If you’ve ever done a tech scout, you know that asking the right questions can be the difference between your shoot day feeling seamless, or wondering why you didn’t just move off the grid and start that Tibetan sheep farm when you had the chance. Just me? Either way, below are some important questions to ask the location owner to ensure that there are no surprises for your team and that everyone has a great experience.
Where’s the parking?
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s essential to clarify ahead of time. Make sure you’re accounting for all vehicles, that there’s room for large trucks, that you can get close to where you need to load-in, to coordinate an extra lot if needed, and if street parking is available.
Is anywhere at the location off-limits?
Generally, everything you see in photos will be available to you. However, sometimes factors like recent renovations or repairs in progress can temporarily make a room or two unavailable. It’s always helpful to ask!
Is there anything that can’t be moved?
Because nobody wants to be the one who broke the family heirloom passed down from Aunt Linda. Plain and simple.
Are there any time constraints?
Since filming days are usually long, make sure the location owner knows how late you’ll be working. Sometimes factors such as city noise ordinances will be factors in planning out your shoot. Also, we suggest discussing how payment will work in the event that things run long. These details are covered in AVVAY’s location agreement when you move forward with any of our locations, but it doesn’t hurt to have the discussion in person.
Who’s going to be at the location?
Often, teams choose to have the owner of the location off-site during their shoot. But sometimes, it can be helpful to have them around! We recommend hiring a location manager for larger projects, but on smaller jobs, it can save you time having the owner present answering last-minute questions the day of the shoot. Either way, discuss those preferences ahead of time!
Are there neighbors to be aware of?
It’s good to ask the location owner if they have had any issues with neighbors during previous shoots. Taking the time to keep neighbors in the loop can be super helpful. Whether you need quiet on set for an exterior shot, or for people to be a little forgiving of the fact that you’ve overtaken their street with vehicles, a couple of quick conversations can go a long way in helping your day be a success.
I hope this list helps! Feel free to email me directly at Liza@avvay.com if I can answer any additional questions along the way, or if you’d like me to keep you posted about new spaces in our private network. Thanks!