Pointers for Location Owners | Filmapia - real sites . reel sights

Pointers for Location Owners

WITH GREAT REWARD COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY! Your property as a film shoot location is financially very rewarding and fun too, but the higher-than-regular rentals indicate that it’s not just all money and stars pouring into your property. Film shootings can be confusing at first. This list gives you a few pointers on what role you should play as a location owner, to cooperate with the filmmaker and the filming process.

Shooting at Your Home

Image Copyright - Habitat magazine Feb 2008. Illustration by Marcellus Hall


Things to Remember!


  1. Recce: Much before the filming is confirmed, key people in the Film Crew, like the Director, Director of Photography, Line Producer, etc. will come to inspect your property (house, office, vehicle, etc.) a few times to see if it fits their vision and to check other technical requirements. This is called a Recce.
  2. Privacy: Post Recce, your property could be the one confirmed for the shoot. And if it is, and the shoot starts, be prepared to have your privacy disturbed. In case you live in the same house, or have work going on in some portions - if it is your office, etc., the best you can do is inform the team that some parts of the property are not to be encroached.
    • As far as possible, it is good for the location owner and his family to stay out of the shooting arena so that the filmmakers will carry on their creative work, uninhibited.
  3. Contact Person/Line Producer: There will always be a point of contact for you from the filming team. This person is usually the Line Producer. You can approach him for any day-to-day concerns. Filmapia will introduce this contact person to you by the time the shooting starts.
  4. Common Areas: For common areas, it’s best to ask the filmmaker to give you an itinerary or a schedule beforehand so that you will know when the common area is used for shooting, and will be prepared beforehand.
  5. Noise: Filming is sometimes a noisy activity. You can discuss with the Director if there is going to be loud music or audio which will disturb neighbours. Usually this is not the case, since most recordings are done after shooting in the studio. However, it helps to inform the neighbours beforehand as a courtesy gesture.
  6. Exterior Shots: For shooting of the exteriors from outside your property, sometimes depending on the filming logistics the local authorities need to be informed. Usually the Line Producer gets these permissions. You need not worry about this.



  1. Your Property: Present your property to the filmmakers before the start of the shoot/recce, so that it sends out the right message to the filmmakers as well - to handle your property equally carefully.
  2. Prep Time: Usually the filmmakers need the location 2-3 days ahead of the shooting, since they might need to prepare the location according to the creative requirements of the shoot. This is not always the case
  3. Preparing your Location for the Shoot: The film team may make cosmetic changes like adding some props, changing some furniture around etc. Sometimes in the case of long-term shootings, these changes can be structural as well, like painting a portion of the house, building a temporary structure etc. However all structural changes will be done after consulting with you during the contract stages itself. At the end of the shoot, all structural changes will be removed and the location returned back to you in its original condition, unless you prefer for those changes to remain.
  4. Safeguard Valuables: Just to be on a safer side, it’s always advisable for you to secure your valuables (jewellery, expensive artwork, etc.) from the start of the preparation days to the end of the shoot.
  5. Accidental Damage to Property: A refundable security deposit is usually taken before the shooting. In case of any damage to the property, it is the responsibility of the filmmaker to repair the damage to your satisfaction, replace it or reimburse the mutually agreed amount. This amount is deducted from the security deposit and the rest refunded to the filmmaker.
    • You should inform the contact person mentioned above and Filmapia as soon as you spot any substantial damage or issue.
  6. Wear and Tear: Filmmakers take extra care to minimize any substantial damage. Having said that, some wear and tear of the property should be expected by you, since a lot of activity is going on. Avoid getting paranoid about minor changes or wear and tear.



  1. Contracts: Filmapia will write all required legal contracts between you and the filmmaker for shared understanding on the terms and conditions.
  2. Best Price: We will negotiate the best location fees for you from the filmmaker. All the payments from the filmmaker will be channelled through Filmapia.
  3. Assured Payment: We usually make a 50% advance payment to the location owner well ahead of the shooting date and the rest in equal portions through the length of the shooting.
  4. Security Deposit: Filmapia will hold the security deposit and function as an escrow account between the filmmaker and the location owner.
  5. Confidentiality: Avoid doing direct commercial transactions and discussions with any of the film crew. This helps you stay away from unnecessary bargaining and unreliable deals, and continue being part of the Filmapia network for further business. We at Filmapia highly value ethics and ethical business practices and encourage all our property owners to do the same.



  1. Electricity: The filmmakers will not use power/electricity from your property for their shootings, unless it has been previously agreed upon. Large scale productions bring their own generators. Small scale productions seek to use your location's electricity.
  2. Duration of Shoot: Shooting can last for around 12 hours per day, depending on the schedule. A shooting project can last from a few hours to months.
  3. Overnight Stays: As would have been discussed initially, a couple of the crew members might spend the night in your location, if they have equipment that they want to safeguard. This may not always be the case.
  4. Shoot Format: Most of the format of the shoot, including the number of people who will be present in your location for the filming will be discussed earlier with you. However in case of any radical changes on any day of the shoot, like bringing in a new crowd of people, very large equipment or more number of vehicles etc., which is different from what was discussed earlier, will need the filmmaker to inform you of this beforehand.



  1. Direct Dealings: Any form of discussions with any member of the film unit. If they approach you directly to seek an arrangement outside the scope of Filmapia, that would be an unethical practice and its best to avoid any form of business with such individuals.
    • Doing any commercial dealings directly with the filmmakers, will cause you to forfeit the Filmapia umbrella and any further film business from Filmapia. We will be immediately delisting your property from Filmapia and any existing contracts will be null and void.
  2. Deciding on Extension of Shoot: In case of any extensions or change of plans which is not defined in the contract, inform Filmapia at the earliest to negotiate the newer deal with the filmmaker and not deal directly with them.
  3. Undue Interaction: Avoid too much interaction with the film unit and have your also family not become too friendly with them. This which could cause unnecessary confusion, as they have to focus on a job that they have to deliver within a time frame.



  1. Correct Permissions: When your Property is not independent and/or is part of a larger community space, apartment condominium or an office complex, it's extremely important to get the correct permissions before opening your property for film shoots. You will have to talk to the building management/association, or administration department in the case of commercial spaces such as offices, or owners/managers responsible for the entire space.
  2. Rules and Regulations: It is a good idea to discuss with the authorities first and understand if they have any rules for allowing shootings. If they do, then we will put up those rules under your Property listing on Filmapia. Some offices are part of Special Economic Zones, which have their own rules and regulations while having an Film shooting activity/ other event to happen on their premises. None of these rules can be flouted and must be informed to Filmapia at the earliest.
  3. Education: For those management bodies, which have not experienced shootings before, it is a good idea to educate them, so that they will be prepared. You can share the link to this article with them.
  4. On Paper: It’s always best to get administration, association/society permissions on paper. Some housing complexes may charge some amount to give this permission. You can discuss that amount with Filmapia.
  5. Shooting Crew: There will be several crew members who will enter the premises. While some of them will be shooting inside the Property, the rest of them will need a place to be seated in the common spaces, gardens, etc. If you do not want that, then a place for them to sit is something that needs to be arranged by you in conjunction with the management. For such needs it would be preferred to allocate an area which is well ventilated, well lit and safe from the sun or rain. It would be advised to have this area not too far from the shooting spots to 
    • For the crew to have easy access to the shoot, avoiding delays. This is important especially because the crew will typically be responsible for providing equipment to the shoot team in quick time.
    • Avoid unnecessary disturbance to other occupants on the premises.
  6. Shooting in Common Areas: Incase the filming needs to happen in common areas like the gardens, corridors, lifts etc, the other residents/occupants must be informed in advance of this activity. Most shootings happen only within the Property, but some filmmakers might want to shoot in the common areas. But approval for such shootings must first be got from the management.
  7. Parking for Vehicles: For a shoot, a large number of vehicles will arrive at the spot. The generator van is most important. The generator van needs parking as close to the shooting property as possible.  The other vehicles will carry equipment which will unload the equipment at the property and will need to be parked elsewhere. If you do not have parking facilities within the complex, do give them some pointers as to where they can effectively park outside. Ideally parking should be given in the complex itself as close as possible to the actual filming spot, even if at a small cost.  
  8. Food Facilities: There will be a food van carrying food supplies for the crew and it will need to be parked within your building complex. The crew will come to the food van for their meals. There needs to be some place around the food van to set up a few tables and chairs so that the crew can sit and eat. The entire place will be cleaned up at the end of the shoot
  9. Other Facilities: The film crew should be made aware of facilities like access to toilets, common areas like cafeterias. They should also be made aware of areas they can or cannot access.
  10. Courtesy: Usually the neighbours or the adjacent offices need to be informed formally through the management or informally by you that a shooting is imminent, so that they will be prepared to see a lot of activity around them.
  11. Maintenance Staff: The security guard and the maintenance staff need to be informed about the shooting date. The crew usually arrives by 7 am in the morning and if the security guard and maintenance staff is not informed, it causes unnecessary delays for the film crew who are usually short on time.


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