When shooting a film there are many factors to take into consideration when looking for shoot locations. Whether you are shooting interiors or exteriors here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location for your film shoot:
1) POWER – Does the venue have enough power for you to run all your lights and equipment? Many locations that will let you shoot your project will insist you bring your own power (generator). If you are allowed to use their power check it out first to make sure you are aware of what their system can handle so you don’t have a blow out while shooting.
2) BATHROOMS – Are there bathrooms there? Enough to accommodate the size of your crew? Years ago when I was starting out I worked on a horror film, we shot in the middle of a field at night and there were no bathrooms at all. You can’t expect people to work under those conditions.
3) PARKING – It should never cost anyone to work for you. Make sure there is ample free parking within a few blocks of your location, make sure you check all street signs for parking restrictions (i.e. rush hour). If parking must be further away, provide a shuttle to transport people from the parking area to the set.
4) SOUND – Make sure you know how to shut of the air, refrigerator or any other powered appliances that can interfere with shooting.
5) PERMITS- Although I would always recommend having a permit to shoot in a public location (park, street, beach, etc) many independent filmmakers are successful “stealing shots on the fly”. There are many snags that can come up when shooting without a permit, a few weeks ago I was hired to work on a web series shoot, when we arrived at the outdoor location there was a legit film crew with permits and police escorts already there. The shoot was canceled and everyone was sent home, for continuity purposes they needed that exact spot they had already established in the scene.