Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's All About Location(s)

Ray Crock of McDonald's fame was once heard saying that the three keys to the restaurant's success were location, location, and location. As we start to pass the hump on casting, a low budget indie film director's next big task is finding the right locations.

In big studio films, there are huge budgets for art department-- to dress up a studio exactly the way you envision it. Need an apartment? Fine, build one on the soundstage. Need a restaurant? Use the one on the backlot. This makes the shooting much easier. Sets are built for cameras to move around. Dressing rooms are a short walk away.

But the low budget filmmaker often doesn't have this option. So it's up to the director and his locations team to find high production value locations that help make the movie look like a lot more money was spent.

My DP is pitching in on locations to help because he's best friends with half of Fort Worth. For Rising Stars, I wrote it so that 90% can take place in one company location-- a college campus. A company location can contain many script locations, but means the company can park and not have to move. Like a studio or a backlot.

So we visited TCU yesterday. Now we're going to try contacting SMU. And I have my alma mater UTA. Fortunately, there's a lot of colleges and universities in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

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