Being a filming location can be a great experience and a fun way to make some extra money on the side. However, there are a few things you should know first.
What Makes a Good Location Owner?
Shoots and recces can come up at very late notice. So the easier it is for you to accommodate these, the more likely you will be in securing bookings.
It is important to reply to emails quickly and efficiently. If you receive an email checking if you are available for a shoot, you will be in with a better chance of securing the booking if you can come back to us within an hour or two expressing your interest or not. If you are not available for a shoot, please reply to let us know this too, so we can pass on the message and the production can continue their search.
Being flexible and accommodating.
Shoots can have lots of people on set, they may need to move things around and may need to alter the appearance of specific rooms to match their vision, theme or design for that production. Everything will be reinstated after the shoot is complete, so the more open you are to what is needed, the more likely you will be in securing bookings.
If you say you are available or can accommodate something, we ask that you try your very best to stick to what you have said. It doesn't just look bad on you, it also looks bad on us as a company and can cause major issues for the production if things change last minuet. Because of this we can only work with reliable location owners.
What is a Recce?
There are three different types of reccies.
Scout Recce - You will usually have a quick initial 15min recce where someone from the location or production team will come along (usually just one person), to take a few photos to share with their team. The director will then review these photos and decide if they want to have a look at that location in person.
Director Recce - This is when the director goes to have a look at a few of their selected locations to decide which one they think will work the best for the shoot. They will then present their favourite location to the client to get it signed off on.
Tech Recce - This is once the location has officially been confirmed and booked in for the shoot. All the HOD’s (Heads of Department’s) go along to the locations to work out how best to shoot the space and work out exactly what is needed to prepare for the shoot day. This recce is usually a few days before the shoot and could take between 30min-2hours depending on the complexity. It is on the tech recce that they may have a few questions for you on what they can and can’t do on the shoot day. Keep a note of these and raise anything with us that you feel should be added into the hire agreement.
There is no charge to the production for a recce only for a shoot.
What is a Location Hire Agreement?
As your agent we will provide and fill out the Hire Agreement on your behalf. This will highlight all the specifics for the shoot (timing, crew size, rate, set dress etc), along with all the standard clauses that will protect you against any misuse of the premisses or accidental damage on the day of the shoot. The Location Hire Agreement will need to be signed by you and the Production Company before the shoot day.
As your agent we will hold a £1,000-£2,000 Damage Deposit in your name. This will only be returned to the Production Company after the filming is complete and you have given the all-clear. We will also use this to cover any Over-Time.
What is Over Time?
OT is an hourly rate charged to the Production Company for each hour over the Scheduled Period on the Hire Agreement. The OT rate (on the day) is usually worked out by multiplying the hourly rate by 1.5. A 10min grace period is allowed for each hour before the fee is chargeable. If OT is booked in advance of the shoot day, it is usually just charged at the hourly rate.
How Long is a Shoot Day?
A standard shoot day is 12 hours long. A prep or strike day is slightly shorter at 8-10 hours. A shorter shoot day can still be requested and booked in at a lower rate.
What is a Prep and Strike Day?
A prep and strike day is when the production might hire the location the day before and/or the day after a shoot to allow enough time to set up and pack down. This could include art department replacing some of your furniture to better suit what they are after visually, or if they have your permission to paint a wall for example. This time could also be used for the lighting department to set up their lights ready for the shoot day. Prep and Strike days are generally charged at a half day rate.
Can I Stay in my House?
Every shoot is different. Generally, it is ok for you to stay in the house if there is a separate room out of the way that the production does not need access to. This is usually the homeowner’s bedroom or a study room for example. A lot of the time though the owners of regularly used shoot houses will just go out for the day and come back once the filming is complete and their house has been put back to normal.
Larger more experienced productions will generally have a Location Manager that will oversee looking after the house for you and make sure the house is well protected with floor protection etc. Smaller productions however (that generally have a smaller team), might not have the budget for a Location Manager and will sometimes overlook things like putting floor protection down. If you have lots of carpet or wooden floors that you are concerned about, it is best to let the production know on the Tech Recce that you will require floor protection in these rooms/areas. Or just flag that they will need to remove their shoes if they do not have protection. Point this out to their team, then let us know after the recce what was discussed, so we can have it added to the Location Hire Agreement.
What to Expect on the Shoot Day?
Film crews can vary massively in size from one shoot to another. The size of the production will be discussed with you before you agree to the shoot taking place. If the shoot has more than 30 people on the day, it can get a bit busy first thing in the morning with each department loading kit in and getting set up. If you have not had any filming in your home before this can feel a little overwhelming. Sometimes it is best to just keep out of the way and let your main point of contact within the crew know where to find you or give them your number so they can contact you if they have any questions.
Once the Filming is Complete
At the end of the shoot day, make sure you do a walk-through with your main point of contact (This is usually the Location Manager, Production Manager or the Producer) before they all leave. This is when you have an opportunity to point out anything that has not been put back where it should have been, or if areas still need to be cleaned or tidied. In the unfortunate case of damage, point this out to them so they are aware of it. Please take photos of any issues and share them with us to follow up on for you. It is the productions responsibility to hand the location back to you how they found it at the start of the day, so do not let them rush off before you are happy with how things have been left.
Sign off Sheet
There will be a Sign off Sheet on the last page of your hire agreement, it is always best to list any Over Time or issues here and have your main point of contact sign it with you on the day, so there can be no disputes after the booking.
What if the Shoot is for More than One Day?
If the filming goes on for more than one day and they have taken over the whole house so you cannot use the kitchen or your bedroom etc. Then we can discuss with the Production about putting you up in a nearby hotel or B&B.
When will I Get Paid?
We handle all payment with the Production Company before the shoot day. Their payment must clear in our account before we will allow any filming to take place at your property. You will then invoice us for your fee, this will be paid no later than the day after your booking has taken place, sometime the day before.
The best way to land bookings is by standing out from the crowd with great online photographs. Click here to read more.
We hope this gives you a better understanding of what to expect. If you have any other questions, please just ask.