Location Scout Resource: Tools + Utilities
is a collection of various (mostly) electronic tools I know (because I have used…) or I think might be useful for a location scout, location manager or other production person. Could be a website (with an online “tool” (?), software, etc. Most are free, but if there is some cost involved, I’ll try to mention it.
More tools and resources for location scouts and other production folks
Once you stretch your legs a bit as a location scout / location manager, if you have aspirations to broaden your horizons, you may be presented with opportunities to work in other production department roles, such as a production coordinator, line producer, or even executive producer. The Assistant Director often seems to be tasked with production chores. Any way you slice it, it is all about making things happen to make the production “come together” and a big part of those challenges revolve around cost control and communicating how much different aspects of a production are likely to cost to those entities in charge of allocating money from the production budget.
Location Scout Resource: Dependent Films | Tools & Utilities for filmmakers
You’ve now entered the Dependent Films Download Center. It’s unbelievable 1) how much these files can help, and 2) how hard all of these tools are to find on the net.
- !Script Template for Word
A nice template for Word. Comprehensive menus and customizable macros. (69K)
- Script Maker
Very simplistic template for Microsoft Word. Macro’s make this template extremely easy to use. (53K)
- Simply Screenplay
Once again, something we use periodically. Can be set up to format either screenplays or sitcom formats. (96.6K)
- 🙂 Location Release Form
- 🙂 Location Scouting Sheet
- …and much more…
- The above goodies are free as well 🙂
It’s true! – especially when you are going about a hundred miles an hour trying to do 20 other things and you need it NOW. That never happens to you, huh? 😉
Location Scout Book: Shoot on Location
The Logistics of Filming on Location, Whatever Your Budget or Experience
ISBN-10: 0240814975 | ISBN-13: 978-0240814971 | Publication Date: March 9, 2011 | Edition: 1
You have a strong vision for how your movie should look, but how do you find the perfect spot to shoot and how do you organize the complex logistics of such a shoot once you find that perfect location?
Location Scout Resource: PhotoShop Online (PhotoShop Express)
This was so cool I just had to post about it:
Your Media Production Mentor ~Luke Holzmann
Photoshop Express can be very handy for a location scout doing quick touchups on location scouting photos.
I have it on my Android Tablet – it is FREE 🙂 and works GREAT 🙂
- Surf over to PhotoShop (dotcom). The links don’t seem to work in Google Chrome (browser), but it seems to work ok with Mozilla FireFox. I haven’t tried with Internet Explorer or other browsers.
- Find the link for Online Tools / PhotoShop Express Editor (or PhotoShop Express Organizer)
- The Editor is good for quick touchups – you can’t use the more sophisticated features found in “regular” (local software) PhotoShop like layers, channels, etc., but sometimes having an online way to do chores like quick exposure / color cast corrections and / or cropping can be *real* handy 🙂
- The Organizer is just what it says (you need a free account to use this – you can register / sign in on the photoshop.com website.)
Location Scout Resource: AICP Estimating Form NYPG
is designed to match the AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) bid/estimate categories and general workflow for independently produced television commercials.
Location Scout Discussion – Locationtalk
Discrepancies between what prod co says and what actually happens
Anonymous wrote (be sure and read the responses…):
I’m getting more and more frustrated with production companies who are less than forthright about what they actually intend to do on a shoot as opposed to what they tell me will happen when I need to apply for the filming permit.
Food for thought? yes, I think!
Be-all, end-all solutions? not likely – every shoot / client / production company / producer / production team (including the location manager / location scout(s) / town / film office(s) / property owner(s) are different and all these factors of circumstances and personalities combine to create a different dynamic each time. One can only control the things one CAN control. The best summations I can think of are:
- Use your gut, be honest with yourself and everyone definitely and / or potentially involved – a strong line of communication between everyone is always a key to success of ANY project – try to to understand what responsibilities you might be taking on, whether it’s actual possible to deliver results, if success is doubtful are you willing to try anyway? what are the consequences of a failed effort?
- If everybody “played nice” wouldn’t the world be a MUCH better place?
The thread ago started some time back, the original post is dated “Posted 10-01-2000, 11:39 AM” – the next followup was “Posted 01-10-2002, 06:31 AM” then, “Posted 01-21-2005, 10:47 AM” and I posted my followup a few weeks ago, “Posted 03-14-2008, 07:32 AM”, so it’s a pretty “spread out” discussion! That said, I believe the problems presented are probably ongoing, and despite the discussion being in the nabe of 8 years old, I believe it is still a relevant discussion.
Short of encouraging any sort of “rant-fest(s)”, I wish more location scouts / location managers (…and producers / production companies, film offices – even property owners… ) would take advantage of the wonderful resource I believe Locationtalk is and take part and contribute to its forums. I believe Locationtalk is an often-overlooked potential tool for many people.
Location Scout Resource: LocationTalk
– Every location scout or location manager should take advantage of LocationTalk.
This is a discussion forum for location scouts. location managers, film commissions, location agencies about filming on location
- LocationTalk is one of the only publicly accessible discussion board I know of devoted exclusively to location scouts and location managers.
- LocationTalk which has been around a while, has recently updated to a VBulletin forum format. I like the user interface a lot.
- Los Angeles location scout and location manager Marino Pascal owns and operates LocationTalk, locationscout.com and locations.org.
- Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs LocationTalk Profile page
- Locationtalk Feed
- Location Scouting & Location Management at Amazon
Location Scout Resource: Prop Cars On Location
(or in a studio! 😉 – Occasionally, particularly on smaller shoots – like photo shoots, I might be not only be the location scout, I might also be the Art Department, or wear other “hats” as well and be asked to find / make reccomendations about certain significant props, such as automobiles, so there are a number of resources I regularly refer to at such times.
Some location scout / production prop automobile – picture vehicle resources
- …via NY411
Autoprops-Waterworks is the modeling agency for fine automobiles and automotive props. We cater to the feature film industry,video productions, still photographers and any other special events.
- Cars On Location
Cars On Location picture and prop automobiles for film, tv and photo in the New York, NY area.
- Cooper Classic Cars – Sports Cars – Exotic Cars – Antique Cars
Elliot Cuker, host of ESPN‘s “Legends of the Road,” welcomes you to Cooper Classics Collection – his unique fine art gallery and classic car showroom located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village.
- Creative Film Cars
Creative Film Cars provides the film, television, magazine, and event industries with top-notch vehicles for any kind of production. We represent thousands of the best cars, trucks, motorcycles and specialty vehicles ranging from 1880 to 2010.
- Extra Tip!
I had to find a very specific vintage import (sports car) automobile to be used as a prop for a catalog fashion photo shoot at one time and had some luck contacting car clubs (groups of car collectors). Being based and working in a large metro area like the greater New York City area (my main office is in northern New Jersey), there were lots of local car clubs and lots of relevant online links to work with 🙂 Car collectors seem to network pretty well and they just LUV to talk cars! 🙂
Location Scout Bill of Rights
The public has the right to take pictures of public buildings from public spaces.
In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be anything exceptional about this statement. But nothing has been ideal for photographers since 9/11. The mere invocation of “security” seems to trump every other consideration, including logic and the law.
- Location Scouts (and advertising photographers) are, however, advised that this only includes photographing exteriors and only from a public and otherwise unrestricted location. Additionally, usage of photographs of federal buildings and / or other federal facilities for advertising purposes may be restricted as The Federal government cannot appear to endorse a product or service. (Thanks Kathy Lando)
- Banned for Life from the Miami-Dade Metrorail – Stretch Ledford Photography
Find Location Scouts online at RelayHouse
– This is an oldie but goodie for finding location scouts and other production personnel on the internet, even if, at this writing, the map has not been updated since 2008. There is a list of other production crewing resource websites as well, making the RelayHouse Freelancer Finder a valuable production tool.
The map I am speaking of is here:
- RelayHouse Freelancer Finder
- New York City and NYC Area Broadcast Professional Freelancers at RelayHouse
RelayHouse is a Montrose, Minnesota-based satellite broadcast truck supplier.
Relay House serves the midwestern states with satellite trucks based in Minneapolis, MN and Chicago, IL. Need a crew? We also serve as a one stop-shop for all your crewing needs.
Location Scout Resource: Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE)
Microsoft Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. The application takes a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location and creates a high-resolution panorama incorporating all the source images at full resolution. The stitched panorama can be saved in a wide variety of formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to multi-resolution tiled formats like HD View and Silverlight Deep Zoom.
If you are a location scout (or general photographer) looking for a digital photo panorama stitcher, you might want to give this a go.
Many of the Header Images here on nyc.locationscout.us were assembled using Microsoft Image Composite Editor
- Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs nyc.locationscout.us Flickr Photostream
- Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs nyc.locationscout.us at Locamundo
Location Scout Resource: Panorama Photo Stitcher Software
Goal: an easy to use cross-platform panoramic imaging toolchain based on Panorama Tools. With Hugin you can assemble a mosaic of photographs into a complete immersive panorama, stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more.
If you are a location scout (or general photographer) you might want to give this a go. Microsoft Ice is great for stitching together location scout panoramas as well.
Hugin is a cross-platform open source panorama photo stitching and HDR merging program developed by Pablo d’Angelo and others. It is a GUI front-end for Helmut Dersch’s Panorama Tools and Andrew Mihal’s Enblend and Enfuse. Stitching is accomplished by using several overlapping photos taken from the same location, and using control points to align and transform the photos so that they can be blended together to form a larger image. Hugin allows for the easy (optionally automatic) creation of control points between two images, optimization of the image transforms along with a preview window so the user can see whether the panorama is acceptable. Once the preview is correct, the panorama can be fully stitched, transformed and saved in a standard image format.
Thanks Sam Rohn for reminding me about this great software.
Location Scout Resource: Google Free Online Calendar
Location scouting is production work. Production work is done on a schedule, to a schedule. Times and dates are a big part of the picture. Nuff said?
See also: Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs Review of Blog Authoring Tools
Location Scout Resource: Internet Web Log (Blog) Authoring Tools
The competent 21st century freelance location scout, more and more each day, needs to be computer savvy and adept and communicating electronically, both as a job duties and unless having a fulltime location scouting job on staff with a studio or with a long-running show, as a marketing tool. Below are a couple of tools I have found handy at one time or another along the way.
Location Scout Inbox Zero
Are you running your email or is your email running you?
There is also now a companion website.
What follows is a long list of tips that are based on things I’ve learned while making movies.
Location Scout Resource: VideoMaker: 11 Tips for Location Scouting
By virtue of being included in an article on a site called VideoMaker, the tips would seem to be suggested specifically for those in the video production profession, however, I feel the points raised are also general enough to cover many issues and challenges typically encountered location scouting for film and photography projects as well.
Here are the titles of the location scouting tips:
- Know your script
- Scout at the right time
- Look at light
- Follow the sun
- Check for power supplies
- Listen (not quite as important for stills – RH)
- Examine the elements
- Decide where to set up
- Get permission
- Evaluate the area
- And finally, take notes!
Merely listing the tips doesn’t do the VideoMaker article justice, much more valuable additional information is available if you read the actual article.
A while back I included a link in a post on locationscout.us to another good article on VideoMaker entitled Video Pre-Production FAQ. Admittedly, there are lots of production links in that particular article on locationscout.us; the quickest way to find the link (if you don’t want to simply follow the link above? – duh 😉 …or maybe some other production-related link you might have in mind (?) is to do a term search using your browser (Windows: CTRL-F in both IE and Firefox).
I will be adding a link to this article (which obviously includes links to the two VideoMaker articles) on my FAQS Page.
Location Scout Book: The Independent Film Producers Survival Guide
Since this book is written for independent film producers, we are led to a threshold question: what is an independent film producer?
Any definition of “film producer” is inexact at best. But there is a reason for this. Film producers, like others involved in the film business, are defined by what they do. Producers, as we will see, have many functions, and their contributions are simultaneously more complex and also more ephemeral than the functions of actors or directors.
Location Scout Resource: Images Journal | Images – 30 Great Westerns
Welcome to our survey of “30 Great Westerns.” These are the Westerns that any fan of the genre should know. These are some of the most influential and important Westerns ever made.
It was fun going thru all the western movies and trying to remember which ones I had seen!
Images is a non-commercial Web site created for everyone who enjoys movies and popular culture. Images is published quarterly; however, new reviews will appear each week, so check back often.
Film Production + Location Scouting Glossaries
Somewhat accidentally, I have stumbled upon several filmmaking glossaries of terms commonly used in the production world – someone starting out or perhaps a property owner likely to be working with a film crew on location at their home or business may find these links very useful:
…from this link you will find the entire collection of glossaries, subdivided by sections of the alphabet.
Location Scout Resource: The New Yorker Film File
The New Yorker Film File collects nearly two thousand short reviews of films released from 1990 to the present. Reviews are arranged alphabetically.
- A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | +
Location Scout Resource: Documentary Films .Net
Documentary Film News, Documentary Videos | Documentary Films .Net | Mission Statement
Founded in 1998, Documentary Films .Net was relaunched with renewed energy in 2006. This site provides documentary film information and resources to both viewers and filmmakers. Documentary Films .Net is 100% volunteer driven and is lucky to have a devoted base of filmmakers, reviewers, IT people and students to keep the dream alive.
Documentary Films.Net features a number of sections including:
- Film Central – Coverage includes reviews, film releases, updates on upcoming films, and essays covering various aspects of documentary films
- Discussion Forum
- Directory of Film Festivals and Filmmaker Resources
- Directory of Documentary Films
- Documentary Films .Net Feed
Location Scout Site Search
Google Custom Search Engine for Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs – nyc.locationscout.us – Web content by Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs. Please use the tools on this page to search for the content you are looking for.
Please notice a search box is included in the right sidebar of Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs Homepage and at the bottom in the center of the page of most other pages and posts.
Location Scout Resource: Airtight Interactive: Flickr Related Tag Browser
Flickr Related Tag Browser lets you surf Flickr’s ‘tag space’. Flickr tags are keywords used to classify images. Each tag has a list of ‘related’ tags, based on clustered usage analysis.
Do location scout research / find visual references using the Flickr API – one tag at a time.
Example Search Results: “TajMahal” – screen shot:
Location Scout Resource: Six Tips for Smarter Location Scouting | Black Star Rising
Here are six tips for cost-conscious, time-sensitive and environmentally friendly location scouting:
Location Scout Resource: FilmMakers.com – The Art and ShowBiz of Film Making
FilmMakers.com features articles and info on filmmakers, filmmaking, film festivals, film schools, indies, short and feature length films for sale; database, distribution, production, and much, much, more.
By Hal Rifken for Filmmakers.com | July 21, 2005
One of the perks of being a free lance DP is unexpected travel to often exotic places around the world. Over the past decade, I’ve filmed a food show in Borneo, an industrial on the gulf coast of Mexico, in a small galley on the Malaysian Orient Express, and in the most arid region of the world: the copper fields of Northern Chile.
About the Author | Hal Rifken
Hal Rifken has shot in more than thirty countries, frequently under less than structured circumstances.
His Manhattan-based production company (www.HMRifken.com) has a diverse list of clients—from multinationals requiring the latest in high end HD acquisition to modest documentary projects calling for DV hand held cameras…
Location Scout Resource: Bright Lights Film Journal
Movie reviews, film and production news, cinema history and lore are all great troves of information for a location scout to draw upon in the the course of one’s work.
Bright Lights Film Journal is a popular-academic hybrid of movie analysis, history, and commentary, looking at classic and commercial, independent, exploitation, and international film from a wide range of vantage points from the aesthetic to the political.
Location Scout is a new section on Feature Shoot where we spotlight studios, lofts, houses, remote locations and any other space that can be rented for photo shoots.
The last post in feature Shoot’s Location Scout section featured a unique loft apartment location in Soho, NYC, Meet at the Apartment and previously, Greystone Court, a 28-room mansion in Yonkers, NY.
At this writing I have not shot at Meet at the Apartment, but I have been involved a number of times with productions working at Greystone Court and it’s always an enjoyable experience.
You’d better run fast if you want to shoot at Greystone Court, though, it is now for sale
The Film Literature Index (FLI) annually indexes 150 film and television periodicals from 30 countries cover-to-cover and 200 other periodicals selectively for articles on film and television. The periodicals range from the scholarly to the popular. More than 2,000 subject headings provide detailed analysis of the articles.
Location Scout FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Location Scout | By Benjamin Craig, filmmaking.net
A location scout is a person that reads the script for a film and goes about finding appropriate locations for shooting. Scouting locations may be a simple as doing local reconnaissance or be as complex as tripping all over the world in the search for the perfect location. Budget will of course dictate how much work a location scout will do.
Location Scout Resource: International Producers Alliance
This networking forum has been established to distill the enormous “Above-The-Line” and Key “Below-The-Line Talent” in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, and around the globe… simply be, “A PRODUCER’S ONE-STOP RESOURCE”.
Membership is free, however, registration is required and applications must be approved by the group’s moderator.
This is a very active and vital discussion group populated by production professionals worldwide.
One of the stated goals of the group is to raise money for charity via its IPA (International Producer’s Alliance) Foundation:
TARGET: Donate $100 Million to charity by 2018. 100% of all money raised goes to children’s charities
…via Mark McKennon
Location Scout Resource: /film (slashfilm) movie site slashfilm.com
Movie News! cuz a location scout has to know what is going on out there!
/Film was created in August 2005 as an alternative movie news and review blog.
A member of the Internet Entertainment Writers Association, /Film has been mentioned/cited by: USA Today, CNN, BBC, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, IMDb.com’s Studio Briefing, The Orlando Herald, Wizard Magazine, Defamer, Jossip, Wikipedia, IFC Blog, movies.com, The Onion’s AV Club, Fark.com, A Socialite Life, FinalDraft.com, Stewart Copeland from The Police, Amber Tamblyn’s Official Website, Stumbleupon.com, Bloggingbaby.com, calacanis.com. /Film stories have appeared on the front page of digg.com, Netscape.com, Newsvine.com and Shoutwire.com.
Location Scout Resource: HoHum Locations Kewl Stuff
Royal Baronial Theater | Flip Camera Tilt-Shift Visual Experiments | Posted by Reid Gershbein | via BoingBoing
(read the comments to find out how this was accomplished)
Location Scout Resource: Maps of World | Feature Film Production Countries
World map showing top 10 countries producing feature films
Maps for everyone.
Maps are everywhere on MapsofWorld.com: for students, travelers, researchers, instructors, the layman . . . just about everyone. We have physical maps, political maps, blank maps, outline maps, thematic maps – a staggering collection you can go on and on browsing. At the same time, we have dedicated channels for finance, travel, and other areas of knowledge and fun.
Location Scout Resource: List of links to websites with directories of film offices and film commissions
- AFCI – Association of Film Commissioners International
- DGA – Directors Guild of America Film Commissions Links
- New York 411 | Film Commissions – International
- New York 411 | Film Commissions – North America
- Producers Masterguide | Film Commissions / TV Commissions
- Millimeter Online Resource Guide | Film Commissions
- Tisch / NYU Film School State Film Commissions
- WriterDirector.com | U.S. State & International Film Commissions
- Yahoo Directory > Movies and Film > Regional Film Commissions and Boards
- AdProducer.com | United States Film Commissions
- Other Film Offices and related content on nyc.locationscout.us
…will be updated as additional resources are discovered.
Nikonians: Location Scout Podcast
Martin covers preparing for shoots – in particular looking for suitable locations, a task which can make you a lot more productive and efficient when you are shooting with assistants, models and other photographers.
Location Scout Resource: Open Directory Film Production
The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
Location Scout Resource: Yahoo! Movies
If you are going to be a location scout for movies and tv, you have to actually *watch* tv and movies to keep abreast of what’s new as well as have a grounding in the history and memorable scenes (specially the locations! 😉 of movies and television to use as references when discussing location ideas for new work.
Location Scout Resource: Yahoo! Movies: Read Movie Reviews, Find Showtimes and View Trailers
Yahoo! Movies is your guide to everything about movies online, from upcoming releases, to movies in theaters and movies on DVD. Find trailers and clips, movie news, cast & credits, celebrity photos, movie showtimes & tickets, box office reports and much more!
At one time (maybe they will come back someday?) Yahoo had rss feeds of many categories of interest to moviegoers. The feeds page was still up at this writing but none of the feeds work (not found).
- Movies Opening This Week: RSS
- Movies Coming Soon: RSS
- Weekend Box Office: RSS
- Most Recent Trailers: RSS
- Most Watched Trailers: RSS
- Movies News & Gossip: RSS
- Top Selling DVDs: RSS
- New on DVD This Week: RSS
- New on DVD Next Week: RSS
- DVDs Available for Pre-Order: RSS
Location Scout Howto
Ideas for locations are a huge help but there is is NO substitute in the world for a great Location Scout!
ASMP – Searching for Great Locations – Net Scouting – Using the Internet To Discover Great Locations Faster, Cheaper
Affiliate ASMP member and location scout pro Richard Hobbs www.rrhobbs.us has worked diligently to perfect the process of finding locations for photographers. His site, with more than 2,000 keyworded locations, gives photographers plenty of options and is easy to navigate right out of the gate.
The American Society of Media Photographers, abbreviated ASMP, is a trade association of professional photographers, including many photojournalists but also experts in architectural, underwater, culinary and advertising photography and other specialties as well. Its members are primarily those who photograph for publication (as opposed to those who directly serve the consumer, such as wedding and portrait photographers).
Location Scout Resource: Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive (MPTV)
founded by late Hollywood celebrity photographer legend Sid Avery has an amazing collection of entertainment industry photographs online available for browsing (…and of course, buying! 😉
The Hollywood photograph is part of our cultural history, documenting as it does, the development and growth of a uniquely American industry. Some are significant works of art in their own right. Thoughtless of the future, some film studios and periodicals, even Photographers themselves, discarded old negatives and prints, or stored them haphazardly. We have already lost too many through deterioration and disposal. If these fragile and irreplaceable images are allowed to disappear, they can never be recaptured.
Fortunately, we have come to realize that these fast disappearing works substantially shaped and influenced the lives of most twentieth century Americans, and will provide an invaluable visual resource for present and future generations. However, as in the case of other endangered species, it is crucial to act now.
The aim of MPTV is to provide a permanent photography center with a special emphasis on the Hollywood photograph and the creative achievements of the Photographers.
Location Scout Reviews of various items i.e websites, products, services, etc.
Recently, with the help of a WordPress plugin, Author HReview, I have begun to place reviews into posts on Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs – nyc.locationscout.us of websites, products, services, etc. that I have used myself and as may be appropriate and relevant to specific post(s); I hope others find these reviews useful as well. Obviously, these are only *my* opinions – you know what they say about opinions and everyone having one 😉
In most cases I have kept the reviews “upbeat”; I probably won’t have written about it in the first place if I didn’t like whatever it is and I am generally of a mind that … if you can’t say something good then don’t say anything at all, also “one man’s meat is another poison, and other cliches, ad nauseum 😉
Below are my latest reviews (the list should change as new reviews are added):
[recent_reviews images=yes summary=yes]