The location scout was amazing, exhilarating, informative and a huge learning experience. Nothing could have prepared me for the trip – it’s just something you have to go through to know what it’ll be like. It was ten days of walking, meetings, taking pictures, train rides, car rides, lunches, dinners, and meeting old and new friends.
I had gotten my plane ticket months in advance to get a good price, but having to decide on those dates so early made it a bit difficult to be flexible with my schedule. As a result, I was in Tokyo ready to go, but I had nothing scheduled. I had hoped to have meetings that day, but scheduling ultimately didn’t work out. So the day that I had in Tokyo at the END of trip ended being pretty full of those meetings. It wasn’t ideal because I would have liked to have had two days full of meetings, but staying flexible is a necessity for sure. This is also an expected challenge with shooting a film on the opposite side of the world, of course.
I arrived at the first location city a day ahead of the team to see some friends and settle in. Once the team arrived the next day we got straight to work! We had a lot to see and only a couple of days to accomplish our goals, so time was managed carefully and location priorities were clear and constantly evaluated.
It was great having experienced producers along to not only help take photos and video, but also to pose questions like Will the neighbors mind if we shoot here, Where could we possible park an equipment truck, Are there public bathroom facilities, Is there a hotel nearby for the crew, How easy would it be to get crew here from Tokyo, etc.
It was also nice for me to be able to put my directing hat on – and look at these locations from that viewpoint, instead of as a producer. I preferred arriving at the location and looking and the creativity and storytelling possible instead of having to worry about the logistics and fundamentals. It’s all certainly important and necessary, but going to these locations really helped me to see what this film will look like and got me excited to shoot.
I can see it all happening. Now I just have to continue along the path and raise $80,000! Back to producing I suppose…