5 Wonderful Places To Shoot A Video

We certainly don’t want you to think we’re negative. Our last post on 5 terrible places to shoot a video was meant as a head’s-up, not a total downer. The number of great places to shoot a video far outweigh the number of bad places. Hencar offers location scouting as one of our pre-production services, so if you’re in the dark about the best place to shoot your video, we can definitely help there. But we encourage you to bring your ideas to the table as well during the concept development phase. Here’s a quick list of possibilities to get your started:

1) A Studio

You might think this goes without saying. Unfortunately, it often goes without thinking, as in “Never even considered that!”(facepalm).  Studios can be more cost-effective than you might think, especially when you weigh all of the positive aspects. You can control just about every facet of the shoot. Lighting? Easily doable and very versatile. You don’t have to worry about shifting natural light as you would in an outdoor location or places with a lot of windows. Sound? What sound? The only sounds you get are the sounds you want. No ambient noise (dogs barking, planes flying overhead, jackhammers, etc). No need to worry if the weather will cooperate, as you would with outdoor settings. No need to worry about permits or getting permission to do the shoot, as you do at many locations. Plus, you have options for green screen technology, or any backdrop or setting you want. It’s all arrangeable.

2) Your Space

A video shoot in your space, whether home or business, gives you control over the environment

A video shoot in your space, whether home or business, gives you control over the environment

Nearly as manageable as a studio environment. Your office, your business, your home. Your call. Again, you have a lot of control over what goes on in these locations. Even if you can’t control the number of windows you have, your lighting crew has free rein to use various tricks such as light-blocking flags and canopies that will allow them to get exactly the right look. Unless you live next to Bobcat Goldthwait, relentless and unpredictable screaming and other noise is unlikely to be a factor. Plus, as with a studio, you can control who comes in and out of your space. The slight downside here is the inconvenience that can come from having a production crew tromping through your space, but in general, it’s a lot less hassle than trying to persuade someone who has no vested interest in your video to let you use their property.

3) Rented Spaces

Rented spaces, like conference rooms, allow you to choose a controllable environment

Rented spaces, like conference rooms, give you flexibility so you can get the perfect setting

Depending on the topic of your video, this can be a nice halfway point between a studio and your own personal space. There are services that allow you to rent conference rooms in business facilities for a short term, such as a day or a couple of days. These can be rearranged to give you the look of a professional setting with a relatively unobtrusive backdrop. Some have large windows that look out on impressive scenes such as cityscapes or green areas. Cityscapes are especially nice at night, when everything is lit up. Plus at night, you don’t have to worry about shifting daylight bolloxing up the look of the scene every hour or so. The key here, as with the previous two suggestions, is the element of control you and the production company have over the environment.

Be aware that even though the space is up for rent, it’s not always for up rent for any purpose. Be upfront with the rental company about how you intend to use the space. Some may not want it being used in a video. On the other hand, some may also be willing to cut you a deal, or even give you the space for free if your shoot is fairly short, in exchange for a quid pro quo like a mention in the credits, if there are any, or a special thanks on your website next to the video.

4) The Stunning Outdoors

Secluded outdoor areas offer a good opportunity to get stunning shots in a fairly predictable environment

Secluded outdoor areas offer a good opportunity to get stunning shots in a fairly predictable setting

In our previous blog post we mentioned the troubles that can come from shooting at locations like parks and oceanfront areas. However, there are many other outdoor locales that can provide a marvelous backdrop with a minimum of fuss. The key to this is thorough location scouting. Let’s say you choose to do a shoot by a scenic waterfall. You already know the waterfall is there, and unless some horrible natural disaster occurs it’s going to be there a week from now. Waterfalls have a fairly steady noise, so your audio operator(s) will be able to account for it when setting up the microphones. Mountain trails, canyon overlooks, and large caves also can provide relatively stable, unchanging environments (careful of the bats in the caves though!).

While the weather can be unpredictable, reasonably sheltered areas can help make lighting and sound adjustments fairly simple. Bottom line: be ready to be flexible and to do a lot of research to make sure the shoot goes as smoothly as possible.  Sometimes the payoffs for shooting a video in these locations are huge.

5) The Internet

No, you don’t have to be assimilated into the Borg collective for this one. There are several location scouting services available on the internet, such as LocationsHub, that can help you pinpoint a perfect setting wherever you plan to shoot. Of course your video production company should also have a ready list of locations, but don’t underestimate your own creativity. With a little digging on the web, you could be inspired to find locations and settings you never would have thought of in a million years. (no need for the facepalm this time).

Ultimately, if you have the time, the will, and the resources, any location can be used for your video. Since most of us don’t have unlimited time and resources, we have to tap into the one thing we all have in abundance: our creativity. Like a potluck dinner, creativity only gets better when you have more contributions. Otherwise you’re stuck with that unidentifiable casserole topped with a deceptive blanket of melted cheese as your only choice. When you invite more people in, you’re more likely to have more options that appeal to your personal taste. Hencar’s staff offers a wealth of experience to help you pinpoint the right place and the right time to ensure your video comes out just the way you envision.