How to Secure a Location for an Independent Film

By Eric J. Seidman ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Movie
  • Script
  • Mock shooting schedule
  • Location contract
  • Resume/filmography

Securing locations can be very difficult in independent films because you cannot offer large sums of money to rent the places. Follow this tutorial and you will understand how to approach locations and how to get yourself almost any reasonable location you want.

Determine which locations you want to use. Make a list of all possibilities based on the amount of locations in the script.

Talk to friends and family first. They may be able to let you use their homes, offices or locations they own and are familiar with.

Dealing with people you know helps immensely because they will be less likely to give you a hard time.

Indicate which locations you still need after speaking to friends and family. Begin driving around and scouting which locations you may want to use. Find the addresses, phone numbers and/or email addresses of the locations.

Develop your pitch package. This should consist of a shooting schedule, how you plan on using the place, your resume, the script, what the movie is about, and anything else you feel will help.

Even if these items are not set in stone, simply showing them everything will impress them into believing you are on top of the game.

Arrange a meeting with the locations. Some places you can simply walk in and talk to a manager. Others, you will need to arrange something beforehand.

During the meeting, present your materials. Offer to pay for electricity during your usage. Offer a location fee for usage.

Do not come off as too desperate but at the same time, make it known that this movie will provide the location free advertising.

Do not be cocky if you're a student. Let them know this is a student project even if it is not. Locations will be more willing to help students out in terms of not asking for money than they will be for professionals.

Tip

Be prepared to hear "no."

About the Author

Ever since attending a David Copperfield performance in 2003, I decided I wanted to have the same eye-opening effect on others, that Copperfield had on me. After a few years of learning and non-stop practicing, I began performing magic on the streets, in houses, and anywhere else I could. With a wide array of experience, I am here to teach you about magic tricks, but also how to properly perform them in public. After all, if your performance is not up to par, the trick will fail.