and we scout all the possible locations all over East Africa.

This search is what they call location scouting where location scouts look for generally spectacular locations beforehand to have a data base of locations 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 and all its species with a considerable amount of beautiful primates.

Location scouting typically takes a lot of work and skill where the scout is supposed to have knowledge of the different places where production can be done however, all our scouts have all the qualities that make them the best:

  • The scout should be able to operate or work with cameras because location scouting requires scout to take panoramic photographs or video of the location possibilities.
  • There is use of geographic coordinates, compass directions and other map data since wildlife filming sometimes needs filmmakers to enter into forests and such places are located by the location scouts.
  • 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 without any destruction and the location should be good for disguise while shooting a film.

Location requirements

  • 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 will be suitable and it is then when scouts are appointed to look for the best location and also. These work hard and provide as many viable ideas as possible which the producers review by production.
  • Once conclusions have been made on which locations are potential enough to be used, arrangements are normally made for the 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. This is called “clearing the location” where the producers investigate, confirm the availability of the location and negotiate on the fees to be paid for filming in the location.
  • This is further followed by obtaining the necessary certificates, filming permits too 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 addressed until production or filming begins.

When all the above steps are complete, there is need to book the location that has been scouted and considered viable for film production. There is usually a contract signed between the producers and the owner of the property which allows the producers to put the place into media that is to say, broadcast, video, film or print publication of the place. Once the location has been fully paid for and booked, there are very few reasons as to why filming may not 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 should also be put into consideration
  • The film budget determines which places should be looked at 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 are permits that will be completed and reviewed.
  • 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.

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