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By: Sandra Brennan

As the pre-production phase of WELCOME TO LUNATIC FRINGE continues, scouting for the perfect location has begun. What constitutes “perfect” must take into account liability, permission contracts, access, timing, and let’s be honest, price –as in, free. A film location can support the tone and feel of a movie and so producing mentors of the WIFV webisode project know that if a script calls for a hair salon, get a hair salon.

Several sites were considered by WIFV filmmakers, offering bonuses with trade-offs: The salon with the formica had the right “feel” but the salon with mahogany trim exuded camera friendly warmth. The salon with sit down dryers conveyed the necessary vibe, but the beauty shop with mirrored islands and cabled blow dryers would work well in key scenes. One shop owner preferred not to be involved, another was glad to be part of the project. But whatever the pluses and minuses, establishing a film location now gives mentoring prop masters and set designers the foundation to create a layer of film magic. Their work will create the backdrop for actors to bring imaginary characters to life. Scriptwriter Maureen Offutt answered her own question when she asked, “It’s a mentoring project, right?” If there’s a trade off, she suggested, there’s also an opportunity for mentors to show how location and set design details can enliven every scene and support every character.

Meanwhile, I’m still looking for a few set pieces. I call it trolling for trolls.