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Location scouting


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#1 Stephen Floyd

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:40 AM

I've recently been hired as a PA for an indie feature and will be helping the location manager during pre production. He wants me to bring back pictures of the locations I find to give to the DP, and I am looking for a new camera. Any suggestions on what kind of camera to use so I can measure the proper exposure levels, depth of field and all that? Or does the type really matter?
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:26 AM

For location hunting any good quality camera will do, it's basically to give a feel for what each location looks like, it's not about the exposure or DoF.

I'd buy a camera that you want to use for the photography you want to do other than just this, a compact camera can be good enough location hunting stills.

The DP should be personally visiting these locations during the recce and they'll be checking for the lighting then.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:13 AM

If anything I"d want photos with as much DoF as possible and good color rendition so I can see the location; and please, no artsy shots!
Also, never forget, you're not so much so buying a camera, as a lens system in stills. As you start to accrue lenses you get tied into one manufacturer for a long time, so choose wisely. I went Nikon, and haven't regretted it yet (well, ok, maybe for the vDSLR video.. but for stills, never!)
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:05 PM

The last film I worked on, I'm pretty sure they had some photos taken with disposable cameras.


I wouldn't really recommend 35mm for this though. Really any camera with a zoom lens is best, so you can adjust for perspectives called for in the script. (If you have a 200mm prime and the storyboard has a lot of wide angle shots. . .)


It's really just about showing the framing possible, or a general layout of the location overall, not creating a work of art. It's like taking crime scene photos.
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#5 Brent Toombs

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 05:48 PM

The DP is looking for locations, not shots, so get any decent digital camera that takes good pics and is easy to use. Show him the entire room/location, don't edit out stuff you think "he won't want to see". I also like to record a slow 360 on the video mode of each location so people can see the entire location they will be working in, not just the backgrounds that will be on camera. I've been using a Canon SD1000 for a few years and it is a great little camera for scout photos and video.

Edited by Brent Toombs, 20 September 2010 - 05:49 PM.

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