Education, Videos

A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Locations to Film in Melbourne

From stunning coastlines to rugged state forest, not to mention the suburbs and industrial ports, Victoria and in particular Melbourne’s filming locations are of notable character and cinematic beauty.


With 237,629 km² covered by the State of Victoria, it is easy to feel swamped by the vast array of choices. Just for you, we’ve put together The Jasper Picture Company’s step-by-step guide to choosing the best Victorian and Melbourne Filming locations for your next shoot.


Check Out Film Victoria’s List of Locations  


Film Victoria is the state government affiliate that provides assistance to production companies and industry professionals in Victoria. Their website is packed full of useful resources and you’ll find a comprehensive list of film locations in Victoria there.


We suggest going to town (and perhaps going to the towns) on this list as a starting point. Plus, each location listed has been expertly categorised by era, style of architecture and type of place, and profiles of the location include high-quality downloadable photographs taken from various perspectives.


Of course, this directory is no way near complete, but if nothing else it will give you a swathe of ideas!


Filter for Faults


When you find a good location, you’ll want to make sure that it ticks all the boxes. We recommend keeping the following in mind:


  • Residents
  • Giveaways of present period time (if your film needs to be set in another decade)
  • Construction
  • Noise pollution
  • Any upcoming festivals or multi-day events
  • Landmarks
  • Permits and legal barriers (every council has different rules)

The legal element is a big one since you often need to get permission from multiple people and organisations before you can go ahead with your shoot.


All Hands on Deck


Frequently people pick out a location simply because they have been there before, and this limits the scope of available options and challenges on your ability to judge locations objectively.


Get more people in your team involved in choosing between locations if you have a few places in mind, and just wait to hear the different strengths and weaknesses people pick out. You’ll no doubt be surprised by the range of opinions!


Where There’s a Crowd, There’s an Atmosphere!


Place is one thing, but place is nothing without people (unless that’s what you’re going for!). Flinders Street Station, Collins Street, the MCG before the game starts, St Kilda Beach and Swan Street on a Friday night: these are just a few destinations where Melburnians tend to flock to and which will continue to act as great backgrounds for sharing news and telling stories.


Time of day contributes to this so if you’re scoping out an area for a shoot, we urge you to spend some there and get a sense of what the ideal time of day and day of the week to film will be.


A Note on the Weather …


Will your ideal location become not so ideal if there’s bad weather? This is a big factor when planning a shoot. If you don’t have the resources to cover equipment and shelter your crew, then you either need to plan around the possibility of needing to reschedule your shoot if the weather is poor on the day, or a pick a location that’s versatile enough (has some undercover aspect) so that you can shift to a different spot and continue rolling.


In next week’s blog, we will open a can of worms and talk to you about what camera to buy to create videos within your business. If you’re looking for Melbourne filming locations and require an expert production house, we’d love to hear from you.

Author


Avatar

Matt Jasper

Matt Jasper is the owner of The Jasper Picture Company. He is based in Melbourne but works around Australia and the world.