Indie film production relies on the kindness of a lot of people and organizations. As a production company, we’ve found that help can come from a lot of unexpected places…like the National Parks system.
First State National Monument
Famous as the First State to ratify the Constitution, Delaware was born out of a conflict among three world powers for dominance of the Delaware Valley. From this beginning, the region developed a distinct character that tolerated diversity in religion and national origin and valued independence. – from the First State Park website.
On a random drive through the Brandywine Region that borders Pennsylvania and Delaware, we found this gem of a location, the Ramsey House. The Ramsey house was built in the early 1800s and sits on a large plot of land which has recently become part of Delaware’s first national park.
We contacted First State NPS on their site www.nps.gov/frst and asked if they worked with production companies like ours. Turns out, we were the first production company to film at this National Park!
The team at First State has been first class in helping us get our start on Ad Astra.
The lesson here really is to be creative when you’re thinking about locations. On zero budget, where can you film for free? Your house, back yard, an elementary school, a park? If you need to find that really unique place, take a drive and really look around you. When you see what you need…don’t be afraid to ask the owner of the land or location if you can film there. Most people will be so excited to have a film crew using their location, they’ll be happy to work with you for little to nothing.
But, once you have the opportunity to film in a really great location, take great care of the location, and the owner’s trust:
- Be polite
- Show up and leave when you say you will
- Offer to professionally clean the location when you’re finished
- Ask the owner if moving items, digging holes, or parking in their driveway is okay
- Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
If you follow these rules, you’ll have no problem coming back for those pickup shots!