How To Get a Job in Location Scouting

Although some movies are filmed largely within the confines of a studio complete with prefabricated sets that can appear quite authentic, most films need some shots that are filmed in true locations. Directors may have particular areas in mind, or may want to shoot scenes in historical areas to add authenticity to the film. In some instances, it is simply easier to film at a location than it is to recreate the location in a studio. Related Articles

How do studios decide where to film scenes that call for locations away from the studio? A film production location scout finds the locations based on the needs of the script and the desires of the director. The location scout may not simply be in charge of finding the location, but may also need to research the feasibility of filming in that area. Will the local government allow the filming, and if so, what permits will be required? Will the community be receptive to hosting a film production? Are there sufficient resources nearby to temporarily house the cast and crew for the filming? These are the types of questions a location scout has to address when considering a location for filming.

Location Scouting Explained (with Tech Scout Checklist) — Pre-Production Process Series

What do location scouting jobs entail?

Professionals who work in location scouting typically have several key responsibilities. While the primary duty of a location scouting professional is usually to find a location and secure it for use in a film, television show or another type of video project, this can involve many tasks. For example, some location scouts might conduct research on potential locations to decide which ones they want to travel to and visit. A location scout can also travel to different locations and speak to owners and managers to create contracts that secure a location for a projects use.

What are location scouting jobs?

Location scouting jobs are positions that focus on finding locations for film and video productions to host their shoots at. Perhaps the most common job title for these types of careers is a location scout, which is someone who works directly for a writer or director and searches for locations that match their vision. You can also find work in location scouting as a location manager, who oversees the location scouting process and finds places for location scouts to visit and determine whether they can be effective in a project.

How to get a location scouting job

Here are some steps you can follow to find a job in location scouting:

1. Attend film school

While there are no official educational requirements for pursuing a career in location scouting, earning a college degree can be a great way to build your expertise and increase your chances of being hired. This is because completing a degree program can offer you opportunities to learn from experts in the field in classroom settings and projects that can give you hands-on experience in the skills you need to succeed in the industry. Many aspiring location scouts and location managers pursue a bachelors degree in film production, but you can also major in a closely related subject in film.

2. Connect with industry professionals

Perhaps the most important task to consider when pursuing a career in location scouting is building a network of industry professionals that you can reach out to. This is because many location scouting professionals use their professional and personal networks to find projects to work on by communicating with directors and writers who are staffing their upcoming projects. By connecting with industry professionals before you start applying for jobs in location scouting, you can find individuals whom you might be interested in working with in the future.

This can help to establish a foundation for your professional network you can turn to for advice and recommendations when you begin looking for employment in location scouting.

3. Gain experience working on a set

Building professional experience can be especially helpful for aspiring location scouts and location managers because it allows them to build the skills and expertise they need to succeed in their jobs. Because location scouting can involve specialized knowledge of film procedures, spending a few years working entry-level jobs in film can prepare you for the more advanced work a location scouting job might entail. This can include jobs like a production assistant, a runner or a videographers assistant.

You can find opportunities to work on a film, television or another type of set by searching online forums and databases and by reaching out to professionals in your network to find crews that might require more staff members.

4. Apply for jobs in location scouting

There are often many places for professionals in location scouting to find work. This can include online forums, job websites and databases that contain profiles for film industry professionals that directors can reference to find staff members. When applying for jobs in location scouting, you can also reach out to members of your professional network to ask about potential employment opportunities. Many location scouting professionals begin their careers by working freelance, which allows them to take on projects with different directors and to learn about how to find locations for various genres of film.

Skills needed for location scouting jobs

A job in location scouting can require a set of specialized skills, many of which relate to film production. For example, a location manager typically needs an understanding of aesthetics and filming regulations that can inform their decisions about which locations a production might want to scout and use. Similarly, location scouts can benefit from having strong attention to detail, as this can help them pay attention to all aspects of a filming location to ensure that they consider any potential challenges as well as how closely a location might fit a directors vision.

Location scouting professionals should also have developed photography skills, as most location scouts take photos of the locations they visit to show their directors and other production staff.

FAQ

How do you become a location scout?

Location Scout Required Experience + Skills

There’s no formal education or training required for work as a location scout; a background in photography and a strong understanding of the film and production process is helpful, as is an eye for detail, cultural awareness, and a working knowledge of local government.

How much money does a location scout make?

The salary for a Location Scout varies based on the production budget. The national average for a Location Scout’s yearly salary is $86,100. One can expect a salary range from $45,000 to $165,000 in this position.

How does location scouting work?

Location scouts rely on databases they’ve created independently or with a community of location scouts. They use Google, browse through Peerspace, and look into real estate. Plus, they are ready to stop while driving if they spot an exciting place.

Is location scout a job?

Location scouting jobs are positions that focus on finding locations for film and video productions to host their shoots at. Perhaps the most common job title for these types of careers is a location scout, which is someone who works directly for a writer or director and searches for locations that match their vision.

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