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 Compensation for film locations

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purpltaz27
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PostSubject: Compensation for film locations   Mon May 05, 2008 2:29 pm

I have a friend who has been approached by a film producer to use her house to shoot a movie. What sort of compensation is typical for someone allowing production to occur in their house?

I know the answer is probably based on several factors of what they plan on doing, but these are details I lack. Given that, what kind of questions should she be asking them in order for her to come up with reasonable compensation?
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James Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Mon May 05, 2008 2:36 pm

I don't know what standard protocol is, but if it were my house, I would ask:

What kind of movie is being shot?
How long do they need my house?
Is it interior or exterior?
What kind of insurance does the company have?

Finally, negotiate. Find out what he wants to give. Go a bit higher. If he balks, come down, but make sure, no matter what, your friend gets paid UP FRONT!

Just my humble opinions

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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Mon May 05, 2008 3:04 pm

If I remember right, the Baxter Smalls shoot paid something like a few hundred bucks for use of the ranch, but Marcus seemed to think that was a sweet deal, so maybe that is low. He or Kara would know for sure, I'm sure they will see this post soon.

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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Mon May 05, 2008 4:04 pm

Purpletaz,

The guys are right: compensation is based on several different factors.
Probably the biggest one is whether or not the shoot is a union shoot (read: more money to fund the production). Compensation varies greatly based on some factors, but for a union shoot private homes usually receive between $3,000 and $7,000 per day for a shoot. Some things to ask include:

-Are you going to actually be SHOOTING my house, or are you shooting one of my neighbors homes and asking to use the exterior of my home to park trucks, feed the crew, store equipment, stand lights...in that case, expect some wear and tear on your lawn and driveway. Remember, it takes a good deal of space to shoot a single home, and all the neighbors need to be aware of what's going on. They shoudl also be receiving compensation if the production is using their lawns, drieveways, etc. It's not just the house being shot that gets paid. So if you say yes and your neighbors say no, guess what? No shoot at your house.

-Do they have a permit to shoot on your street? Some cities do not allow productions to shoot in certain areas, on certain streets, or at certain times of the day. If they don't have a permit and production gets shut down, I'd be willing to bet you're not going to see your money.

-Interiors or exteriors? Very few, if any, productions will use your home exactly as is. For exteriors, expect them to change the look of your landscape using removable trees/bushes/flowers. Some big productions will even paint a house! Find out. For interiors, expect them to move a good deal of furniture around, including paintings. They should cover every exposed floor surface with layout board and protect all wall corners with heavy cardboard. As Jay mentioned, the production company should be responsible for all incurred damage or loss, and get it in writing!

-Stipulate that no members of the cast or crew use your bathrooms! A typical house isn't plumbed for the heavy load that can come along with tons of strangers using your facilities for 14 hours straight. A legit production will rent a honeywagon for its cast and crew's use.

-Find out how many days they'll shoot. Usually, if it's more than one, they'll ask the homeowners to leave for the duration of the shoot. That means you'll have to get a hotel. Is that in the contract? Make sure your compensation is worth being displaced for a few days. Be ready to leave and possibly not come home for a few days. Shooting is expensive, and you won't be allowed to meander through your own house because you forgot your deodorant.

-Consider any pets. They won't be allowed to stay during production, so you'll have to find a place you can take them. Leaving a dog or cat in an unused roomis a no-no, too. A barking dog or a meowing cat can ruin a take.

-Find out what they're shooting. You may not want to be known as "the house where they shot that porno."

-Make sure they have a Site Rep if they ask you to leave at any time. A site rep is someone who looks after things while you're gone and makes sure people don't do things you've asked them not to do (like use your bathroom).

- Research the production company. Typically, it isn't a producer that approaches someone to use their house. Usually, a Location Scout does this. Sounds like your friend may have been approached by someone from either a very small production company, a low-budget independent film, or a student film. Find out, because it may make a huge difference in the professionalism with which you and your home are treated, and the compensation they're willing to pay.

Having someone shoot something at your home may sound very exciting and glamorous, but it's very important that you don't let the dollar signs get in the way. Remember, they are essentially renting your home to do whatever they please. If your friend is a bit of a control freak (like I would be about my own home), it may be best to forego the offer. But if you've asked the right questions, feel that your compensation is adequate, and you don't mind the chaos that production brings, go for it!

(And make sure your neighbors are on board!)

Hope this was helpful, and let us know what happened.
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purpltaz27
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Tue May 06, 2008 10:18 am

Thanks for all the input, everyone!! I'll be passing this on to my friend. I think it will really help. Definitely an educational experience for me!
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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Tue May 06, 2008 10:30 am

Kara -

Thanks for writing what appears to be the definitive work on the subject! Very Happy This is exactly what I mean when I say "posting for posterity"... a relevant question was posted, and someone in the know provided a very thorough and experienced answer. Look at the wonderful information Kara has provided! Now, others with this same question in the future can search the forums and also benefit from Kara's knowledge, even though they may not be so fortunate as to have such an experienced friend directly themselves.

Thank you!!! cheers

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Tamitha
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Tue May 06, 2008 11:20 am

Another thought is that if your friend does decide to 'go for it,' make sure they take any valuables with them. When I lived in Shreveport, a friend of mine rented her home for the set of Sandra Bullock's film Premonition and didn't take her personal family pictures, some heirloom jewelry, etc. When they returned, her pics, and many dresser drawers, etc., had been shuffled through. The production company denied going through their things; however, she felt very sure that her personal belongings had been shuffled around. I would say definitely take all jewelry and highly valuable things. (Be prepared to store them wherever you are displaced or get a storage facility. If you get a storage facility, have them add that to the contract.)

Have fun,
Tamitha
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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Tue May 06, 2008 11:55 am

Tamitha wrote:
Another thought is that if your friend does decide to 'go for it,' make sure they take any valuables with them. When I lived in Shreveport, a friend of mine rented her home for the set of Sandra Bullock's film Premonition and didn't take her personal family pictures, some heirloom jewelry, etc. When they returned, her pics, and many dresser drawers, etc., had been shuffled through. The production company denied going through their things; however, she felt very sure that her personal belongings had been shuffled around. I would say definitely take all jewelry and highly valuable things. (Be prepared to store them wherever you are displaced or get a storage facility. If you get a storage facility, have them add that to the contract.)

Have fun,
Tamitha

Another excellent point, Tamitha.

Clearly, there are many production companies who are totally on the up-and-up, (otherwise no shoots would occur on location, everything would take place on a soundstage!). However, it's important to work with legit companies, beware of scammers, and use some common sense.

Can't wait to hear if he she did it and what their experience was!

PS. Thanks, QC, for the nice compliment! Wink
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keltroncybo
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PostSubject: Re: Compensation for film locations   Tue May 06, 2008 12:29 pm

Kara! Thanks so much...this is terrific info!

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