Let's start off with practical advice. What exactly is a site survey? Well, for different folks this is going to take on different meanings, but I'd like to frame it from my point of view, so you'll understand the sort of things you'll learn today. First off, I see a site survey as being a thorough review of the location, to make sure that it's ready to use in a video or a photo production. The idea here is that you're taking a look at the locations. Sometimes those occasions are going to be ones that you've selected. Other times they're going to be provided by your client or maybe a location- scouting service, and you're going to want to make sure that those locations that have been selected are actually ready to use.
This is also a great opportunity to discover if there's going to be any risks or opportunities. For example, the location may lend itself to some great shots that you hadn't plan for. Maybe there is just a perfect outlook or you really like the backlighting and you want to adjust the script or the scene. Additionally, there might be risks. Maybe the location isn't as safe as you would like, or it will be difficult to get power to, so you're going to have to take extra steps to make sure that the location is ready for your style of shooting. This is really, though, a chance to improve the creative inspiration.
It gives you a chance to take a look at the locations. Remember, the location is where your scenes take place, and it's much more than just a simple backdrop. For example, our location today is just a pure white backdrop, completely minimalist, but in most productions, you're going to be going out to specific locations that help reinforce your story. You're going to be looking for things that build, that add to the scene, but don't distract, and it becomes important that the locations you're choosing are a good match.
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