When we are doing pre-production for a video project in Toronto, one of our most important considerations is finding amazing locations. The places we choose to film are crucial because locations help tell stories — which is our goal with every video we do. For instance, we recently worked on a piece for a Toronto based branding company called Enticity. Their video featured four characters: a photographer, an athlete, a musician and a shopkeeper. Because the characters had no dialogue, their personalities had to be communicated visually. For this reason, we needed to scout Toronto locations that supported the storyline of each character. We also wanted this piece to capture the spirit and diversity of the city, so we carefully curated actors, props and, of course, locations that reflect what it is that makes Toronto so great. We were really pleased with how the video turned out and wanted to share a few of our favorite locations with you guys.
Evergreen Brickworks – 550 Bayview Ave #300, Toronto
The Toronto location we scouted for our photographer was called Evergreen Brickworks. It actually was named one of the top 10 geotourism destinations in the world by National Geographic! The property is really cool and quite diverse: it has ponds and nature trails, an amazing view of the Toronto skyline, and some really cool heritage buildings. On the day of our shoot, we arrived at Evergreen Brickworks just after 6:00am and immediately headed to the scenic overview of the city. The plan was to capture a vignette of our photographer taking pictures of the skyline at dawn and the results were incredible.
When we finished shooting the cityscape, the morning light was still really pretty so we decided to keep exploring the area. I am so glad we did because in one of the heritage buildings, we were able to capture a really cool moment where the photographer is enthralled with the light. The sun was bursting through the windows and leaking through the cracks in the walls allowing us to get some interesting lens flares. This little sequence turned out to be one of my favorite shots of the day!
Finding amazing locations can be challenging, and sometimes it might even cost you money, but there is no question that it is worth the extra effort. In order to film at Evergreen Brickworks you need to get a video/photography permit. The permits are $250 and are good for 2 hours. This fee does not include parking, however, parking is only $6.00/day on weekdays and $8.00/day on the weekends.
V1 Studio – firstname.lastname@example.org
As soon as we discovered the V1 Studio space we knew that it was the perfect location to film our musician. There is no question that the loft helped push the narrative forward telling the story of an aspiring musician chasing his dream in the big city. The loft is filled with lots of natural light thanks to the panel of old windows that stretches across the back wall.
Sourcing a location with the right vibe for your video is a time consuming affair but I am convinced that when you find the right location you end up saving time on the shoot day. For instance, in this case the scene was already set and the light was fantastic so all we had to do was roll in our props, position our actor and start shooting. The V1 loft is reasonably priced at $40 an hour and we were able to get all the shots we needed in three hours.
As a video production company working primarily in Toronto, we are always on the look-out for interesting places to film, so please feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite locations in the GTA. Check out the full video here.