How Much to Charge as a Film Location

How to charge for use of my property for filming

How to use my home for filming, and how much to charge for my property to be used in a film or movie are the most asked questions by owners.

The purpose of this tip sheet will give you considerations when negotiating with a production company to host their filming project.

The Production Budget
Every production creates a budget breaking done what each component will cost for their project. This includes crew costs, actors, catering and locations.

There is no set fee standard,  how much to charge and what you can expect when negotiating with production is based upon their budget.

You, as the owner can consider the following when coming to a rate to host a production.

Determine the production rental value of your property

How unique or perfect for the project is your property? If your property is unique and can’t be readily found elsewhere, or fits everything a production needs, then they will pay more. (Rates can start at 1000.00 for the day, to thousands. It all comes down to the budget, what the location is used for, or how unique and integral it is to the project)

Consider the factors below, when negotiating a rental price.

Some location scouts use a formula based upon the home or business mortgage payments. If there was a rule, that would be it. There is no hard and fast rule as to how much to charge to rent your home or business as a filming location.

Our suggestion is to review the questions below to gather as much information as you can regarding what the production company is going to need.

  • Price for prep day. The day or days before a production begin require prep time. Meaning that production crew, set dresser and so forth need to get to the location earlier to set up the scenes to be shot. This is called prep and depending on how long or what needs to be done, a fee can be negotiated just for the prep.
  • Same goes for wrap days, where clean up and tear down need to occur. This too is a fee you need to consider and negotiate with production.
  • How many days do they need to use the property?
  • How many people (cast and crew) are going to be on the property?
  • Are they including your furniture and or props?
  • Are they going to use your electricity, and water?
  • How much disruption of your home for scene set up.
  • Will they be shooting interior or exterior of property or both?
  • Will they need a staging area for cast and crew? (a place for cast and crew to relax and wait until they are called on set). Staging area can also include a place for makeup, wardrobe and even the bathroom. Determine if they use the interior, the rooms that will be needed.)
  • Cleanup is important consideration as well. Get with the location scout and determine who will clean up the property. Some production have a crew for cleanup, others will include a price for you to cleanup or to hire a cleaning crew to come in after the shoot is wrapped.
  • Does the production company provide an insurance waiver?
  • Will the production company have a location rental agreement?

All agreements are generally supplied by the production company and typically include the location rental agreement detailing start to finish needs to use your property.

Additionally, an insurance waver should be issued by the production company as well as any filming permits needed for production in your area. When in negotiation, be sure to ask them about the agreements, permits and insurance waiver.

To help determine a value of your property when negotiating, it is best to base the price upon what is it worth to you, once all needs are determined by the production company.

If your property is within the budget, and fits the criteria the location scouts and managers are seeking; and you feel value of turning over your venue for use is satisfactory, then a price can be struck.

Example Location Scenarios:

1- A small production company wants to come in and shoot 3 days in your abandoned building with 3 crew members and a host. The production company can pay $1000.00 a day.

2- A large production company wants to use your property and they need ample parking for their equipment and the cast trailers. There will be over 20 people on set each day. They have their own generators and are self sufficient, 5000.00 and more a day.

When working with production, it is important to get all the details before settling on a rate to use your home or business as a location. Once everything is ready, sit back and have fun experiencing the magic of the filming process. Meet new people and perhaps even get in on the production as an extra.

Consult with your attorney on any legal ramifications to renting your property for production.

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