It's almost five weeks until Rianne Pictures shoots the short film Foxhole! One major part of pre-production is getting the locations for your film right, so last weekend director Caris Rianne, cinematographer Eleanor Ring, script supervisor Charlotte O'Driscoll and sound recordist Eleanor Russell took a road trip around Essex for a recce day. Here's what they found out and why if you're shooting a short film soon, you should be planning a recce day too!
1. Check that your shot list is achievable
Shot ideas in your head may seem amazing, but actually achieving those aspirations may not be all too easy. Ensure you take your shot list with you to the locations and explore all options. You may think that a beautiful country road will suit a certain wide shot in your short, but busy traffic and lack of space for your crew and equipment may not agree with you and it's time to find an alternative.
2. Get your teams' opinion
Communicating the visual identity of the film from the director's mind to the cinematographer is incredibly important to the structure of the film, but allowing suggestions on how to improve your location choices or even try alternative options nearby may save you hassle on your shooting days. Your producer may see something that you may have missed, which is why recce days are best to do as a team effort.
3. Access the risks and limitations
Shooting in the middle of the woods may provide your lens with the most realistic and alluring depiction of your scene, but can your cast and crew access toilets? Is there parking nearby? Phone signal in case of emergencies? Ask yourself important questions as it will be too late on the day to find out...
4. Take photographs
For those members of the crew that can't make the recce day, it's great to share photographs of what you find. Not only does this allow you to reflect back and ensure you make the right decisions, it can guide you in terms of blocking plans for the actors and equipments. Take some test footage too, it's always a great idea to test the lighting of your locations.
5. Think of your transport
During research for Foxhole an amazing location was found for a house, it was within budget and served the shot list perfectly. The only issue was, it was an hour and twenty minutes away from where the team were based! Estimating the expenses of the journey along with the affect it had on the schedule meant that it was no longer an option. Always take the budget and your schedule into account when choosing your location, there is always another way and luckily another Foxhole house was found a lot closer to home for Rianne Pictures....and it's perfect!
6. The sound
Having your sound recordist or sound designer with you on the recce day allows you...literally another pair of ears! Eleanor Russell was able to record ambience and note down any risks to the sound process that may occur during the shoot such as busy roads, bird noise and airplanes. The team were then able to put measures into place to tackle these obstacles.
Pre-production is still in full swing for Foxhole, the rehearsal day with the actors is approaching next weekend! Remember, you can help contribute funds for the making of Foxhole by visiting the Indiegogo page, where lots of rewards including producer credits are available, check out the campaign here.