Location Scouting for filming & Photography – An iPhone Android App Idea –

Dexter Flecher Film Actor and Movie Director – A portrait session during the making of Wild Bill.
November 20, 2011
Website Photography – presenting artists to the commercial world
November 24, 2011

We are looking for photographic Locations all the time, the search is endless and mostly fun. But it could be more productive…

Sometimes we are hired as location scouts without any filming or photography component, just because of our expert knowledge of London and UK locations, and I guess the fact we get results quickly. We just finished a 9 day job finding locations for an US/Italian film company and we are very soon going to undertake the finding and photographing of 4 or 5 very special locations for a new Twilight Film. I will do more posts around these projects as they develop, but back to our App idea.

Almost every time we take a journey outside of central London, whether it be for professional photography or just for fun, we are always distracted by some perfect hillside or an amazing building with unbelievable architecture. So many times I personally turned up 5 minutes late complaining about the traffic when in reality I just had to stop to take a few reference pictures of some cows in a field etc etc that I passed on the way to a meeting.

 

Amazing sunsets happen anywhere, even in London!

 

The App: We need a little soft wear that would seem to make the whole process a little more scientific, half the time when we are asked if we know a good location for x or y, the first thing that happens is we sort of remember that we did know a place but can’t quite remember where exactly it is, and usually that means a second trip to go and:

a) make sure we can find it

b) be certain it exists

c) check it has not changed or been removed, torn down, built over, fenced off or just over grown.

d) work out what the light will be like at different times of day

e) check local logistics, we we been a loo, can we find food or do we need to bring it etc etc

These extra trips would be less essential if we had a better idea of the location, but often the best we have is a photograph w have taken ourselves  and our memory of taking it…

 

Enter the iPhone (well any smart phone or tablet), it has a video camera where you can dictate a little description and at the same time record the views and angels as they are in front of you. this is a massive step up, but one still needs to fined the relevant films and work out where they were taken. I was suggesting that we build an app to help us. But before we sat down to make it i though i would scotch out what it would need…

This little app basically needs to log a location to GPS, find the nearest street address, save a photo with direction information and have a field for notes. But to be really perfect it needs some sunrise and sun set information (maybe with image overlays showing the path of the sun though your picture on a given day of the year) and a video recording feature so one can annotate the scene, ideally with speech recognition to transcribe ones thoughts so they are searchable and editable. Also a good way of hierarchically organising the locations by projects and categories. Then I would like an online data base of locations that could be uploaded by users so one could find out if someone else had a location idea in the area, maybe tourist boards could be encouraged to upload their own locations to help encourage local filming and photography…

So if anyone would like to help me partner/developing a new scouting App. Get in contact…

 

Here are some locations that we have found accidentally in our recent travels.

A view of Saudi Arabia from a beach in Eygpt taken during the recent revolution.

 

This rock has been polished to a mirror smooth finish by millennia of wind blow sand and wadi waters

 

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