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Today I’m looking at an opportunity with the potential to generate a lot of money for little effort.
As you will gather from the headlinne, that is allowing your home to be used as a location for film, TV or still photography.
Of course, not everyone will be able to do this. You need to live somewhere with characteristics or features that might be in demand by a production company.
But, as I’ll be explaining, you definitely don’t need to live in a stately home. Studios look for all types of properties, regardless of whether it’s a two-bed terrace or a penthouse flat.
I admit that I haven’t any direct experience of doing this myself. Some friends who live in a perfectly normal suburban semi did, though. So I have tapped them up for advice.
Their house was chosen to film a toilet roll commercial. As well as a generous fee for two days’ filming, they received several large boxes of premium loo rolls for their trouble.
What Homes Are Required?
All sorts of properties may be of interest, although those meeting the following criteria are in most demand…
- Good accessibility and parking – film-makers in particular may have trucks and lorries that need to be parked near-by.
- Large rooms and through lounges. Around a dozen crew members plus their equipment are likely to be in the house at any time, so there must be enough space for them as well as the actors.
- Unusual features – traditional stone fireplaces, spiral staircases, farmhouse-style kitchens, extra-large bathrooms, and so on.
- Not too many narrow stairs and hallways, and not too close to main roads, busy railway lines or aircraft flight-paths.
- Homes with a particular ‘look’ – a typical English country cottage, for example, or a 1970s-style bachelor pad.
- In addition, homes within the M25 are likely to generate more interest, as most production companies are based near London.
Earnings can range from a few hundred pounds for an ordinary house or flat, up to £5,000 or more for an unusual (e.g. ultra-modern/architect-designed) home. Other things being equal, film-makers tend to pay better than TV companies.
As mentioned above, there is also a demand for properties for still photography (typically featuring the latest designs or fashions).
For this type of opportunity, it helps to have a large house, ideally with attractive gardens as well.
How to Apply
Location Works is one agency that is happy to hear from people willing to offer their homes for filming. It is free to register and all they ask initially is that you include some photos of your property when you sign up.
The photos don’t have to be professional standard but they do have to be bright and sharp (not blurry). They should show both the outside of the property (including gardens) and the main rooms inside.
It’s especially important to take good-quality photos of any unique features, such as stained glass windows or secret passages.
If a production company is interested in using your property as a location, initially they will arrange a ‘recce’. This is where the location manager comes and assesses your property for suitability.
Yours is likely to be one of several properties they are considering, so don’t be disappointed if you miss out.
If the company does want to use your property, Location Works will negotiate a fee and provide a contract and any other advice you might need to ensure a successful shoot.
They charge a 25 percent commission of the final fee paid by the production company and possibly other fees as well.
Good luck, and I hope the cameras are rolling in your property soon!
Nick Daws writes for Pounds and Sense, a UK personal finance blog aimed especially (though not exclusively) at over-fifties.
Photo Credits: Unsplash
Nick Daws is a semi-retired freelance writer and editor. He is the author of over 30 non-fiction books, including Start Your Own Home-Based Business and The Internet for Writers. He lives in Burntwood, Staffordshire, where he has been running his personal finance blog at Poundsandsense.com for over seven years.