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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:32 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Location Challenges

What the heck, now that this is an official forum...

I can't seem to avoid location challenges. I have had trouble with the last two projects I have had to secure a location for.

First was the "High School Sucked" music video shoot for Bridgewater, MA band Random Kate. We had secured some locations at Dean College in Franklin, MA. We were set to shoot on a weekend during semester break. The very nice facilities person that set this up sent a message to the Security Office so they would be expecting us. When we showed up Saturday afternoon, there was no record of it in their log book. Had a little trouble, phone calls were made, and we were able to proceed.

Then on Sunday we were shooting "Intense Math," our entry into the Phoenix Film Project Screen Wars challenge. We had secured the main auditorium at the Phoenix Public Library Burton Barr branch from 12-4pm. Again, the library administrator sent an email to the security manager, and again the security officers were not aware of what was going on when we arrived to load in. After a few phone calls (I think the security manager went and checked the email box), we were allowed in, only to find that the auditorium was not set up with chairs and the carpet was being cleaned. It would be an hour and a half minimum before we could work in there. So, we took a break, and regrouped at 2pm. We had to shut off the blowers to shoot, and the carpet was till quite wet. The air was thick with moisture.

Anyway, in the end, we got what we needed, but it seems there is always a hassle, even when you plan ahead. Heck, maybe it wouldn't be as fun if there weren't so many challenges. I still enjoy run and gun more. Show up in a laundromat, shoot your stuff, and book it out of there. :)

Some stills:
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Old February 16th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Plainfield, New Jersey
Posts: 927
Yes, there is very little you can do about unexpected challenges, be they location related, or otherwise. Your post reminds me of the fact that the things that one would think would be the easiest to pull off, often turn out to be the hardest (and vice versa.) One of the few things that is RARELY talked about when producing is the ability to keep calm under sudden and unexpected problems. However, even with that said, location control is exactly why big productions shoot in studios.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 08:06 AM   #3
RED Code Chef
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Locations can be a nightmare indeed, you should be glad you where
able to shoot at all! Here in Holland there are almost no broken
abandoned buildings which I wanted for my Lady X episode.

However, just by accident I found an old abandoned gas station
at the side of a freeway which was just perfect (the character
needed to get rid of another character).

When we returned on the day to shoot the whole site was GONE,
it had been demolished and all rubble removed (as it always goes
here, sigh). It clearly had been in this state for years! And just
prior to our shooting it was removed. Damn! We had to quickly
find another location. I still have the photos and video of the
scout though, nice reminder of what could've been....

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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