At Glass Eye Productions, Inc., we value the location scouting process and do everything in our power to find the location for shoots that will help create the best footage.

One of the most important but not totally obvious aspects of pre-production is location scouting. This is the process of traveling to a location to determine if it should or should not be used in a particular shoot, or to see what can be changed to make the place more flattering for a shoot. Even though the location of a shoot becomes a background detail to viewers, it can stand out in a negative way if it doesn’t fit the needs of the scene. At Glass Eye Productions, Inc., we value the location scouting process and do everything in our power to find the location for shoots that will help create the best footage. Some shoots don’t require location scouting, but for those that do, Glass Eye Productions puts the necessary effort into finding the best place to film.

Budget is a critical factor when looking for a location. Every shoot has a specific budget that must be followed, including money allocated to props, hiring cast and crew, equipment, and other factors. Location is a big one on the list, since locations can be expensive, especially when needed for a few days or more. The key to location scouting is finding a prime location that fulfills the requirements of the particular shoot, while still maintaining a reasonable price.

When looking into the factors needed in order to have a successful shoot, there are many details to consider. Logistics such as the lighting or electrical power sources can make or break the quality of the footage, so these things must be taken into account well ahead of time.

One of the biggest aspects considered when location scouting is the geographic location. At Glass Eye Productions, we are lucky enough to have the ability to travel great distances in order to film our shoots. Over the past year alone, our crew has traveled to Utah, Kansas, Illinois, Oregon, Canada, and many more. Ultimately, the client decides the geographical location of the shoot, and we look for a place that fits their criteria within the city or state that they have specified.

Sometimes, our clients already have a location chosen, and our job is to visit and make sure that everything is up to par for the shoot. When the shoot will be located at the client’s own facility, we still provide location scouting by assessing the location, considering factors such as neatness of appearance and room size, as well as what will help get across the message of the project.

A good example of the importance of location scouting was a recent project that Glass Eye Productions, Inc. was called on to produce, shoot, and edit. It was a multi-region commercial TV spot for John Deere, the largest agricultural machinery company in the world. Glass Eye handled the entire production process for this spot, “Lucy’s Dream,” including location scouting and casting. The process involved searching the web for appropriate locations and then physically visiting the top three contenders. The farm had to appear as if it would fit in multiple regions throughout the U.S. Vegetation proved to be a deal-breaker. Seeing a palm tree would definitely tip off viewers that the spot was not shot in Texas. Additional reasons we scouted the location included: understanding the best time of day to utilize natural lighting, how many props would be needed, parking, places for setting up food, make-up, etc. After selecting our first choice location, we then shot still images of where each scene on the property would take place and developed a storyboard for the client so they could visualize and approve the location.

The location from our storyboard propped on the day of the shoot.

The spot was shot at Underwood Family Farms, an organic farm location in Moorpark, California. The weather forced us to get creative during the shoot. The farm was so beautiful that even during the cold and misty rain, we were able to keep moving and get the shots we needed.

After the Lucy TV Spot was complete, we heard from our client, Rick Haun, Creative Group Manager at John Deere: “I’ve had the pleasure this week to share the “Lucy’s Dream” TV spot with more than 180 territory sales and division managers  … and I will tell you the feedback has been extremely enthusiastic and positive.  The combination of female entrepreneur,  strong story-telling and outstanding visuals struck a powerful cord with our sales organization. Just wanted to again compliment you all for the terrific collaboration and work that went into this high-quality piece.”

Our high quality final product proves that we have been able to consistently clench amazing locations that add to the overall excellence of each shoot. Near or far from our Southern California office, each location is chosen with special care in order to ensure the correct choice is made. We also make sure that the location is as polished and prepared as can be before a shoot, and this shows in the work we produce at Glass Eye Productions.

Catching up with the farm animals while scouting at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, CA.

The farm’s vegetation had to appear as if it would grow in multiple regions throughout the U.S.

The weather forced us to get creative. The farm was so beautiful that even during the cold and misty rain, we were able to keep moving and get the shots we needed.


By |2017-02-27T21:53:57+00:00December 20th, 2016|Categories: Production, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on LOCATION SCOUTING

About the Author:

My name is Hannah Pipes, and I am finishing up my senior year at the University of California Los Angeles as an English major, Literature and the Environment minor. I have been working as a writer and copy editor for all four years of college. I'm a staff writer for the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and currently on Staff at the Daily Bruin. The Daily Bruin received 30 California College Media Association awards in 2015, including Best Daily Newspaper in the state for the second year in a row. I love working at Glass Eye and writing the blog posts. My passions outside of work include reading, writing, traveling to national parks, and performing.