Step 15. Locations
You have the choice of shooting your film on a sound stage, on location, or a combination of both. Sound stages are fantastic because you can control all aspects of your environment. They are convenient, flexible, soundproof, and protected from inclement weather. You are in total control of all atmospherics, such as fog, wind, rain, snow, etc. The only problem is they are expensive to rent, so you might want to think about shooting your entire movie on location.
A good place, once again, to get advice about locations is to check with your local film commission. Chances are they have pre-scouted every potential location within your geographical area. Tell them what type of locations you need for your movie. When scouting for locations, you as the producer should accompany the production designer, producer of photography, and the production manager. You cannot make intelligent decision about locations unless all of the principle participants are involved.
The one thing that either makes or breaks a location is how much money the owner wants. As a low-budget filmmaker, pay locations fees only if it is absolutely necessary. By all means, try to make a deal and offer the owner a piece of your movie for promotional purposes. If you are shooting in a city that doesn’t a lot of film production, you have an excellent chance of making a deal. That’s not true in places like Los Angeles where everybody wants to get paid because property owners are knowledgeable about the film industry, and they will expect you to write them a big check.