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Location Scout

Expert Sources: David Occhino
Date: August 15, 2019
Reads: 36,896

Career Overview

Location Scouts secure locations for filming. They handle permits and coordinate location management before, during, and after production.

Alternate Titles

Location Manager, Locations

Avg. Salary

$86,1311

Salary Range

$45K-$165K1

Career Description

Location Scouts secure locations that a Director or Writer imagined in a script. They also deal with all the logistics for that location including permits, and coordinating all logistics for the location both before and after the film or television shoot. They also can act as the liaison for the production with the community at large affected by the shoot.

David Occhino has been working in locations since the days of The Sopranos and really loves the work. He lays out a typical day on the job: “I am usually one of the first people to be at the job. I’m doing a pilot right now for Showtime and as soon as they are ready to go into production they look to hire a Location Manager.”

Occhino says the job always begins with breaking down the script: “Once I break it down, I will have a phone call with the Director, or Writer to hear their ideas for a particular location.”

“When you get the script, you are reading it for yourself, and making a decision on your own on the best place to find certain things. In New York, it’s the city or Brooklyn and Queens. You usually try to lock one of the biggest locations and work from there.”

You definitely have to like knocking on doors to be a Location Scout.

“Getting people on board to want to work with you can be hard, but it’s a fun process,” says Occhino. “You get to be creative. You imagine for yourself what these places will look like, and then will sit down with the Director and get a big monitor and one-by-one go through the locations that we scouted and looked at and get feedback.”

“After that, you will bring them in person and show them the spots. It’s very fun. It’s like getting to go on a field trip every time. You meet a lot of different people. You see a lot of beautiful places. The Locations Department is like the liaison to the real world for the crew.”