How To Find Locations On A Budget
The right location is key to achieving the film you want. Its easy to substitute a location within a script for something similar but it takes away from the film and any meaning you had behind the location. Let’s say you wanted an all white bedroom to signify a characters purity and innocence but instead could only find a partly white bedroom with splashes of red, its harder to associate the character with the innocence that you originally wanted to portray through script and setting. Finding locations can be expensive, especially if you use a location agency, but we’ll share with you some of the best ways we’ve done it.
The Film London Location Directory has a multitude of locations from barns to residential houses to warehouses. It’s also free to use. The directory allows you to search for the type of location and its whereabouts. You then send an enquiry off and receive the contact details of each owner of the location. The only cons are it could be managed by a location directory in which case say goodbye to a good price, or the contact details can be outdated.
AirBnB is definitely an option when it comes to looking for residential properties. The prices are usually decent depending on what you want and you can always send a message to the host to explain your project a bit more and from there see if you can negotiate a price down to your needs. If I’m honest I’ve actually managed to use 2 properties from the same owner for free in return for some photos of the properties. I would make sure to visit the property in person before actually booking to know the type of space you’ll be working with. This can be where issues arise as if you have no rating on AirBnB they have no reason to trust you so try and explain your project and who you are.
Facebook Group / Social Sites
Never be afraid to ask. I was actually referred to the linked Facebook group and found it very useful as the group consists of homeowners and other filmmakers who have used a variety of locations that they are willing to share. I had a very specific location which I was having issues finding and a homeowner messaged me the first day I joined who had a house that suited my needs.
This process is a little longer but if you’ve seen a location you really like there’s nothing wrong with posting a letter through the door with contact and project details. Most people would be happy to see their own house in a short film and wouldn’t charge a lot.