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by Sarah Melit

Firstly, what is a Recce you ask? Recce is a military term that has been borrowed by media production folk.  Derived from “reconnaissance” in the noun sense and “reconnoitre” in the verb sense. It refers to a pre-filming visit to a location to work out its suitability for shooting, including access to necessary facilities and assessment of any potential lighting or sound issues, and is closely related to location scouting.

Here are four reasons why we love a location Recce – 

1 – Check your location’s accessibility

First up, one of the most important things to note in your recce is location accessibility. This includes considering what equipment will and won’t fit in the space and how easy it is to transport. Take note of doorway widths, staircases and room dimensions in interior locations, particularly if you’ll be using large equipment and a large on-set crew. Always bring a tape measure to your recces!

Vehicle accessibility and parking is also important to take into account. Sorting out a space where your crew can park and unload will make a huge difference to keeping your schedule on-track.

2 – Suss out the natural light sources

Windows, trees, surrounding houses – what will affect your shoot on a sunny day? By taking note of the natural light of your location, you can use this to help alleviate the stress of having to light up an entire area. This could save you from bringing unnecessary lighting equipment – i.e. saving money and time setting them up. 

 It’s also important to take note of how the sun changes throughout the day – try to do your recce close to the time of day that you’ll be shooting in, to get the most accurate impression of what the light will look like on the day.

If you’re planning on shooting day-for-night, what doorways and windows will you need to black out? This can greatly affect the set-up time for art department or gaffers.

3 – Listen to your space

When on your location recce, make sure you take note of what noises you hear from both the location and the surrounding area. Taking note of atmospheric sounds such as traffic noises, nearby construction, neighbours and birds, as well as on-location sounds such as refrigerator hums and air-conditioner noise will help inform your sound department. 

This could potentially be a deciding factor on choosing your location – there’s nothing worse than filming next to a construction site, or having to hold for airplanes every ten minutes!

4 – Scout for power outlets

Working out your power sources on-set is an imperative detail to plan for, during your site recce. This will inform whether you’ll need extra equipment such as adaptors and and extension cords to access a location’s power outlets. 

This step becomes particularly important for outside shoots, where you may need to consider using generators, generating power from a car, or whether you’re going to rely on batteries.

So when you are planning your 2021 content, remember a recce is important in the pre-production phase! Give our team a call today to discuss your next content creation project!!