Category: New Strangers

New Stranger: Nick Carr



I’ll start out by saying that I don’t know if this subhead is true. I hope it is, because I know Nick Carr has secrets. I know he’s holding back. And I can’t wait to see what he’s hiding.

Nick is less of a “New” Stranger and more of an old stranger. I don’t know him, but I’ve been following his blog Scouting NY since around the time I moved to New York in 2008. Nick is a location scout, finding perfect places to shoot scenes for films. You need the right little restaurant for a mob hit or the ideal rooftop from which to launch/destroy your superhero’s career? Nick’s your guy.

As sort of occupational hazards, Nick has developed sharp observational skills and he always has a camera. And as a result of these factors, along with Nick’s diligence and generosity, Scouting New York provides a steady stream of the magnificent details and unique sights to be found all over the five boroughs. From cavernous spaces hidden from the public to minute architectural highlights that people breeze past every day without notice, the treasures of New York are on full display when you see them through Nick’s lens. If I ever want to feel sad about not living in New York anymore, all it takes is a visit to Nick’s site to do the trick.

“Scout” is the name Nick goes by on his blog. He long used the name to maintain his anonymity. In 2009, he revealed his true identity and has since been interviewed by the New York Times, NPR, the New York Post and others.

Nick studied film at Columbia and has a New Yorker’s heart. Case in point, he’s not afraid to use his blog’s FAQ section to bitch about people who voice displeasure in the blog’s comments, and he’s happy to trash-talk directors who request NYC alley locations for some seedy, suspenseful scene. I can picture Nick frothing: “New York doesn’t have alleys all over the place, people! There’s like one in the whole damn city! You want to shoot in it? Be my fucking guest!”

The images and information on Scouting New York are a gift to the internet, but as Nick regularly communicates, this is not his job. He’s a working location scout. The topics of his blog are just things he picks up along the way. But what he really wants to do is the thing I mentioned in the headline. He wants to make a movie.

Nick’s movie has a screenplay. It has a director/producer (Nick). What it needs is the thing so many other projects do: money. Nick began his campaign to fund his film back in November with a goal of raising $30,000. To date, 921 Scouting New York readers have donated a total of $19,746.56 dollars to his cause.

I’m certainly not going to tell anyone what’s best to do with their money. What I will say is that I really want to see Nick’s movie. I can’t wait to watch where it goes, to see what secret gems of the city Nick is keeping for himself.

And as Nick is quick to tell aspiring filmmakers (with a side of New York bluntness), locations are important, and more times than not, the one you want isn’t cheap:

From Nick’s FAQs:

“For the longest time, I tried to help out student and aspiring filmmakers with cheap locations, but the sad fact is that New York City is a very expensive place, and I’ve only worked on films that literally pay thousands, if not tens of thousands, for a couple days of filming. Finding an apartment or office to let in a group of young filmmakers for under a thousand dollars for days on end is simply unrealistic.

I’m happy to offer advice. But keep in mind, the first thing I’m going to ask is: why don’t you have a bigger locations budget? For some reason, low budget film productions make the mistake of spending all their money on the tech side, assuming the talent, crew, and location will all sort of magically appear.

Your location is literally the canvas on which you paint your film. If you write a screenplay in which a brownstone plays a pivotal role, that brownstone is just as important as your Red One camera rental. And if you can’t afford a brownstone, why did you write a screenplay that takes place in one to begin with?

Have a locations budget. Write around locations you have access to. Friends and family are your best bet. And when you can’t find a location, rewrite.”

Find New Stranger Nick Carr:



Fund his film: