A production trip for SolidLine takes shape in many different stages over the course of many days, weeks, or even months.  Some of the steps are obvious, writing a script, filming, editing, etc., there are however, some other steps that are not as readily thought of, but equally important to the success of the project.  A prime example of one of these in-between yet extremely important steps, is the location scout.  Existing in-between the script writing and production stages, the location scout is a crucial step that helps you to draw up a blueprint of how to approach the production stage of your shoot.  Each step of the shoot, from the beginning of a project on through the final delivery is connected, each step affecting the next on down the line.  The more prepared you are for the production stage, the smoother the post-production stage will go, and so on.

Even if you have the best high-definition gear in the world, it doesn’t amount to much if you can’t figure out how to get it to where you’re going, and what to shoot when you’re there.  Going on a location scout will help you to answer a few questions, and fill in a few blanks.  Some things to consider…

Does your location have a loading dock?

Does your truck fit in that dock?

Do they have a freight elevator? (You do not want to try and carry this stuff up stairs)

The SolidLine crew brings a load of equipment into University of Illinois Hospital for our shoot with Transparent Health

Is there power?  Is it the right amount (you don’t want to go blowing fuses)? Do you have enough room to set up your equipment?  Is there an out-of-the-way spot, that is secure and safe to park both your truck as well as your crew’s automobiles?  Do you need a filming or parking permit?  Will your car get hit by, say, a golf ball?  Is there…well, you get the idea.

Each of these questions and concerns can be answered relatively quickly by actually seeing the location.  Getting in contact with the location manager, or a supervisor of your location will get them familiar with what you are trying to accomplish as well, that way you don’t have anyone freaking out about the loads and loads of equipment you’re dragging through their doors.  Once the SolidLine team has a good idea of the requirements of the project, it is time to drive or fly out to your location, and see what sort of challenges you face.  Based on this trip, you will know right away what you can expect and what you’ll need to plan around.  You don’t, for instance, want to get there and realize that you have nowhere to plug-in your batteries, or worse yet, nowhere to keep your equipment safe from theft or damage.

Truck Parked
The SolidLine rig secured outside our location, the Omni Hotel in downtown Chicago, IL.

There are difficult shots that require a lot of work to get “in the can”, but with a simple location scout out to your location, those shots will be easier, and the simple ones will be a breeze.

Learning Point Set Up
Kromm puts the finishing touches on the Learning Point set-up.

So take it from SolidLine, do yourself a favor…do a location scout!

You can contact Ed Boe at [email protected].

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at www.solidlinemedia.smartwebsitedesign.com.  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

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