Location Scouting Miami: What You Need to Know

Choosing Your Location in Miami - Video Production

Choosing the principal photography locations for your next video shoot can be one of the toughest decisions a Miami video production company has to make. There are many factors that go into this decision. Deciding between the types of video styles for your project will definitely influence the locations for shooting your video. Once you have ideas, then it’s time to start looking at locations. From corporate videos and live events, we always strive to find that perfect setting that gives our footage a more authentic feel, and helps produce higher-quality content without as much expensive work in post.

But taking advantage of Miami’s vast landscape is not only limited to the television and film industry. Filmmakers, photographers, and videographers are constantly flocking to south Florida in search of their next exciting project location. Miami attracts people from all over the world with its natural beauty, unique culture, and thriving business community. Whether you’re planning to shoot a commercial for your local company, or film the next major blockbuster, there are still countless locations worth considering in order to maximize your production value.

Perhaps you’ve already scoped out some locations online or even gone on site visits only to find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of options while looking for somewhere appropriate enough to shoot without having to spend too much money. Or maybe you’re just in need of some inspiration for your next shoot and don’t know where to start or what direction to go in.

Listed below are six major considerations you should review when choosing a location for your production:

1. Aesthetic

The aesthetic of the space and how it relates to what is happening in a scene can make or break your project. If you don’t have alignment between the director’s vision for their project, and where they are filming, there could be problems down the line. Trying to edit scenes together that don’t mesh well with each other or the script adds extra editing costs and can derail the project.

When it comes to choosing types of locations, you should consider what story you’re trying to tell and who your target audience is. The location type of your film includes the color palette associated with that particular area; meaning the overall look of everything surrounding you. If you want a vibrant and colorful theme for your next video project then Miami will be perfect for you. While taking advantage of South Florida’s beautiful beaches might be great for capturing some amazing footage in one take, by doing so you’ll also need to make sure that there is enough space available in case something unexpected happens; like waves crashing onto shore unexpectedly or someone walking into shot when they weren’t supposed to.

– Interiors: These are usually sets constructed inside buildings which include anything from offices, kitchens, and warehouses.

– Exteriors: Exterior locations consist of any outdoor space; examples would be streets, beaches, fields or forests.

– Crowd Interaction: Choosing to film around the Miami area is perfect for obtaining this type of footage. If you’re looking to capture interview-style dialogue between multiple people then you might want to consider going somewhere where there are large groups of people going about their daily business, such as a park or a busy street.

Having proper alignment ensures all aspects fall into place smoothly no matter whether we’re talking about visual storytelling such as framing shots that give weight/depth perception; dialogue delivery (volume levels); acting choices like the use of close ups versus medium shots.

The director needs to have a vision for what they’re trying to get out of their video, but it’s more than just that – there are various technical aspects as well like how many cameras will be used or where they need coverage so everything looks good on camera.. A lot goes into making sure all these details come together seamlessly before starting shooting!

2. Distance

Another consideration is travel distance. Are you willing to drive a little extra just to get that perfect shot, or would it be more convenient and time efficient for you if the locations were closer to home base? To film on location means traveling to new places. If your shooting schedule is tight then it might make sense for you to save some money by shooting at a place close enough where there wouldn’t be much travel time involved. On the other hand, if getting to other places isn’t a problem for you, then traveling to new locations to film is always great for creativity.

3. Permission

It’s crucial to find out who owns the property and if they will grant permission before filming. If it is on city, county, state or federal land, permits must be submitted for review by appropriate government agencies so that your project doesn’t violate any laws.

4. Cost

The following are some other things to consider when evaluating how much your location will cost:

– Location Type: Is the location unique or will it look like something you can film in your own backyard? Film locations that are more standard (like a restaurant, warehouse, etc) should be cheaper than locations that are totally unique (like specialty locations with high hourly fees, downtown with traffic management, etc).

– What insurance and permits are needed? Filming requires both insurance and permits. Filmmakers are typically required to have general liability insurance in case anything goes wrong. Filming can also require even more specific permits, depending on the location.

– Film Location Safety: Filmmaking can be dangerous if you’re not careful, especially when working with equipment that’s cumbersome and heavy, or in more treacherous environments. Can everyone involved stay safe while filming? Are all of the necessary safety precautions in place? Safety may incur additional cost, but in the end everyone should be safe while on the job.

5. Logistics

Filmmaking is hard enough as it is; why make it even more challenging by picking over-the-top difficult locations to film? It’s not worth having to put in extra hours and money into something that will end up looking like amateur hour if you choose poorly. If you want to look professional then aim for locations that require fewer setups and less complicated processes to get the shots necessary.

Here are some things to consider when assessing logistics and your location’s level of difficulty:

– Accessibility: Is the place easy to access to film? How long is the drive? What kind of transportation is needed (car, boat, etc.)? Are there any restrictions on what kinds of vehicles can be used to travel there (no cars allowed onto private beaches for example)? Can you even take a car or truck onto the property, or will you need to use an off-road vehicle or other specialty transport? These are all factors that should be taken into consideration.

– How much (in)convenience is involved? Filmmaking can be incredibly challenging, but that doesn’t mean you should make it even worse by having to do things like sprinting up and down stairs for 10 hours straight because there’s no other way to get from one end of the property to another. Plan your locations well to accommodate both your budget and the reasonable convenience of your crew.

– Security: Will anyone stop by while you’re trying to film? This could include tourists, paparazzi, etc. It might be challenging to film in Miami if you’re trying to go for a secluded quality (in which case, you should always get permission for shooting on private property, see above).

6. Environment

This ties into the previous point; how complicated will it be to film and get the shots necessary? Especially when hand holding your camera, can you actually walk around freely without having to worry about tripping over things or running into obstacles like trees and other plants?

The lighting is also important when filming. Examine both natural and artificial light sources:

– Natural light: This option’s appearance will vary widely depending on what you’re trying to capture. To film with natural light means that you’ll need to carefully plan your day before shooting. Film at sunrise or sunset for a good opportunity to capture great-looking outdoor footage. Make sure your shot is well-planned beforehand as sunrise and sunset have narrow windows of time to work within.

– Artificial light: To film with artificial lighting doesn’t just consist of turning on the lights in a room; it also consists of considering various light sources already in the environment, such as flood lights, overhead lighting, exit signs, outdoor street lights, etc. This is all besides the video lighting setups you’ll actually be in control of when you film!

Lighting can also be used as a form of visual storytelling because sometimes, what you don’t see is more important than what you do see. Film subject placement based on lighting is vital if you want the right person or object to stand out from everything else around them.

Another consideration is ambient sound. Are there sources of noise nearby, such as a highway, water, construction or other equipment? Take note of anything producing sound that might interfere while you’re shooting.

How to Get Started


1. Script Breakdown

The script needs to be reviewed and sorted into a list of locations needed. This will also start becoming the basis for the shooting schedule.

2. Source Great Miami Locations

Begin compiling a list of locations for the film. Looking for a house? Skim the local real estate listings. You can also contact the Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment. They maintain a list of available locations to utilize when shooting.

3. Scout

When you are looking for the perfect location, it’s important to visit the potential sites in person. When scouting, make sure to get a feel for different spaces – take lots of notes and photographs that can be used as reference material later on. If directors want their vision to come true, then they, along with any production designers, should also check out some of the locations as well to make sure things are on track.

4. Get Permission

The production must get permission from a property owner and they should sign an agreement that clearly states what rights the company has to use their location (a location release form). The exact text of this document may vary, but it will specify the terms and conditions for shots or footage to appear in the production.

Final Tips

Finally, here are some additional helpful tips for choosing your next video shoot locations in Miami:

– Location Trends vs. a Unique Perspective: Will the place’s look and feel closely resemble other videos, or do you want to shoot something unique? Seriously consider what kind of footage already exists – maybe you can supplement existing footage with new to minimize the additional shooting required.

– Location Capacity/Size Availability: How many people will be working on set? Filming can take up an awful lot of room sometimes, so it may require renting multiple locations (which costs more money). Make sure there’s enough space for everyone involved.

Make Your Production a Success by Choosing a Great Miami Location

Choosing your location to film in Miami is important and will depend on the message you want to convey in your video. Filming in Miami can provide a great backdrop for filming with its beautiful landscapes, high-rise buildings, or at sunrise/sunset time of day. Be sure to take into consideration the factors outlined above and set up your project for success!

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