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How to make money from your home without selling it: Rent it out as a film location

PUBLISHED: 10:32 14 August 2015 | UPDATED: 14:12 14 August 2015

Filming The Dry Cleaner on location in a home. Photo: Josh Bamber

Filming The Dry Cleaner on location in a home. Photo: Josh Bamber

Archant

Renting out your home to a film crew can be fun, provide an interesting behind-the-scenes insight into film production and improve your bank balance, as Lucy Daltroff found out

“Goodness, you’re brave” was the unanimous reaction after I decided to let a film crew take my house over for a day. Up to then I had been more of the “it’ll be fun” chain of thought, but with the pessimistic comments running through my ears it was with a little trepidation that I opened my front door to Jonathan from the Mountview Theatre school.

He was he said here to do a “recce”. To me this was the worst possible news. I had signed up and agreed to give my lovely family home for a showpiece film for the school and now it seemed they were already having doubts.

I nearly flounced out of the room in a dramatic gesture that in other circumstances might have got me an audition, until Jonathan calmly explained the visual requirements for the film, including having a piano, a large hall and adequate parking.

Finally it was all agreed. The insurance, the hours, the fee and the rooms needed - and of course it would be no problem for me to be present throughout.

So, at 7am the following week I watched the unloading of arc lights, a large make up box, strange additions to my hall furniture, the mewing of a kitten in a little basket and the arrival of quite a number of unidentifiable people. The filming of Living with a Genius was underway.

It was my first opportunity of watching a picture being made and I realised the patience and good humour needed by the actors after take number five.

The little kitten looked the most nervous in her new environment and I gave myself the job of looking after her between shots, partly I admit because I could see she had a propensity to scratch on doors, and partly to calm her down.

When a cup of coffee was spilt on my carpet, I was promised a new one if the stain did not come out. It did. There were no other mishaps during the day and even slightly apprehensive husband agreed all had gone smoothly.

At 8pm the whole charabanc moved on. I realised that my Hoover attachments had gone with them - but one quick phone call later, the future of any cleaning behind the sofa, was back on track.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. It was fun and my bank balance had swelled just a little. The crew had been absolutely great, both appreciative and accommodating, but I can’t help thinking I was lucky.

Afterwards I spoke to Chris Carr the Production Manager, to ask for some hints for other people wanting to hire out their house.

“Always make sure the company has public liability insurance in case of any damage,” he says.

“Be patient; filming always takes a little longer than expected and remember, you may be asked to stay completely silent in your own home as the sound recording equipment can pick up even the slightest noise.”

So if you’re hoping to follow in my footsteps and try and rent your home to a film crew, what are the requirements?

Daniel Garry is the location director of Shootfactory, who mainly deal with London properties.

He explains that while requirements vary considerably from film to film, good light and enough space for about 20 people will generally help.

“A central location is especially appreciated, as are good transport links,” he continues.

“Fees can range from anything from £450 to £1,500 a day, and it’s easy to register on our website.”


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