Finding locations for my FMP was very time consuming but an absolute necessity. I needed to find at least 3 locations that were very different in appearance and all had opportunities for both interesting wide and close shots – in my head I imagined a forest, a beach, and a fell. This meant that I spent a lot of my afternoons over a two week period going on various walks with a camera and documenting the potential locations, occasionally taking pictures of shots I could include in my film. As well as thinking about the aesthetic, another factor I had to consider was ease of access. I would be carrying a fair amount of equipment with my camera, tripod and jib, so I needed to find places that would only be a short walk from wherever we parked the car.
This is one of the first places we went. In terms of looks, this forest is perfect for what I needed and is a lot like what I pictured in my head. The ground is fairly flat and isn’t too cluttered by foliage, meaning that the trunks of the trees stand out a lot more. It’s especially good for all the older trees in that forest, like the one in the picture on the right. They are very striking anyway, twisted by age, but the emptiness surrounding it emphasizes it more. This location would be great for getting beautiful wide shots, however it may be a problem getting close shots. The forest looks very much the same all throughout, and the lack of vegetation means there aren’t many parts of the forest you could focus on in detail. The other issue with this place is the location. It was a long walk to get to the forest, and involves walking through fields and along the sides of roads, climbing over multiple gates and stiles. Even if I took someone to help me, it would be tiring and difficult to get the equipment up there. That’s why I’ve decided to not use this place in my film.
I looked at this other forest for comparison. Originally I discounted this one, because I thought that with the trees as close together as they are and the majority of the forest being on a steep banking, it would be difficult to get any good wide shots of the area. But as soon as I started taking pictures I decided that I actually quite liked the look. The trees aren’t uniform and their branches weave together, and it makes the forest look sort of ancient and untouched, like the forests you would read about in fairytales. The other good thing about this place is the amount of interesting little details there are that could make great closeups.
Whether manmade like the rusting metal or natural like the flowers, these would be nice breaks between the wide landscape shots and give the viewer something else to focus on other than the green grass. The final reason why I prefer this place is because of how easy it is to get to. The forest is right behind my house and I can walk up there by myself with all the equipment whenever I need to.
Fell / mountain
My family and I often go on walk up the fells and mountains surrounding our home, and I did briefly consider them for locations because as you can see from the pictures the views are amazing and I think a couple of sweeping jib shots would compliment them nicely. But I knew that taking the equipment up even the smaller fells would be too much of a challenge.
These images are from the top of the fell behind my house. When I took these, I was standing only a few steps from where the car was parked by the road, but you would never be able to tell, which is perfect because I can keep all the equipment in the car and go back and forth to get out only what I need when I need it. My favourite part about this view is the sunset. When the sun goes down, you can stand up there and watch it go behind the mountain pictured on the left. I think this would be the perfect shot to end my film. Here is a picture I captured recently of this.
There’s only one beach I visited during my location research because I already knew it would be well suited to my film. Roanhead is an amazing beach because of the rolling dunes that line the edge. They are similar in shape to the fells and mountains around my home and I think they would make an interesting comparison if I put a shot of the fells and dunes side by side. The other reason I like this beach is because it’s a popular place for people to go, and you can physically see the human influence on the land. The footprints, the litter, the bouys and the boats would all be interesting focal points for my close shots. I’ve specifically taken note of the round bouy that you can see in the picture above. As mum pointed out to me, it reminds you a lot of the world, and I think it would be a nice touch to my film if I compared the Earth to something manmade.