Finding Filming Locations (4c)

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October 30, 2012 by Andrew Bogatek

Gearing up for shooting in Old Mill. Photo courtesy of: Trevor Parkins.

There comes the time in every movie’s production process where the production crew has to scout out shooting locations.

Scouting locations can take weeks or even months because:

  • Producers have to find the most suitable location(s) for filming.
  • The location must fulfil the requirements regarding the story’s setting. (Ex. Film set in the desert requires an actual desert).

Trevor and I automatically thought of shooting our film in High Park, because of the large amounts of trees and nature walks it had. Essentially, the park would serve as a stand-in for our haunted forest.

In fact, Trevor had already filmed the first movie, Deadwood Forest in High Park. Both movies even feature a chase scene set in the exact same location – a pathway along a river. The setting was used as a flashback sequence for Deadwood Fury.

“In Scary Movie 4 (2006), the film spoofs Saw Saw II. The Saw & Saw II sets are so exact that they look as if they’re the same ones used in the original films. The Saw producers even asked if they could use the bathroom set from this film for Saw III.” – IMDB.

I also opted to shoot some scenes in Old Mill, located along the Humber River in Etobicoke. The area is vast and has several secluded trails enshrouded by greenery and forest. During the summertime, it’s remotely peaceful and great for walks and hikes.

The “Deadwood Fury” cast on a hiking trail in Old Mill, prepping for a scene. From left to right: Alexandra Jennings, Andrew Bogatek (in costume), Michael “B.” Bohdanowicz, Esther Sissons, and Taavo Nisbet. Photo courtesy of: Trevor Parkins.

The scenes featuring High Park took the most time to shoot, roughly around three to four weeks. This included an intense fight scene between our protagonists Trevor and Michael B., who square off against the demonic killer. The fight scene itself took five days to shoot.

Filming in High Park. Left to Right: Cast members Oliver Hierlihy, Andrew Bogatek, Trevor Parkins and Michael “B” Bohdanowicz. Photo courtesy of: Trevor Parkins.

As for Old Mill, we shot more of the film’s suspenseful scenes featuring our lovely supporting actress Esther, who plays a ghost terrorizing visitors to the forest. While doing a photo shoot months earlier in the Mill, Trevor, Esther and I found a small field with a tree that had these odd-looking “tinfoil leaves” which were braided like a girl’s hair.

Mysterious tin foil leaves found in Old Mill
Photo provided by: Trevor Parkins

“We have to shoot a scene here!” I told them. Two months later, we did.

Now, if you’re an independent director and want to get the best out of filming locations, consider these tips when scouting out filming locations.

1. Find areas that are close to your home, but also close for your cast and crew. Common ground is key.

2. Film scenes at your house or a friend’s. It’s convenient for you and you’ll know when to shoot.

3. If shooting a horror movie, consider secluded or isolated areas i.e. any kind of local forest or park.

4. If you get into trouble with any kind of authority, just inform them what you are doing. The best way of getting out of someone’s hair is just saying you’re doing a film project for school. (It worked for Trevor and I.)

To reiterate, locations that are close to you and your cast and crew will benefit everyone. The fact that a particular filming location is mutual in terms of distance between one another indicates its suitability and effectiveness. As always remember to cast any comments, questions, or concerns below!

On a final note, check out the teaser trailer and a clip below featured from Deadwood Fury.

(Videos courtesy of Andrew Bogatek and Trevor Parkins).

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