As of 2010, production companies will pay anywehre between a several hundred to several thousand dollars a day to rent your house for their film. Big production companies tend to pay more than small, independent films. As a homeowner, you're covered by the production's insurance, and location scouts are always looking for different types of houses. Typically, the scout will look at about 15 different homes and choose one to use for filming. The most commonly used homes are traditional style houses with large rooms because they can stand in as a home located anywhere in America.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Computer with Internet access
- Digital camera
- Brochures or pamphlets featuring house pictures and details (optional)
Contact your local film commission to obtain a directory of location scouts and agencies. You can also search online for scouts. Note that scouts work for production companies or films and are looking for houses, while agencies, like talent agencies, keep a list of houses on file for location scouts. Film agencies do not require you to pay to list on their sites. They work much like talent agents in that they take a percentage of what you're paid by the production company for their fee.
Take digital pictures of your house. Include as much of the house as possible, especially living areas and the front and back yards. Load them on to your computer to send them to agencies. Putting them on a CD is also a good idea.
Write a letter of introduction to the scout or agency including a little about yourself and any features of your home that stand out.
Wait for a call. If a location scout considers your home for a film, she will most likely need to come by and take more pictures of your house, so you will have to be home during that time.
Get as many details as possible on how long the company plans to film in your home, what changes, if any, will be made (there are times when property owners actually like a new paint job or alteration the crew has made and request it not be changed back). Union crews are generally very good about returnig things back to normal, and if anything is broken, remember that homeowners are insured under the production.
Tips and warnings
- Serious about getting a gig? Some homeowners create pamphlets or brochures featuring pictures and features of their home and send them via snail mail to location scouts and agencies.
- Renting out your house for a film set is certain to disrupt your daily life. Film crews tend to take over the entire house. It will probably even affect the neighbours, as sets require large equipment trucks that will be parked in the neighbourhood. Make sure you inform neighbours ahead of time.
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- LA Times Blogs: Rent Your House out for Movies, TV or Commercials? How to Make £1,300 to £2,600 a Day
- Times Online: Rent Out Your Home as a Film Set
- "LA Times": The Star Treatment: Want a film set in your living room? It's all about looks, marketing and good neighbours; Danny Miller; Mar. 5, 2006
- "Readers Digest": How to Get Your House in a Movie; Cynthia Dermody; October, 2006