February 4, 2016

The Intuitive Location Scouting Platform Set Scouter Expands to Miami

Location Scouting Platform Set Scouter Expands to Miami
The Toronto based location service takes aim at U.S. filmmakers and homeowners.

We wrote about Set Scouter last year when it was heralded as the AirBnb of location scouting, and since then the platform has grown substantially both in listings and regular users. They relaunched a redesigned website in December and are now announcing their services in its first major U.S. city: Miami, FL. With over 1,000 locations listed in Toronto (compared to about a dozen in Los Angeles), the 250+ listings in Miami shows that Set Scouter wants to tap into potentially much larger user-base of filmmakers in the US. Founder Alex Kolodkin says it's like "having a production assistant that you don't have to pay for or hire," and indeed upon signing up for the site you will receive a phone call from a friendly Set Scouter employee that will try to help you find a location you're looking for.

"We’re trying to build a community of trust, a community of people who are eager to have your back."

Perhaps the coolest thing about Set Scouter is the general ethos of the homeowners that have listings on the site. Set Scouter's goal is to recruit supportive homeowners that aren't simply there to make extra cash, but want to be part of the production community in their city. This makes the process much less strained for producers as they aren't dealing with burnt out location managers who do it every day — on the contrary it's (ideally) actually exciting for the homeowner to have a production at their place. Creating value for your film by allowing others to take part in the experience is an asset we can all learn to leverage, especially with people who are more foreign to the process (read: still think it's romantic).

The price of locations on the site are not always modest, because of the nature of the homeowners using the site. If you find the perfect location and the pricetag is too high, you're often able to negotiate with homeowners directly on rates.

Set Scouter services at a glance (for filmmakers):

  • Finding / booking locations
  • Facilitating location scouts
  • Payments, overtimes, security deposits
  • Insurance documentation

Largest location densities:

  • 1000+ listings in Toronto
  • 250+ listings in Miami, FL
  • 150+ listings in Austin, TX

Set Scouter is ideal for productions with more than just a shoestring budget behind them, but is a good option when you need an important location. One snag in the system for many low budget filmmakers is production insurance. Set Scouter helps handle the facilitation of insurance documentation — but that's assuming your production has insurance. Sometimes you won't be able to negotiate a location without insurance which adds an extra step and extra expense. Set Scouter will truly become a one stop shop once they are able to integrate a hassle free insurance process into their site (much like progressive rental companies like ShareGrid).

Rustic Loft on Set Scouter

At the moment, Set Scouter is best used to find clean looking (often modern) residential spaces for independent film or branded content. The site's listings for locations in places outside of Toronto, Miami or Austin are severely lacking, but if they continue to find themselves expanding (which seems evident), I could see Set Scouter easily becoming a new standard in location scouting. The more people use the site, the more likely they will expand their services in your area, so sign up! Plus, you'll help reduce the chance we'll keep seeing the same locations reused in every indie film.     

Your Comment

6 Comments

This is the future I've been waiting for. As much as I'd hate to see the dream job of location scout being ripped from the hands of the lucky few who have that as their job title, it is extremely difficult for indie filmmakers to make the time and spend the money to travel just to look for a location, then travel again with actors, gear, etc.

February 4, 2016 at 5:11PM

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Sean Pettis
Filmmaker
377

Thanks for your support Sean! We're making it easier for everyone to find locations. Scouts do an incredible job managing locations during productions — we're making it easier for them to spend time with creative teams, instead of knocking on doors.

Alex Kolodkin
Co-founder
Set Scouter
help@setscouter.com

February 4, 2016 at 5:14PM, Edited February 4, 5:38PM

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Alex Kolodkin
Founder @ Set Scouter
84

This seems pretty sweet.

February 5, 2016 at 8:31PM

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Steven Bailey
Writer/Director/Composer
991

Thanks for your support, Steven!

Alex Kolodkin
Co-founder
Set Scouter
help@setscouter.com

February 7, 2016 at 11:38PM

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Alex Kolodkin
Founder @ Set Scouter
84

I really really like this idea. I think the only things that worried me a bit, and this might be something that can be worked around , is that it seems to imply that the filmmakers can't visit the location until they have committed to it. As a filmmaker, I would never commit to a location without having visited it. There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing an appropriate location. Things you really have to see first hand.

February 10, 2016 at 10:29AM

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Hi Brad,

Absolutely 100% agreed. Filmmakers need to see spaces before they can commit to them. That's why Set Scouter has built a scout feature. You can schedule a site visit or tech scout online without the commitment of booking.

You will see this option in your conversation windows once you start speaking with homeowners.

Hope this helps, Brad!

Alex Kolodkin
Co-founder
Set Scouter
help@setscouter.com

March 16, 2016 at 8:18PM, Edited March 16, 8:18PM

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Alex Kolodkin
Founder @ Set Scouter
84