Hollywood has been using private homes instead of studios to shoot films for a long time. This has created a great opportunity for many homeowners to make extra cash by renting out their house or apartment to film crews.
Leaving your well-kept home to a 50-strong film crew is a scary thought for many people.
But if you are OK with that and want to make some money (and give your property the “cool” factor), here is what you need to know to cash in.
How It Works
Film and TV production companies use real locations instead of building a set for many reasons, mainly because it is cheaper to pay a home owner $10,000-$50,000 than to spend a few hundred thousands dollars building a set.
To get your home on the radar of production companies, you can register your home with agencies and film location scouts specializing in location scouting for movies and TV shows. You can also use your local film commission (more on both options later).
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You have to fill out an application and provide pictures of your property. Some agencies may even send their own people to check out your property.
If your house is chosen, normally the company will pay for your hotel stay while the filming goes on. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on the film or show.
If you don’t want to rent your house out for long periods of time, you can list your home just for photo shoots where the crew will be there just for a few hours and you are normally paid a few thousand dollars.
How Much Can You Make If Your House Is Used as a Movie Set?
The short and quick answer is between $1000 to $5000 per day.
From the research I have done, it seems like the standard rate in the industry is your monthly mortgage payment per day. So, if your mortgage payment is $1500 a month, you get about the same for each day the crew uses your house.
Not bad if you ask me!
That said, the exact amount you can make depends on a few factors. Factors such as your location, the size of your property, the interior and exterior of your house, and shooting duration dictate how much you can make for letting production companies use your house to shoot movie and TV shows.
For those interested here are a few examples of people who got top dollars for having their house used as a movie location, according to the NY Daily News:
- Elliott Joseph: Got paid 50,000 to $100,000, plus a screen credit for renting out his home as the shooting location for the movie “Rent”.
- Allison Du Val: Got paid $5,000 a day for renting out her home as the shooting location for the TV show “Gossip Girl”.
How to Register Your House for a Film Location?
As mentioned, there are a few ways to do this.
1. Get your property listed with your state film commission
You can list your property with your state’s film commission.
State film commissions are there to connect film makers and producers with the local people. Their main concern is to facilitate the shooting of the project and publicizing it, while at the same time insuring some of the local businesses and people are incorporated into the whole process
So when production companies want to shoot a project in your state, your state film commission will give them your property information for consideration.
You can find your local film commission by searching on Google for “your state” followed by “Film Commission”.
You can also check out http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/FilmCommission.htm and http://www.dga.org/Resources/Additional/Film-Commissions-top.aspx for listings.
2. Get your property listed with agencies/location scouts
Here are a few well-known agencies you can register your home or property with:
If you live in Georgia, you can register your property with The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office
If you live in England (mainly London & near by places), register your property with Shoot Factory
Note: Keep in mind that although some of these agencies are location specific, you can still register your property since for the right movie, they will choose the right property no matter the location.
Would you rent out your house, apartment, or any other type of property to be used as a film location?
I would love to also hear from those of you who had your house used as a movie or TV show set.