There is no big secret in finding the right filming locations, there are no patterns in exactly how to do it. Most of the shooting requirements are described in the script. Finding a place is limited by your resources. If you know what you are looking for, it will be easier for you, if not, then the best option is to find people who can help you.
Most modern films have scenes filmed in public places, in office buildings and in exotic mansions. Why don’t you try it too? Depending on your budget, there may be a number of obstacles.
In fact, many of these scenes in Hollywood films were filmed on sets. Even Alfred Hitchcock had to build his own mini Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest. Below are some of the issues that you will have to deal with.
When you go out looking for filming locations, there are actually a lot of places to stay. Perhaps it’s somewhere around the corner, next to a busy main road that you often pass by and where there is enough space for parking. Do you have a decent space where you can relax, change costumes, put on makeup or dine, no matter the weather? Can you position all the lights, camera, dolly and actors on set for a good angle?
Consider whether you are ready to travel so far every day that you lose half a day just on the road. Resolve nutrition issues.
What will happen if it rains? Is the lighting right for you? Even the slightest wind can prevent you from recording. What is the probability that good weather will last long enough for you to finish your work? You can run into serious time costs if the scene calls for sunny skies and you’re waiting for the clouds to finally go away.
Don’t assume that you can shoot anywhere just because someone says they don’t mind. Most people have no idea how seriously a film crew can disturb them. They need to know how many people, how much equipment and vehicles will be involved, how long the shoot will take. The enthusiasm for being involved in the filmmaking process wears off very quickly.
Make sure people understand what the movie is about so there are no moral or political objections. Agree with them documents on legality/responsibility. Make sure the person is actually entitled to the permit. Your coffee buddy might tell you that everything is fine, but what if his boss shows up unexpectedly?
Neighbors can be a big problem. You can upset them when all nearby parking spaces are occupied by your transport, and when lights are constantly on nearby and unknown people walk around. You may suddenly discover all the neighbors in the area who like to show off their musical tastes by turning the speakers up to full volume. Perhaps some monetary bribery will help resolve this issue.
Even if you have agreements with owners and neighbors, you need to settle issues with the municipality. Doing business on private property may be against local laws.
There is nothing worse than stopping shooting in the middle of a journey, when you haven’t fully figured out all the organizational issues in advance.
Most public places are essentially inaccessible venues for low-budget cinema. If you request a permit, you will be required to provide liability insurance papers, require police officers to maintain public order and control traffic, and have to pay an expensive permit, OR worse, be denied on grounds of illegality under local ordinances.
The fact that most of the filming will not take place on the street or on the sidewalk will not be taken seriously by the police.
Low-budget, independent cinema is guerrilla cinema. This means that you do not ask anyone if you can shoot on this street. You need to organize everything well, work quickly and disappear before someone calls the police. It’s easier to apologize than to ask for permission. If you get caught, you can explain that you were doing a job and didn’t know you were violating anyone’s rights.
If you’re shooting an independent film, always think about how you’d like to film in multiple locations. Every day of moving takes a day from you. Even moving to another room can take you several hours.
Do you think you can’t make a great movie in one room? Many “shock” films were filmed in the same room. And some of them were filmed literally in the same room.