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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Ermter

Bad Location Scout, Good Location Scout

Principal photography really sneaks up on you. Spring on the other hand, does not.

Abracadavers has always had a summery vibe to it's hard not to let the god-awful weather we've been trudging through take a toll on our mental health as producers. It also doesn't help when a number of your locations are quite literally unreachable just a few weeks before our cast is supposed to be frolicking through them with shorts and t-shirts.

So we've had 2 scouts so far.

The first was meant to cover 7 of our locations.

We made it to 3.

After getting stuck in a Drumheller field which, notably, was our first stop we promptly sheared our dear old Astro van's power steering pump's pulley piston perfectly in half (holy hell that's a mouthful). And BOOM, that was the end our plans for that day. We managed to wrestle the van into town and sat down with John Graham, who I believe is somewhat of a legend in the badlands, and was kind enough to take us through some of the more scenic surrounding areas including the local courthouse which has some wonderful bathrooms but won't play a role in the show.

Flash forward a couple weeks and 8 degrees and we were back on the road. If you forget about the fact that Google Maps nearly led us into a back-country logging abyss the second location scout went considerably better.

Something should have told us that we were not headed in the right direction.

As is probably the case with every blog post I'll write there isn't really a narrative thread here and if there was a take away it would probably be this:

Locations matter and locations take time. So often in film there's the temptation to just use what's available because what's available is what's easy. If your location isn't serving your story you're doing your story a disservice. Especially on a micro-budget like Abracadavers a good location dramatically boosts production value, production design, cast performance, and more, all of which elevates the story you're trying to tell and as anyone in the film industry can tell you: in the end story is all you've got.
As a final side note I want to try and start doing these blogs as weekly wrap-ups just as a quick reflection on what's been going on with the project. Expect them to be mostly unedited with a number of grammatical errors but with what is hopefully a more in depth look into what exactly it is we're trying to accomplish with this show.

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