Using house as filming location

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Yorkshirepudding
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Using house as filming location

Post by Yorkshirepudding » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:02 am

Hi

Has anyone got any experience of this, or have any idea what the going rate might be?

Is it a total nightmare?

A friend of mine lives in a (very small) country house/stately home in the north of England and has the possibility of it being used for a small indy feature film location but they have asked what her going rate is!

I have no idea, but just wondered if anyone else did?

Pandora II
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Re: Using house as filming location

Post by Pandora II » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:02 pm

My former boss lent his house in central London for a very big Disney feature film - they used part of it to shoot and the basement as a green room. He got £1k per day iirc.

I don't know if there are standard rates - I would say it depends on the amount they need it and what they are planning to do. DD was involved in a film earlier this year and the main house that was used doubled as set, green rooms and housed all the wardrobe dept etc. By the end of the shoot they needed to redecorate (hordes of crew and huge camera equipment is hell on carpets and walls), so I imagine the bill was steep.

Yorkshirepudding
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Re: Using house as filming location

Post by Yorkshirepudding » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:00 pm

That's interesting Pandora - thanks.

I hadn't thought about the wear and tear side of it, but now you say it, yes I bet things gets fairly trashed. Not such an appealing option perhaps then...!

Pandora II
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Re: Using house as filming location

Post by Pandora II » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:34 pm

Must admit I would think very carefully about it. Even though the crew were very respectful and careful, large numbers of people plus equipment plus rain and mud is not a happy mix!

curiousity14
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Re: Using house as filming location

Post by curiousity14 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:21 pm

My parents house was used for Midsummer Murders. They got a fee (sorry can’t remember amount) but part of the contract was that the production company returned the house to its previous state including repairing any damage.

SazzaD
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Re: Using house as filming location

Post by SazzaD » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:13 am

Firstly, sorry for the long reply(!) and secondly, they should speak to their Solicitor, with any agreement or contract they enter into being passed by them.

Short letting of houses normally commands twice to three times the ordinary market rental rate. For example, if the house were to be let on a tenancy of 6-12 months and the market rent was £5,000 per month, a short let rate may be £10,000 - £15,000 per month, depending on length of time. Generally, the shorter the arrangement, the higher the 'rate' and it should be expected that this will include domestic use of utilities. However, if there are additional facilities, such as a swimming pool which will be available to the 'Tenant', this cost may increase again to cover usage. Given this isn't a domestic letting, what is Production's predicted usage of utility? Who will be covering this? If the owner is covering it, it must be accounted for within the 'rate'.

Other things to consider will be the duration and use of the house. For example, does the Production company have full access for the entirety of the period? Do your friends need to relocate and if so, are Production funding their onward accommodation (they should be!)?

Of course, most importantly is the question of damages. Wear and tear for the purposes of any 'let' is to be expected and so that is why it is so important for the owners to fully understand - and have contracted - the specific use of the house and gardens. Best practice would be for Production to fund the making of a full Inventory & Schedule of Condition for the rooms which are to be used or the whole property if needed, to include the garden, driveways, outside areas, outbuildings. If Production are only using a few rooms in the house under the terms of the contract, these should be specified (along with access points) and included within an Inventory & Schedule of Condition to include the outside space (driveways, parking and immediate garden) as these areas will almost certainly be compromised in some way with vehicle access, parking, storage of equipment etc. Ideally, the contract should limit the use to the agreed areas and restrictions for the areas not included should be put in place including, for example, locks on doors, if necessary. Again, think about paying particular attention to the access points in the event that it is only a few rooms as these are the areas most at risk of damage with equipment being taken through the house and these spaces should be listed on the included areas (rather than it just saying, 'kitchen' or 'bedroom', for example). Also, without wishing to bang on, pay particular attention to lawned areas are reinstating these can be very very costly and the bad weather may result in higher damages to these spaces. The Inventory & Schedule of Condition should provide detailed notes on the condition of the included spaces, including small marks to the walls / floors, broken window pains, existing damage and defects to the structure, condition and decor including all fixtures and fittings of the house alongside any damage to the driveway, garden and grounds. The Inventory report should also provide a full list of all the contents to be left in situ - down the last teaspoon in the kitchen, for example. In truth, this should be a requirement of the production company as much as the property owners as it protects both sides against damage claims. There is a possibility that the production company may try and implement a cap on any damages which, for a property of the nature you are describing, would not be a good thing for the owners. Also, the owners may want to consider that the cost of making an appropriate Inventory & Schedule of Condition for a larger country house with several acres may be £2,000 or more, depending on the company used and these reports can take several days to collate. It would be best for Production to cover this cost (but not necessarily arrange this in order that the owners can obtain the best Inventory Clerk possible!). However, in the event that Production won't cover the cost, it would definitely be worth the home owners considering paying for this themselves (if the filming 'rate' is sufficient) to ensure they are covered in the event of extensive damage.

As Curiousity14 says, the requirement should be for the property to be reinstated to it's original condition (not better and certainly not worse!) after the project is finished. However, the Inventory report is required to ascertain what this was (ideally, for a house of this size, with lots and lots of photographs).

Also, they will need to talk to their Home Insurance company to obtain permission for the filming. If agreed, the Insurance company will possibly (but not definitely) require the above as protection. If they do not inform the Insurance company or obtain permission, any claim in relation to damages incurred (not covered by the contract) may not be covered. Additionally on this point, it would be sensible for them to remove any particularly valuable items including, for example, artwork, unless it (or they) form/s a fundamental part of the Production company's interest or contract. 'Rule of thumb' would be to remove anything of sentimental or financial value from the property before the project. Frankly, if the Insurance company don't grant permission, this is all academic as they may be very ill-advised to proceed in this event - check with Solicitor!

Finally, it is usual with long term (and some short term) tenancies for a dilapidations deposit to be held by an independent party. It is normally recommended, wherever possible for this to be part of the agreement but they should definitely definitely definitely speak with their solicitor on this, just in case taking a deposit is seen as an automatic 'cap' on potential damages.

This isn't a whole list of things that they will need to do and think about but hope it helps on some basic points. Overall, I would consider the risk / reward. It is likely that, if they haven't been given a 'rate' (reward), that the exercise will not be worth the potential risk to their home. It is also probable that in the event they request various items, such as full detail of the usage and Inventory (at production's cost), that their property may suddenly not be as interesting as it was. However, there may be unwritten reward for the owner - for example, if they are selling the house in the future, they can detail that such and such Director and such and such project was filmed at the property. Be wary of this being Production's route into a lower 'rate' / fee!

Whatever happens, a contract (without damages cap) detailing the rate and also an Inventory of Contents & Schedule of Condition will definitely be required. Speak to a solicitor before signing anything!

Good luck 🍀

(PS - comments are based on nearly 30 years in property - please don't misinterpret as legal advice!)

Yorkshirepudding
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Re: Using house as filming location

Post by Yorkshirepudding » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:22 am

Thank you everybody!

Lots to think about !!!

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