Filming Locations 101 – How to Get A Location In Your Budget

A woman gets a location on a budget by recording in a library.
It's tough finding the right location for your video that's on budget. Check out these tips to work around a lack of cash.

Every video project has a budget, there’s no way around it. Filming locations in the Atlanta area can get pricy very quickly. So it’s important to know where you can cut corners to get what you need without breaking the bank.

Be flexible

You can often find better rates for certain locations if you’re able to book them during off-peak times.

Friends and Favors

This is always out there. If you need to film in a house and you’ve got a friend with the perfect place, it can’t hurt to ask. They may just be willing to let you film there. If it’s in the budget, you should still pay them as much as you can. If not, at least get them a really nice bottle of wine and a thank-you card. What’s more, be willing to reciprocate in the future when they need something from you. It’s called a favor for a reason!

Know your Area

There are some towns that don’t require permits for filming in public parks. Additionally, there are some towns that are cheaper than others. Knowing the rates for the towns in your area will keep your options open and will help keep you in budget.

Use Set Pieces

If you’re filming in the Atlanta area with a tight budget, chances are low that you can afford a trip to Paris for that important shot. Instead, see if you can build a set or use a green screen. These solutions come with their own budget concerns, of course. But they’re still likely to cost you less than sending an entire production over and ocean for one scene. If you can use B-roll to set the scene, even better.

Logos and Promotions

If your location is a business they may be able to justify a lower price for the location if you can offer some exposure or advertising. This will obviously only work if the project you’re filming is in line with the goals of the business, but it’s worth looking into.

Sometimes the above steps won’t work and you’ll have to make the decision between re-prioritizing other funds, finding a different location, or changing the concept. These are obviously not the best case scenario when you’ve found the perfect place, and if you can increase the budget slightly to accommodate the perfect location it can definitely be worth it, but it all depends on the importance of location in the project.

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