The Hollywouldn'ts - Location Walkthroughs

The Hollywouldn'ts - Location Walkthroughs

The Hollywouldn'ts - Location Walkthroughs, blog post by Darius Stevens Wilhere

 Jacque and Lewis's hangout spot

Jacque and Lewis's hangout spot

We are a few weeks into the pre-prod of The Hollywouldn'ts and it's getting more exciting. Especially with the shoot starting in less than a week. We've almost fully finalized the cast, which is amazing (there are more than 30 speaking parts in this movie, which is just stupid for a movie being made for $50,000) and I have so many great actors who have come aboard.

Today we also finalized the locations which is a major feat and it reminded me that I should talk a little bit about what locations walkthroughs are and why you do them.

Generally when you conceive a film there are three types of locations:

1. Those you are familiar with and know exist.

2. Those which you haven't seen but are fairly you can certain find (or at least a close approximation of it that can be adjusted to work for the story)

3. Those that you know either do not exist and so must be created, or which must be recreated in another location (such as a studio) to allow for the filming you must do.

In the low budget world, if you are writing for anything other than 1 or 2, well...it can get expensive. You wan't locations that already exist and which, even if not ideal, will allow you to tell your story.

So either you or a location scout (or a buddy with a smartphone or DSLR) is going to go and take photos of locations which you are going to agree work or not. DO NOT leave it at that and just show up to shoot. Do walkthroughs!

What's a walkthrough you ask? Well that's when you and your crew go to the location to see what problems and assets you have. You can actually do the initial blocking and visualization of your shots. And a lot of other things like:

1. How much power is there? (So you don't plug in too many lights)

2. Are there areas for cast and crew to set up and relax between takes, put on costumes, etc.

3. Where are the windows and other sources of natural and practical lights.

4. How does the sun affect the interior? Maybe you want a harshly backlit shot for a living room, at what time is the sun going to be low enough to completely blow out that window? What is the geographical orientation of the location so you know when the sun hits which side of the building and when is it in shade?

5. What architectural elements can you use to add production value (dolly off columns, reveals in mirrors)

6. Are there bathrooms, working water, etc...

7. How is the ambient sound (reverby? lots of driveby traffic?)

8. Is there parking?

9. How much space is there to move around the camera? Can you get the camera back far enough for long focal length lenses? Will you need wide angles to fit your actors in the scene?

There are other details, but if you bring the crew with you, that will prepare them to do their job so they don't show up on the day with a lot of nasty surprises.

Of course if you are already intimately familar with locations you can think you can skip this, but I still recommend going there with your crew and a fresh set of eyes.

Okay, It's 11pm and I still have another 3 hours of work to go tonight so I'm signing off!

 The spot where the crew looks over LA near the finale

The spot where the crew looks over LA near the finale

The Hollywouldn'ts - Location Walkthroughs, blog post by Darius Stevens Wilhere

 

 

 

 

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