Locations add a large element to any story.
Since most of what you are telling relies on the images in your background, you can easily see how a location can make or break a scene. It is very important to find that place that not only connects in your mind, but that you know will connect in the mind of the viewer. It should connect the scene with the action of what is happening. Locations should be visually seamless and be used to enhance the story and the actors. Below are some types of locations.
On your budget you will more than likely want to look at existing locations instead of building a location on a stage.
Existing Interior locations
This would be a location that is used as it already exists. This could be the inside of a house or a building. The location to the right is an example of a living room set. Notice the lighting color differences. We will discuss this more on the lighting page. The key to remember in securing these locations is to make sure the owner is film friendly. Also be prepared to offer them some sort of cash for the location and already have that number in your mind when you approach them about shooting.
Existing Exterior Locations
These are exteriors of buildings or houses that you can use. Remember that the exterior and interior for your shots do not have to match as long as you can use something to connect them visually. The location to our left is an example of an exterior building location. If you are shooting in a building you want to give yourself plenty of time to get permission to shoot from the company that owns it.
Sound Stage Locations
If you have a larger budget you may want to introduce the idea of shooting on a sound stage. This takes away all of the surprise of weather and of unwanted sounds. Of course you will have to construct your set from scratch but it may be worth it if you have something you cannot specifically find. To the right is an interior and an exterior view of a sound stage.
Government Controlled Locations
This is a location that is maintained by the city, state or national government. These can be beautiful locations to film and can provide you with sometimes free permission to film there. This of course depends on many things. Government location could be national parks, a highway, a courthouse, a park that has a baseball field…well you get the idea.