Q: I am getting ready to post my property. Do you have any suggestions on what to say in my ad, and how best to take photos?
A: You bet I do, here goes..
When taking your photos, take a picture from opposing corners of each room, go room to room starting at the front door. Shoot everything, the bed rooms, baths, living room, attic, if its accessible) basement, garage, cabana, swimming pool, tool shed.. Front yard, back yard ,drive way etc..
For a businesses, same advice. Take pictures of the kitchen, lobby, loading dock, bathrooms, Cloak room, service areas, wine cellars, keg rooms, back allies, stock rooms ,patios etc..
DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH YOUR PROPERTY THE WAY YOU WOULD TO SELL IT OR TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS.
DO NOT TAKE CLOSE UP PHOTOS OF YOUR GADGETS OR OF YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM!
When scouting for a location the scout/manager is usually looking for a setting for a particular scene. The more your photos you show them the more filming possibilities your property may offer. This often translates into more shooting days, and more money for you. For instance, If you post your house, and the film company sees you have a pool, or a really funky man cave, they may choose to film additional scenes at your place. The may even re-write scenes when they have been inspired by what you have to offer.
In writing your description of the property, make certain you provide as much detail as you can. For home owners.. tell them how many bedrooms, baths and what kind of floors you have, or f you have live in servants or nannies. For businesses: list your square footage, maximum capacity, parking available and so on. I also strongly suggest that home owners DO NOT post their actual address in their listing. Just post the nearest intersection. The Google maps portal will tell them which neighborhood you live in. When someone contacts you to come see your property, you can give them the actual address.
Q: who will be looking at my listings?
A: Producers, Directors, Location Managers, Scouts and Production Designers.(all of the people who play a major role in choosing a location)
Q: Do I pay any commissions to All About Locations for any rentals I get?
A: No, you keep 100% of everything you make.
Q: How do I know the the film company asking to shoot in my house is legit, how do I protect myself?
A: The production company and the location scout/manager will identify themselves, and the film project they are working on. Most likely the location manager is a member of the Directors Guild. Feel free to contact them to verify his/her credentials. As for the film company, The DGC will also know of the production. You can also check with your local film office.These organizations are dedicated to the health and welfare of the film industry and will want you to have a great experience as much as I do.
Q: I want to post my property, but my city/town is not listed...Why is that the case?
A. In Ontario, the film industry usually sticks to filming in the GTA, The Golden Horseshoe and Hamilton. Other municipalities such as North Bay, Sudbury, and Ottawa are becoming popular.If you would like to have your property or city represented on this site. Let me know and I will add it
Q: Will the film company insure my property? If so, how much insurance should I carry?
A: YES! The film company must insure your property. Legit film companies carry between 5 and 10 million in liability insurance. Make certain you obtain an insurance certificate from the location manager prior to filming .The certificate should have your address on it and list the dates of coverage.If you rent your property, you should also add your landlord as an additional insured. If you own the property, make certain that all of the tenants are covered too.
Q: How much should I charge for my property?
A. This is always a hard question to answer. It all depends on the size and quality of your property. The owner of a 25,000 square foot mansion might get $15.000 per day. The owner of a convenience store might only get $1500 - $2000 per day. You will have to negotiate the price with the film company. It is customary to charge less for set up and wrap up days (strike days). If you are charging say $3000 per shooting day, you may want to settle on $1000 per set up/strike days.
Q: What happens to me? Where do I sleep while my house is being used to make a TV show?
A: Often the film company will put you and your family up in a hotel. It depends on the budget of the show. Some shows cannot afford this extra. This you will have to negotiate with the location manager. Be sure however that you also get your meals paid for too.
Q: Do I have to draw up a contract?
A. No, the film company will furnish you with one. Make sure it addresses all of the issues I have covered in this article. If you wish to provide your own contract you may do so, however the film company may want you to sign theirs as well. If you want to have your own contract, go on line and look up film location release forms. There are tons out there. Pick one that suits your needs.
Make certain the contract also stipulates the following:
Number of filming days
Number of prep and strike days
Approximate size of cast and crew
Areas of the property to be used for filming - if you don’t want them to enter certain rooms or tiptoe through your tulips this is where you should make it all clear.
Q: I don't want my property destroyed. I want it back the way it was. How do I make sure that happens?
A: We now live in the digital age. Prior to the film company moving in to your property, take lots of digital photographs and time stamp them if your camera software will allow you that option. This will come in very handy if a dispute arises.A good locations manager will make certain that your floors are covered in carpet and your walls are sheathed in cardboard prior to filming. Location prep crews have all kinds of bits and bobs to keep your property from harm.
Q: What about utilities, should I charge for heat and hydro?
A :Yes you should, or even better. Make the film company bring their own heaters and air conditioning units. DO NOT EVER allow a film company to tie into your home hydro panel to run their lights and other equipment. They have generators for that.
Q: Should I ask for a damage deposit?
A: Yes you should.. For at least $5000.00 for a home. But remember... always allow for some reasonable wear and tear. If the film company does not want to comply with any of these conditions, I suggest you decline to rent them your property.
Q: How do I get paid?
A : You should be paid in full prior to any filming on your property. Do not be shy about asking for the check to be certified.
Q: Should I charge taxes?
Q: I do not own a business, so I do not have an HST number. What do I do? How do I invoice?
A: If this the case most production companies will just ask you for your social insurance number, or in the USA, your Social security number. You can invoice that way.
Q: I want to post my house, but what if I move, can I substitute my new house into my ad?
A: Sure, you can switch your property once in the year.
Q: I am a commercial real estate broker. Can I buy 1 ad then swap in a new property when I sell the one I had posted?
A: No you cannot use this site like that. We do however have a special category just for real estate companies. For $100.00 per year, you can rotate your postings as new properties come on the market.
Q: Can I edit or update my listing, change photos or ad new text?
A: By all means, as often as you wish
Q : If I have questions or suggestions for this site, can I contact you?
A: Sure , use the contact link that appears on every page. If I can help you I will. You can also call me at 416 836-0710.
Please also be advised that The Octopus Works and All About Locations accept no responsibility for any liability that arises between the users of this site, their agents or employers, nor any other third party claiming damages for any loss of revenue, due to damages or loss of goods by anyone posting on this site. TOW and AAL shall be held harmless by both renters and renter's clients for any disputes that may arise from your use of this site.
Thanks and good luck to all!