Hire out Your house as a Film, TV, Photo shoot Location
It’s not news that Cape Town is a hot spot for foreign teams looking for great weather to come and shoot their TV Commercials, Photographic shoots, series and feature films and more and more production companies are looking further afield too at Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and up and down the coast.
Many people hire out their properties for these shoots in order to make some great money on their properties.
If you would like to hire out your house, apartment, garden or office space for filming and photo shoots you will need to register it with a location agent such a Shoot My House. The Location agency will need to determine whether your property is suitable as a location.
We will ask you to send in some images and details of the property. If we think that your property will work, you will be asked for more images if needed together with an agreement that need to be signed and completed.
How to Register Your Property as a Filming, TV & Photo Shoot Location
The first thing you’ll need to do is Contact Shoot my House by phone or email. If we think that the property is viable as a photoshoot location, once you have sent us an initial set of images, we will then ask you either to send us professional shots of the property or we can set up a photographer on your behalf to take the photos. These photos are for your account. Its very important to make sure that there are no pets or children in the photos.
What you will need to be registered
A comprehensive and professional set of images showing every aspect of the property is absolutely crucial if you want your property to have the best chance of getting shoots. If you have stables, fields, orchards, cellars, pool, gardens you should include all of these aspects.
The quality of the images is of utmost importance since we are working in a visual industry the photos need to sell the location to clients who are thousands of miles away until very close to the shoot day. From there Shoot My house will market your property in our location library which clients both locally and abroad can search by category, tag, area or name. When we receive locations requests from clients we send your property details and pictures if it fits the particular brief.
We never publish the physical address on the website. If your property receives interest from a client, Shoot My House will find out about the project and send you the details. We will discuss the dates with you, the details of the shoot and double check that you are happy to go ahead.
Before filming can begin Shoot My House requires proof of payment as well as a copy of the public liability insurance, this covers any damages that may occur on the shoot day – such as a nick in the wall, a scratch in the wooden floor etc. the idea of damages may concern some potential location owners but these damages are always small and very professionally handled. Some shoots require that you sign a non disclosure agreement which guarantees the secrecy of the project.
What is Expected of the Location provider?
We expect to be able to get in touch with you fairly easily in order to arrange recces so that location scouts are able to see the space should they need to. We ask that the space is tidy and looks its best so that it is an easy sell. Once the shoot is confirmed your work is done. You may prefer to be away when the filming or shooting is happening but we always suggest that there is someone there just to oversee the process from a distance. Also useful should they require a light be turned on, a door opened etc and need to know where switches or keys etc are. At the very least we ask that someone be there in the morning to open up and then come back at night to lock up.
Is there a Guarantee that Your location will be used?
Unfortunately there are no guarantees that your property will be chosen once it has been scouted and shortlisted for a job. Many properties are looked at and the final decision rests with the director in collaboration sometimes with the production designer or the client and agency. The decision can never be swayed by us as the location agents – we have no say over the decisions that are made. It is important therefore to understand that renting your property out as a location is not a stable income stream and should rather be seen as a way for you to make additional income to put toward the upkeep of the home, bond repayments etc.
What makes a property suitable for film and photo shoots?
There are no set rules that govern this. Trends come and go, fashions are fickle and changeable, however houses and apartments that are more neutral seem to do best as they are easily adaptable. Properties with pressed ceilings, wooden floors, wood paneling are always popular. Some clients want derelict spaces, others modern mansions. Stills photography always loves beach houses, modern sea view homes, stately mansions with detailing.
Apart from the interiors, its important that there is ample parking for the unit close by. If there are issues with parking in your neighborhood or very tricky neighbors then you need to be upfront about this so that it does not become an issue later.
The size of the rooms and the space surrounding a location is also something that has to be considered since equipment is large and cumbersome with film shoots. Stills shoots require a lot less space.
Sometimes production designers and art directors will want to redecorate a space, wallpaper or repaint a wall in a different color, bring in alternate furniture. It is always up to you to decide what you will and will not allow but this must be agreed on ahead of time – you cannot change your mind once confirmations have happened that required those changes. Anything that is altered will be put back to rights once the shoot it done, unless of course you like what they have done.
Am I allowed to stay in the house or must I leave?
For stills shoots you won’t need to vacate the house. The film crew will only ask that you stay out of their way and are quiet. If you have dogs it is much kinder to send them to a doggie daycare for the day as they cannot have barking dogs on a film set. Kids should also play elsewhere as it is a very long day for a child to be quiet and tip toe around.
There are some jobs where secrecy is of upmost importance that do require that you vacate the house – like reality shows. In these circumstances you will be put up in a hotel or a rental for the duration of shooting.
So what happens now?
After Shoot My house agrees to sign up your property, we will send you the documents which you will sign and send back. These records include property details, agreed rates and payment terms. For most jobs you’ll be paid on the first day of filming while some, particularly photoshoots are paid within 10-15 days generally.