Set Scouter, an online marketplace that connects filmmakers with residential spaces they can rent as locations throughout North America, has launched its services in Chicago.
Toronto-based Alex Kolodkin, Set Scouter’s founder/CEO, chose Chicago as the site’s third city, with the intention of making the process of location scouting much faster, more efficient, more affordable and to give producers locations that are not typically available to them.
Further, Kolodkin’s intention to make scouting easier and more efficient has enormous potential to aid producers in their location scouting efforts.
The site relies on production companies and the surrounding community to populate the list of possible locations. Homeowners can list their space without paying any fees, making it easy to get involved in the production process.
“It allows a lot of high quality locations to become available,” Kolodkin says. “We can build up a catalog of people who are excited about production in this community. The only requirement to list your space is that you are either the homeowner or have the owner’s approval to list it.”
The platform completely digitizes the process of location scouting by allowing users to search locations and set up visits, as well as the handling of security deposits, overtime, and payments.
Set Scouter started in Toronto and moved quickly to Miami. As its success grew, Kolodkin knew he wanted to expand to Chicago: “Personally I fell in love with Chicago,” he says. “It has such a great community and a huge number of agencies and outstanding production companies. We love working with them.”
Hundreds of Chicago homes are already listed and thousands more are spread throughout North America.
With a background in commercial and corporate production, Kolodkin was well aware of the “nightmare” that location scouting could sometimes be.
“A lot of the challenges I had was finding the right space. Usually when I was producing content, the types of locations accessible to me were heavily used by other productions,” he notes.
Beyond the actual online experience, Set Scouter prides itself on its customer service. “If anyone reaches out to us, you get a response from a real human,” Kolodkin shares. The Set Scouter team works quickly to streamline the process in as little as 24 hours.
With the amount of production happening in Chicago, Kolodkin is especially interested in working with local agencies. Further, Kolodkin’s intention to make scouting easier and more efficient has enormous potential to aid producers in their location scouting efforts.