The scout is an interesting process.
Basically the production team escorts you around the countryside to show locations that may work for the shots you’ve boarded. What makes it fascinating is that you know full well you’re at the short end of the funnel.
A good location manager has all the contacts and has already done so much vetting by the time you show up that you’re really not in control.
And it’s fine.
Unless they show you a crack house for a gothic southern plantation, it’s okay.
It’s time to start putting your blinders on and begin the painful process of whittling away at this massive ball of clay called planet earth and start making some choices.
So you romp around in their presented tableaus looking around like a director whole the rest of crew waits to see if you know how to make a decision. Any decision. So you say something like “looks nice — shoot that way.” Everyone silently breathes a sigh of relief and you move on to the next faux option.
I diagram every single shot plan, every set up more meticulously that the DP and AD combined. I spend days and days creating detailed frames and animatics in a program called frame forge. It’s borderline psychotic and I have been mocked behind my back for years for this practice. I don’t care. My reasons are very simple. I care about performance. What’s the connection you ask? It’s my experience that the more fanatically you prepare every single shot, the more time you can spend with actors. Actors are are 79 percent if the equation.
If you have a rock solid shooting plan, you have more time to get more takes and more options.