A location scout or location manager generally makes initial contact. This person is often hired locally by the film company, but may also be from out-of-state. His/her credentials can generally be confirmed through the NY State Governor’s Film Office for Motion Picture and TV Development.
Determine the nature of the project and how your location will be used. Also, note if there will be special effects involved such as smoke, fire, gunshots, stunts, etc.
Determine exact number of days required for the shoot (include prep, strike, and back-up days). Note, that a day can be as long as 16 hours, day or night.
Arrange for a “walk-through” with the assistant director or location manager to determine exact interiors/exteriors desired for filming; any “off-limits” areas as determined by owner; where equipment and vehicles will need to be positioned or parked; and any such areas as roof, fences, windows, etc. that may need to be used or altered during filming.
Determine what personal property of owners may be used for production. For items designated “off-limits” to production, determine how/where to store items not used and who will be responsible for packing and moving. Specific storage areas may need to be determined “for owners use only”.
Determine who will be allowed on the “set” during period of use and how access will be enforced.
Determine rules and regulations regarding: smoking, use of restrooms, water, trash, electricity, where meals will be eaten, floor coverings, etc. Determine utility costs up front with the production company (heat in winter/air in summer) during all aspects of production.
Determine phone use (if applicable) and how the phone bill is to be covered.
Determine (if applicable) how the family will be accommodated during filming and any living expenses that may be required.
Designate parking for your personal vehicles.
Determine clean-up requirements: who is responsible, the time frame within the clean-up is to be completed, and arrange a final “walk-through” for owner approval.
Location fees are negotiable. Owner should feel comfortable with amount agreed upon. There is generally no standard fee scale.
Owner may request and negotiate a security deposit.
Owner should have agreed upon specifics in writing. A principal or agent of the production company should sign this contract.
Owner may request a set of “before” pictures of any interiors, exteriors, and landscape before filming begins.
Owner should get a certificate of insurance, including a hold harmless clause for protection in case of personal injury on the property from the production company. (All production companies should carry insurance policies that cover third-party rentals for property damage and liability). A copy of the insurance certificate should be given to the property owner before any crew comes on the property.