Matterport recently sat down with Wendi Le of LocationsHub, a production scouting solution that connects production teams with locations to help them find the perfect sites and understand local laws, incentives, and more. They are using Matterport to add value throughout the production chain. Wendi discusses how.
Q: Tell us a bit about LocationsHub.
LocationsHub grew out of another company, called Reel-Scout, which creates web-based software for film commissions to help them attract productions into their local economy. Reel-Scout is an SaaS solution for states or metropolitan areas to encourage productions to shoot in their general geography by offering an overview of locations, tax incentives, and more.
LocationsHub takes the location galleries of all those Reel-Scout clients, as well as location companies and individual property owners, and combines them into a global gallery of filming locations in Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK. Whether you’re an independent filmmaker or a multi-billion-dollar studio, you can search our database for any location through LocationsHub.
Q: And how do you use Matterport in your platform?
Matterport is ideal for the work we do because it is helping us become an end-to-end production solution. In addition to shooting static 2D images, we can offer a dimensionally accurate walkthrough of any facility. We’ve devoted an entire section of our site to locations that have been scanned with the Matterport camera, entitled Production Ready.
We’re able to add value by offering our users a tool that can help them throughout the production process.
Q: Why is a volumetrically accurate 3D model of a production location so useful?
Matterport Spaces give you a complete model of a place that is accurate to within inches. This makes them fantastic for this industry because of the number of people who are involved in a production. The fact that they can review locations at their desk or in a group meeting, frame shots, measure windows, decide whether certain equipment will fit, is very powerful. All of those side conversations are suddenly very convenient. That is aside from the cost savings to the filming process itself.
Matterport lets you narrow down your location selection and reduce the number of on-site visits. Traditionally, if you visit a location and forget to measure a window or door, you have to send a scout back to collect additional information. With Matterport, it’s all there, in the model.
It also grants access to some unique locations that otherwise would be too difficult to scout. For example, we scanned an old jail in Melbourne, which was difficult to access because it is a historic location. They love film productions, but don’t want scouts and photographers generating a lot of foot traffic and aging the structure. The Matterport Space enables teams to discuss challenges, design decisions, and more within the model, without repeated on-site visits.
It’s especially useful for filming in private homes to limit foot traffic.
Q: How do you see this technology changing the process of location scouting?
It’s never going to eliminate the need for someone to come out and truly scout a location, but by narrowing down potential key locations via Matterport, they can reduce their trip to 2-3 spots that will likely work, instead of 25-35.
Q: Because it’s giving them a lot more information at the beginning than they’ve ever had before?
Exactly. We want to educate the industry to use these models beyond just the beginning of the process. We want them to see value in using Matterport Spaces throughout the process because the earlier they invest in creating Spaces, the more savings they realize.
Q: How do you know what Spaces to curate or scan for your gallery? Do you get requests from studios?
We’re really on the very beginning of this trend. We currently have all kinds of locations gathered according to demand and local economies.
People will find our 2D listings and either contact a local government or reach out to us to create a model of the space.
Q: What’s the future of LocationsHub? How do you imagine it evolving?
We want to become more of a business partner, and less of a Flickr for productions. Our goal is to be a complete hub for information about any production location, from details about the physical location - provided with Matterport - to information about regulations, local incentives, and more.
This is just the beginning.