Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


In Your Own Backyard

I live in a typical suburban neighborhood. As a location for filming, it's rather dull. We even have white picket fences...

White Picket Fence

But while my wife and I were out on a walk, we decided to wander down some of the back alleys between the houses one block over. And there I discovered worlds of potential shooting locations. Our modern suburban streets vanished as we entered what felt like a rural landscape from decades long past.

Overgrown Greenery

Barren Dirt Roads

There may be exotic locations in your own backyard if you keep your eyes open.

On a related note: Sometimes we pass on a location because the familiar and common seem boring and repetitive. I had one film student tell me he couldn't bear to shoot another video on his college campus. "All the films look the same," he complained. "It's so obvious that you're shooting at the school."

...and, sure, if the only people who will ever see your movie are intimately familiar with a location, maybe don't use it. But if your audience is larger than the seven people with whom you shoot videos--it is because you can share your videos online--then familiarity doesn't matter.

In fact, some major motion picture directors like using the same location. Andrew Niccol has used the Sepulveda Dam in more than one of his movies.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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