Control of the Environment
- Originally, films were shot almost exclusively on soundstages. Like the theatrical venues before them, soundstages allow the crew to carefully control lighting and sound for each shoot. Instead of relying upon the vagaries of sunshine and daylight, filmmakers can light each scene just as they would like it to look. And rather than abandon an otherwise great shot to the cutting-room floor because of a random train whistle, bird or car horn, each shot's sound can be controlled on a soundstage. The soundstage also is not subject to weather variables; every shoot can go on as planned, rain or shine.
- When shooting on location, unless a production company happens to have the perfect location in its backyard, a film crew and cast must pack up and move to the desired location for the duration of the shoot. This can be costly and time-consuming, on top of the money and time lost due to weather-related delays or other complications. Some films require numerous locations, which expands the expense of travel plus the potential for location-sensitive delays. When shooting on a soundstage, the cast and crew can be hired from the local area, avoiding all travel and hotel expenses. Nor are there are visas or permits to obtain from foreign countries when shooting on a soundstage.
Ability to Create Desired Setting
- Films that require a historical, fantastical or futuristic setting will benefit from soundstage filming, since all the details of the long-vanished or imaginary location can be created just as the filmmaker envisions it. Location shooting, for the most part, can be simply out of the question for a fantasy film, since the location itself does not actually exist. Soundstage shooting, in this case, is the best, if not only, option.
The Best of Both Worlds -- Soundstage and Location
- Disney (and ABC) Studios uses land just outside of Los Angeles for filming both on soundstages and at preexisting outdoor set locations. The property, owned by Disney since the 1950s and used as a controlled location for outdoor shoots because it offers such a wide choice in landscape, is currently used by Disney as well as other production companies, who rent the land for film and TV shoots. Disney is currently constructing soundstages and housing facilities for cast and crew, which will enable The Ranch to offer the best of both worlds -- the controlled environment of soundstage filming, plus the breathtaking scenery usually available only when filming on location.