The location scout of a video production is an important team member whose expertise enables the various parts of the movie to be seamlessly melded together. In addition to finding suitable places where the filming of those shots that are not accommodated within the studio, a freelance location scout often helps to negotiate access to the filming location legally. Experienced freelance location scouts often maintain a database of suitable locations so they can easily meet urgent requests.
What to look for
In order to ensure that a location scout possesses the right qualities, that person should:
Be able to think logically about problems and their solutions
Be able to work long hours in a variety of climates and weather conditions
Have a great deal of visual awareness
Know how to obtain the permits necessary
Be an enthusiastic traveler
Have a great deal of creativity
Be able to network effectively.
Know what you need
The right freelance location scout will possess some basic attributes including the following:
Experience within the film industry
In many cases, location scouts have held other jobs within the industry as well as that of a location scout. This breadth of experience can prove to be invaluable when a video needs a fresh site.
A well-developed eye
Freelance location scouts need to be able to quickly and effectively assess a site to determine its suitability for a particular video. This means being able to determine if the traffic pattern of an area is right for a project or if the natural lighting supports the video.
Able to negotiate with diverse populations
Today’s video production locations span the globe. A freelance location scout needs to be able to effectively and respectfully communicate with people from a variety of different cultures.
Questions to ask a potential candidate
Asking the right questions at the start of the process can help reduce the time and effort spent finding the ideal freelance location scout.
What kind of experience do you have?
Learning about a location scout’s experience and the other video productions they have worked on tells potential employers about their ability to effectively do their job.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
Knowing ahead of time if being a location scout is simply a temporary job for a particular person as they make their way to their ultimate goal of being a producer, director or some other member of a video production crew can provide insight into their ambitions.
What was your favorite project and why?
What are the most difficult locations to find and why?
What is the most obscure location you've scouted?
The above three questions helps delve into the methods used by a freelance location scout to meet challenges and build on their skills. Knowing how this team member handles different aspects of the job is vital in determining if that person is a good fit for a project.