The preparation of a film : find film locations with sightings

La préparation d’un film : trouver des lieux de tournage avec les repérages

Find locations with



Part 1

This week we continue our overview of the preparation of a film. Today it is a subject that I personally love finding shooting locations thanks to : scouting because locator is part of my professional activities.

In this article I will put some pictures of films in which I found the decor. As below. This is the first film of Romain Gavras : Our Day will Come with Vincent Cassel.


Sightings what is it ?

The scouting is to find the places that correspond to the sequences in the film that the director and the production prepare. To find the right decorations it is necessary to respect several requirements that we will discuss a little later.

  The decorations can be :

Or outside : street, forest, facade of buildings, beach, prison, etc…

Be interiors : House, apartment, church, hospital, prison etc…

These sets are called natural sceneries as they exist by themselves, they were not created in the studio.

Once the production company has made its accounts and knows that the movie is going to be able to do it, or think it’s going to be able to do so, she decides to start looking for the basic scenery. In each scenario there are one or two decorations that come back more often than the others. It is in these settings that the team will spend most of your time. It is therefore most important to find. The production company will hire a technician in order that it can find the best settings possible.

Who does the scouting ?

There are several possibilities, this can be :

An assistant director (often the second)

A manager (general or deputy)

An agency of the decorations

A channel finder

In practice, what is it a locator ?

The channel finder is one of the first technicians to work on the project, sometimes even before the 1st assistant. It will criss-cross the region, or a portion in which the production wants to shoot the film. Its purpose is to take photos, make drawings and plans according to the scenery that he found so that the developer can understand the places.

Search for a scenery is not simple…we can say that it is : complex. Because, as I said above it is necessary to take into account several parameters. The most important thing is the vision of the director because beyond finding a simple decor, it is necessary to find THE decor that will correspond to each of the scenes.

Find the decorations that will make the atmosphere so sought after by the producer and that will give him the opportunity to make HER film.

It should not necessarily have a basic knowledge of architecture, but knowing what style of house (Int/ext) corresponds to each time. In fact, it often happens that the film are films of the era (1930, 1960, 1945, etc..). Even if the interior will be re-decorated, it is necessary that the place matches at the time. Same for the outside of the house, if you ask for a house built in 1970 while the movie is set in 1950, it will not do it :o)

Here is an excerpt of the little murders of Agatha Christie , whose episode is entitled : I am not guilty. The series happens in the 1930s. Here you will see an example of a scene that happens in a natural setting-is dated 1930.


How does THE decor ?

The first step is to read the scenario to understand what I’m looking for. It also allows us to let our mind wander and do its own idea of the film. It seems to you can be odd because this is not our film ! However, imagine certain backgrounds allows you to bounce in case the ideal setting would not exist.

There are several possibilities to find a decor. For the interiors of houses or apartments it is possible to rely on the real estate agencies or the agencies of locations. But I have to say it is quite rare to find what one seeks through this….I speak mostly of the real estate agencies !

Be locator that is conducting the survey, have a good photographic memory and above all have a very good sense of touch. Because beyond finding a decor that may match the search, it is still necessary to find the owners to access all of the decor and most importantly have their agreement in principle to the shooting. In addition you should never send photos to a background to the producer as long as you do not have the permission of the owners.

Why ?

If the director falls under the spell of your proposal and then you tell him that the owners do not agree, you not only go for a naze but in addition to everything you find subsequently have a taste of less well….

Before closing this first part I’d like also to clarify that for be locator you must have a driving licence.it seems obvious yet……:o)

End of the First Part.

If you liked this article, the best way to tell me that it is to click on the button ” Like “ to the left of your screen.

Next week we will see :

– How to convince the owners

– If all the sets should be presented

– And what to do if a setting is not found

The next week,

Tom W.

Category: Uncategorized

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top