The City of Angels is littered with iconic locations from legendary movies and TV shows. No matter where you are in LA, it feels like you’re only a few steps away from stumbling across a famous building, beach, or vista from the big or small screen.
But if you’re on a tight budget or you’re looking for somewhere truly unique for your next shoot, finding the perfect location can be a challenge. Keep reading for our simple tips on scouting film shoot locations, and to check out five of the city’s most unique filming venues.
How to Choose a Great Film Shoot Location in Los Angeles
5 simple tips for choosing a film shoot location
Credit: Photo by Paul Deetman from Pexels
You’ve found a location that has the ideal look and feel for your project, but that doesn’t mean you should make a booking just yet. There are lots of simple but crucial factors to consider before deciding whether a particular location is right for you. Here’s what you need to do.
Visit any potential location in person
You can learn a lot about LA film shoot locations online, but there’s no substitute for visiting a location in person. Physically checking out a location for yourself is the best way to decide whether it’ll work from an aesthetic and a practical point of view.
Make sure you take plenty of photos to review later — there are some great apps to help with this — with anyone who’ll play a key role in the production process.
If you’ll be shooting indoors, think about whether you’ll be relying on natural or artificial light and how this will affect the look of your scene. It’s also important to consider the time of day when you’ll be filming — no matter whether you’re filming inside or out, the same location can have a completely different mood in the early-morning sun to the middle of the day.
Think about the logistics
It can be easy to fall in love with a location without giving proper thought to the practical aspects of filming. But that can be a costly mistake, so check the venue from top to bottom with a critical eye.
- Is there ample off-street parking?
- How easy is access to the shoot location?
- Is there enough space for you to store and organize your equipment?
- Where will actors go for wardrobe changes or to prepare for a scene?
- Are there clean bathrooms?
- What about Wi-Fi?
Even something as simple as a lack of conveniently located power outlets can be a major hassle, so take your time to assess any potential space.
Kill two birds with one stone
If you’re on a tight budget, it pays to find locations that tick more than one box. For example, let’s say you need to shoot an industrial warehouse scene as well as something in an office. Instead of shooting at two separate venues, look for a location that provides an office area as well as the warehouse space you need. You might even come across new inspiration and shooting locations when scouting a venue, so keep your eyes open for new ideas.
Remember, it’s not all about the look
Finally, don’t forget that film isn’t just a visual medium — sound is also crucial. So don’t let a location’s perfect looks blind you to the fact that there’s a whole lot of distracting background noise. Poor sound can ruin any project, so use your ears as well as your eyes when you’re out scouting locations in Los Angeles.
5 awesome film shoot locations in Los Angeles
Now that you’re ready to start scouting around for the right spot, let’s take a closer look at five unique Los Angeles film shoot locations.
Need to shoot a scene in a friendly neighborhood convenience store? This humble convenience store, located on the corner of Manchester Avenue and St. Andrews Place, is perfect. Off-street parking is also available, and the interior of the store is flexible enough to be tailored to your needs.
New Life Full Gospel Church
As spooky as it is unique, this abandoned church in the heart of Venice has tons of character. The venue features two chapels and four rooms, including a memorable space with a bathtub hidden away in the closet. There’s also an office space and kitchen for added practicality.
Located in Newberry Springs, this 80-acre ranch is ideal if you’re trying to recreate an “Old West” vibe. Small sand dunes and 40 acres of dry lake bed make for a harsh backdrop, while the saloon, horse stable, and old horse corrals add plenty of character. There’s even a one-acre lake with boats if you need to shoot any water scenes.
Get groovy in this mid-century modern masterpiece. This architectural gem is all about retro vibes and simpler times. From its colorful decor and floating ceilings to the sparkling pool outside, it’s an eye-catching and memorable space.
Jaxon Boxing Studio
You can practically taste the blood, sweat, and tears that have been shed in this place. Boasting high ceilings, 3,500 square feet of space, and a boxing/workout setup, this is one gym you’ll actually look forward to visiting.
Start scouting for your new film shoot location in LA
These are just a few of the wonderful film shoot locations on offer in Los Angeles. And as you’d expect in this part of the world, there are many other diverse and different venues on offer. Start comparing your options today to find one that’s right for your project.