How to Find Filming Locations for Your Next Production

Almost Ginger blog owner taking photos in Edinburgh

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer here.

As a filming locations nerd, I’m usually only concerned with scouting for locations after they’ve appeared onscreen. Like you, I see these epic vistas, magnificent manor houses, cute cafes and other film locations of movies for the first time on celluloid. I’ve never witnessed the long, expensive process and red tape that location scouts and directors often have to wade through to find filming locations that match their creative vision.

– This post is a collaborative post with Giggster but all words and opinions are my own. 

But having dabbled in production for two and a half years after graduating from University, I do know that the process can have far more obstacles than necessary. This is especially true if you do not have the luxury of a multi-million dollar budget and you are a movie location scout for a short or budget film.

White houses in Plockton, Scotland with yellow and red doors (how to find filming locations)

That’s why I love what Giggster is doing. Giggster is making location scouting for film way easier, more affordable, and more transparent with their extensive directory of diverse locations. They are like Airbnb but for filming locations and connect filmmakers directly with property owners around the world. Currently, they cover 212 different cities including filming locations in London. But they also provide locations across the USA, Canada, and they’re quickly expanding across the UK and Europe too.

This post will dive into what you need to know about how to become a location scout and the tasks you need to accomplish to find filming locations for your production. It will also show you how using Giggster can help make these tasks far less difficult.

How to Find Filming Locations for Your Next Production

Old Cottage on Culloden Battlefield in Scotland

Create a Checklist Before You Scout Locations

Let’s say you’re a director, a location scout, or you work for location scout companies. The first thing you need to do when scouting for locations is to make a checklist of every single filming location you need for the movie. And you’ll find all these locations in the script.

These are some common types of filming locations:

  • Houses – Are the houses high-end or falling apart? Do they need a special feature like a pool or view?
  • Abandoned buildings – So many productions need empty warehouses and factories!
  • Public buildings – From libraries, schools and museums to churches and temples
  • Commercial businesses – Salons, gyms, cafes, and shops can all double-up as locations
  • Event spaces – Concert venues and clubs are often necessary for scenes with lots of extras
  • Landscapes – From farms and mountains to beaches and deserts

Like all research, you will probably start searching for some of your locations on Google and take advantage of Google Street View. Reaching out to the tourism board, local film office, or local fixer in the place you want to shoot for advice are also common options. But the latter is only usually an option for big-budget productions.

Another option is to search for the types of filming locations you need to locate using Giggster’s location type search. You can search different types of commercial buildings, residential buildings, and studios in a variety of locations to compare your options. The fantastic thing about this feature is that you already know they are happy to work with film crews! You could contact dozens of businesses directly before finding one that you can use whereas Giggster takes out all this guesswork.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland (how to find filming locations)

Consider the Natural Elements When Scouting Locations

You’ve found some filming locations that might work for your production. Fantastic! Now, you need to recce them to check that the locations live up to their pictures in real life.

Ideally, you would check out the locations at the time of day you will be shooting there. This will allow you to ensure you have the right atmospheric conditions including light and sound. If you’re shooting a zombie apocalypse movie with a scene in a suburb, there can’t be road noises with heavy traffic in the background!

Nothing compares to scouting film locations for yourself, but it’s great to get peace of mind from reading the reviews of locations first. Like Airbnb, you can check out the reviews from productions that have used locations on Giggster in the past to learn about their experience. You don’t get this kind of reassurance when you book a new location.

Stoer Lighthouse on the North Coast 500 in Scotland

Don’t Forget About the Logistics of Location Scouting

Though finding the perfect filming location for the script is half of the battle, there are still lots of logistical things to consider when you’re a location scout for movies.

Here are some other considerations:

  • Amount and placement of power supplies
  • Space for the crew at the location as well as talent
  • Parking and space for craft services, trailers, etc.
  • Filming permissions and permits
  • Cell phone reception
  • Liability insurance

Two of the biggest headaches for people who often scout film locations are organizing permits and insurance. It’s just a lot of red tape that can take weeks or months to obtain. And despite falling in love with a particular filming location, you might not be able to get permission so you need to start your search from scratch!

That’s one of the beauties of Giggster. You already know that these locations are available for hire as filming locations on the dates you entered in your search. Plus, Giggster offers free liability insurance for every host. So if you’re renting out your property as a location through Giggster, you be sure that if anything goes wrong, you won’t be responsible for picking up the bill.

Newhailes Estate in Musselburgh, Scotland

Need to Find Filming Locations? It Just Got Easier with Giggster

As I said at the start of this post, I don’t work in the film industry but I sure do appreciate all the hard work that goes into all aspects of production, particularly finding locations. In my opinion, the right locations can elevate a film from forgettable to cult fan favourite. Just ask the many ardent film lovers who travel to visit the Withnail & I (1989)The Quiet Man (1952), and The Beach (2000) filming locations every year.

That’s why I’m so pleased there’s a service like Giggster that can help productions find fantastic locations that they may not have had access to before. The more that can be done to help improve the locations in films, the better! You can also use the locations listed on Giggster for photoshoots and events.

And if you still can’t find filming locations on Giggster that work for your script, no problem! You can talk to one of Giggster’s agents. They will help you source off-market locations and negotiate rates, and organize permits at no extra cost. That’s a great example of why Giggster is far more affordable than the usual methods and how much they care about their mission.

And that’s my guide on how to find filming locations for your next project or production! Are you a filmmaker or interested in scouting locations for film? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks again to Giggster once again for collaborating with me on this post!

Read next: 75+ Famous Movie Locations You Can Actually Visit

How to Find Filming Locations for Your Next Production |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.