For large film productions, location scouting duties are usually contracted out to a location manager. This person not only scouts locations but manages their daily use, keeps an eye on the property, and generally tries to make sure nothing bad or unpredictable happens on set. They play a very large part in getting a film done on time. And location scouting in Seattle, of course, has its own unique issues –– especially scouting for outdoor scenes, what with the rain and fog and all (we jest; it’s really not as bad as all that).
With indie films, a lot of times there are fewer locations –– and this makes it pretty manageable for auteur-directors to do all the location scouting themselves. Hopefully this guide is a good starting place for everyone looking for filming locations in Seattle. We’ve got leads on location scouts if you need them and, if not, we’ve got some excellent resources to help you scout locations on your own.
Where to find the best location scouts in Seattle
Peerspace makes location scouting easy to tackle from the comfort of your couch. We uncover your city’s coolest spaces and make them easy to book by the day or by the hour. Peerspace empowers creatives to find photo and film locations by connecting them directly with property owners –– often creatives themselves –– eager to share their spaces with members of the community. We also simplify the rental process for both parties, so it’s easy to schedule your production.
We’ve built the largest online marketplace for event and production spaces, and have thousands of spaces across hundreds of cities to prove it. Music videos, commercials, indie flicks –– they’ve all been filmed in Peerspaces. We’ve got hundreds of locations here in Seattle too, so if you’re looking to location scout in Seattle, check out our listings.
Production hub’s got a list of 10 location scouts in Seattle and the surrounding area. The best biographies will contain a résumé, even video links to films they’ve worked on. Remember, many location scouts have other aspirations as well. You can also contact location scouts you’re interested in directly through their member page.
Northwest Production Index has a list of over 20 location scouts in Seattle. Each listing contains an email, phone numbers, a short bio, and a link to the scout’s website. Northwest Production Index is a great resource in general for anyone filming in Seattle. They’ve got connections with all sorts of productions companies and crews in the area.
Of the location scouts and managers in the above lists, these three stood out:
Lisa-Marie Moon of Lmentary Design is a Seattle-based location scout, stylist, and casting expert extraordinaire. She’s geared towards commercials and photo shoots, and she has a great eye. She’s been at it for 20 years, so she can cut through a lot of red tape for you.
Sarah Burton of Girl Scout Locations has also been in the biz for 20 years, and she prides herself on being a relationship builder. She’s in Portland, but she serves Seattle, too — and knows all the little rural areas up and down the coast of the PNW as well.
Recommended by Seattle’s official film resource website, NW Scouts is a professional community of five select Seattle location scouts. They all have been scouting the Seattle area for years, and feature a nice mix of urban and rural locations.
Additional resources to use
If you were a teenager, you’d think of this immediately — but not everyone is aware of how useful Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be when searching for local location scouts, actors, caterers, crew, etc.
LinkedIn — probably the most overlooked of them all — can let you really get into the nitty-gritty of what makes two 20-year careers different from each other. You may even find they’ve worked with influential people you’d definitely want to work with.
Instagram is pretty much the epicenter of online taste-making, and its been that way for a surprisingly long time now. Using Instagram, you can get a clear understanding of how potential location scouts work, how they see things, and how they think.
And finally, on Twitter you’ll see them engaging in conversation, dialoguing on the finer points of filmmaking, sharing shots along with film reviews, and more. It offers a nice counterbalance to the overly curated natures of LinkedIn and Twitter. Also, Twitter is very easy to search, which makes it even more useful.
This place is awesome. They’re a not-for-profit that helps facilitate pretty much every aspect of the film industry in Washington. They’re your first stop if you’re filming in Washington, period. They’ve got a huge selection of breathtaking outdoor locations. Between Peerspace and these guys, you can pretty much bet you’ll have your interior and exterior locations covered. As far as we can see, there are no other options in the area that offer more than just a handful of locations, so they don’t really bear mentioning here, but they can be found with a simple Google search.
Location scouting Seattle doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming
Seattle has a lot going for it, especially in terms of the natural beauty of the surrounding area. So know that you’re definitely going to find the right location, if you are willing to put the work in. Start your search with Peerspace and Washington Film Works. And if you cannot find all the necessary locations among their hundreds and hundreds of options, then start looking for a location scout.
It also bears mentioning — though you’ll catch us saying this a lot around here –– ask your friends. If you’ve been in the business for any length of time you probably have friends in the biz, too, right? They know things you might not, just like you know things they don’t. Ask around, and you’ll almost inevitably find the right track. Put in the hard work, make something great, and share it with us when you do.