The weird and wonderful world of recce’ing.

Location scouting in Helensburgh

Yesterday we were on a recce (location scout) for a job.

Recce’ing is vital. You scope out potential locations and figure out if they fit your brief and concept. Can we shoot here? Are there strong angles? What’s the light like? Do the colours work? Most importantly, does it work for the narrative – is there a motivation to be there?

You also need to check if the location is workable logistically. Is there parking? Toilets? Is it safe? Is it a long distance to the shooting area from your unit base (where we keep the unused gear, make up, wardrobe, catering etc and often where the vans and cars are parked)? Do you need special equipment to work the location – cranes, cherry pickers etc?

Recce’ing is also fundamentally weird. Sometimes you’re by yourself or just with a key creative like our DOP Lucas yesterday. And sometimes you have a whole team of people with you – the producer, the DOP, the gaffer, the art directors, the stylist, etc. Basically, you all stand around and point. Then have a discussion. Then point some more. Then move to a different spot and point a little more. Then usually have a polite argument. Then point just a tad more. And then you move on to the next location.

But they’re also adventures. You get to explore. Often unexpected, unusual and sometimes even unlikely places. And then you plan how to transform those places for an image or for a film.

Those places become magic.

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