Is my property suitable as a film shooting location?

We’re often approached by people trying to ascertain whether their property is suitable as a film shooting location or for TV or photo shoots.

We’re often approached by people trying to ascertain whether their property is suitable as a film shooting location or for TV or photo shoots. It’s difficult to know what makes a good location as it is down to the specific requirements of the client, but we thought we’d try and offer some guidance to help you decide whether to put your property forward or not.

Film and production companies are always on the look out for real film shooting locations as it’s substantially cheaper than building a set. What are they looking for? Residential homes, commercial offices, industrial units, shops, leisure centres  – you name it, they need it!

Whilst there are no standard set of requirements, there are several boxes that usually need to be ticked. If your property doesn’t tick all the boxes it may not be ruled out, but generally speaking the following criteria are important if a property is to be used as a film shooting location or for TV and photo shoots.

Residential requirements

Your home doesn’t have to be grand or particularly smart or stylish to be included in a location library. Production companies often need regular, normal looking houses and flats. Quite often it doesn’t even matter what furnishing and décor you have as they may well redecorate and refurbish it to such an extent that you wouldn’t recognise it. (But don’t let that put you off, they’ll always put it back to how you had it before and you can specify if you’re not open to having your home redecorated).

What they will be looking for is space. They’ll need rooms that are large enough to accommodate crew and equipment. Even the smallest crew will be a dozen or so people, so, will they fit in your home? Open plan rooms are ideal as they give crews flexibility and room to manoeuvre. So, you may only have a ‘normal’ sized kitchen, but if it opens out into another room where the crew can position themselves to film from – then problem solved.

The property will also have to offer spare rooms that the cast and crew can utilise when they’re not involved in filming. Plenty of natural light is also a big plus and plenty of parking is an absolute must. There could well be several trucks on your drive or on the road, so a good relationship with your neighbours is probably important too!

As the property’s owner, you are in the driving seat, but the more accommodating you can be, the better. By all means, specify what areas are out of bounds and the times the property is available, but the more flexibility you offer, the more appealing the property will be.

Commercial offices

Letting vacant commercial office space as a film shooting location is great for commercial landlords as they benefit from business rates savings. It doesn’t matter if it’s an entire building, a single floor or simply a reception space – they’re all equally attractive to production companies. Space can include fittings and furniture, but equally, it can be completely empty. If your furniture isn’t appropriate for the project the client will pay to put it into storage (fully insured) whilst filming takes place.

As with residential properties, the parking on site or very nearby is a critical requirement. Major productions not only involve 100 plus people, but also a serious amount of equipment and a serious number of trucks. Availability mid-week is also a big draw, so if you can only offer weekends, then this will limit interest.

Industrial spaces

Production companies are often looking for large industrial spaces that they can use to build a studio in. Requirements for these types of spaces are quite specific and include high eaves – the higher the better, but certainly over six metres and with a clear span where possible. A large yard with plenty or parking space is a must and offices and workshop space onsite is preferable.

If you think your property ticks the right boxes and you’re interested in registering it with us, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today!