decoration of film, The preparation of a film : find the filming locations

décor de film, La préparation d’un film : trouver ses lieux de tournage

filming location

The sightings Part 2


movie set… This week we continue our overview of the preparation of a film with the second part of this as are the locations. Because of its location it is simply to put all the chances on your side to ensure that your film is good.

Once you have found your (your) decor(s) :

How to do with the owners ?

Should we talk about money ?

How to reassure them ?

How to convince a landlord for a place to shoot ?

I have a rule ! I never talk money with the owners, NEVER ! I do not give to price range because there is often a large gap between the budgets of an independent film financed or a tv movie or a short film. You need to let the commissioner general to be in charge. On the other hand if you make a short film and that you don’t have a way t that it is you who dealez scenery, and then announce the color ! you don’t have money and you are looking for a partner (mention in the credits, invitation to the first, suggest that the figuration etc..)

Beyond the money, the owners must first agree to a shoot for “experience” or ” see ” what it is. Of course, the financial side is important but should not be the primary motivation.

It is also important to explain what is involved in hosting a shoot in your home.

We can repaint your walls

We can empty the house of its furniture

– It is 40 people who arrive home you

– You can’t live at home during the shooting

Obviously a condition of the premises is made with the location manager and the owner before that the team does not invest the places. Then an inventory is done after the shoot before the owner came back at him. Problem : breakage, scratches, poor restoration of paintings, parquet floor damaged etc…the insurance taken by the production will do its work.

If the owners can’t stay home during the shooting because it takes place over several days, the production relogera.


Here’s ” All Good Children “, a feature-length Anglo-Franco-Belgian on which I worked several months as a locator and an assistant director. He had to find a castle in renovation large enough to accommodate the team. It was not necessary that it is out of standards so that we can accede to the fact that a family bought to live in while working on its restoration. The constraints were many. It should not be overlooked or modern rooms that get too close. The castle was to be a private forest, a pond and a square farm as a neighbor. This decoration must necessarily be (for economic reasons, and grants) is found in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

As you can see, all the constraints were not in my favor. It was therefore necessary that I take decisions in order to be able to make proposals to the director (Alicia Duffy) and it’s all in the language of Shakespeare !!!

Can we present all the decorations ?

Unfortunately not ! As I said at the beginning of this article, look for sets we are compelled to take account of certain imperatives other than artistic. Indeed, it is necessary to take account also of aspects : financial and technical.

How many times have I stumbled upon an extraordinary décor but the place was too noisy, and where access to trucks techniques impossible. Not to mention that each move a setting to another takes time and costs money. The sets should all be grouped in the same sector. It is for this reason that a setting too far away from others will not be held back or withheld…

Are there sets that cannot be found ?

This is a relevant question ! It can sometimes the vision that the producer of his ideal setting does not match anything that exists in the area where we should look. It is for this that the job of channel finder is a job at hand ! We are also here to confront the director and his artistic vision to the reality of what exists.

With the experience, the knowledge of the field and the understanding of the universe of the filmmaker and his history, it becomes possible to offer him the best decorated in both artistic and technical terms.

It has the force of work and research we are building a database of sets, we can sometimes further refine our research by making proposals to the director.

A film is always in perpetual motion, this is not because a producer has idealized a setting as it will not adapt to the reality of the sightings. Conversely, a locator should never be based on its knowledge of the business. He must always push the limits to offer the best décor possible.

Let’s go back to ” All Good Children “ which I talked about earlier. The ideal castle thatAlicia Duffy (the director) had in mind did not exist ! Because every time I found a castle that could correspond to either the farm was not just off or it was not in the square or yet she did not like Alicia. Not to mention that the pond had to be from a certain area, bordered by an immense forest, in short, the problem remained. So I had to find locations close to each other and complementary in what they could generate. I let you discover this as it makes watching the trailer of the movie.


To finish : whether you are making a short film, a feature or a television movie don’t forget a thing ! : Obey the owner and the place in which you turn !!!!

Not practicing the policy of scorched earth ! A scenery which you pay attention is a scene where you can turn to again.

With what can we make of the sightings ?

Personally I have a Lumix digital still camera that’s good enough for me. But for some time now, the productions that want to go faster and faster accept, on some projects, to receive pictures of sightings made with an Iphone (this was the case on the last sighting I made last week !).

I also use a super app for that : It is Panascout (by clicking you will have a version free to test it) that you will find in the application section for assistant director/ director.

That’s it for the next pre-production. Now the steps that follow are more or less in the same time but we will see this next time.

– Skinning

– Casting

– Work Plan

– Tracking technical

– Permission to shoot

I always try to be as clear as possible in my explanations but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to leave me a little message.

If you liked this article on the filming location, the best way to tell me that it is to click on the ” Like “button at the bottom of the article. You can return to the plan of the site to read other articles.


Tom Weil

Category: Uncategorized

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