It may not be the first thought that comes to mind, but you can make money by letting your home be used as a film set. Location scouts are looking for all kinds of properties and pay up to £2,500 a day to use your home.
Sometimes film and TV productions want to use a real location instead of building a set. This might be because it is cheaper or they may simply be looking for a location that is more authentic. No matter where you live, whether it be a stately home or a grotty little bedsit (no offence if you live in one), there is always the potential for demand.
If your house is selected then you will have a film crew around your house for an agreed amount of time. It may just be for a day or it may be over an agreed period of time.
There’s also the opportunity just to have your house used in a photo shoot, which are less invasive and can earn you a few hundred pounds.
Having your house appear in a film or TV show might sound like the perfect glamorous money maker. You can get paid a good amount and if you hang around during filming then you could meet some interesting people – maybe even snare Hugh Grant as a husband! (Ok, maybe not…)
However, if your home is going to be used as a film set then you’re going to need a laid back attitude. You could have a film crew of 30 to 40 people lugging around their equipment and it can be very intrusive. Having that many people in your house can lead to things breaking that you didn’t even know could be broken! Film crews should replace anything they damage, but if something is of sentimental value then you best be careful to get it out the way. Plus you might discover something’s broken weeks after the film crew has left.
If the crew has to be at your home for any length of time then you may well also have to move out for a while which is a real nuisance and completely impractical if you have a family.
You will also need to consider whether you have enough parking nearby to cater for all the crew, plus you will have to consider your neighbours to make sure they’ll be happy with the arrangement. Night shoots, for example, could mean the road is lit and noisy at night, which might not impress the rest of the street.
This is not to put you off using your home as a film set, it’s a great opportunity to earn some money, but just remember there’s a reason you are getting paid.
To get started it’s best to sign up to an agency such as Amazing Space, Lavish Locations or The Collective. You can register your property with these sites and they’ll help provide you work. To apply you will need to provide photos to give a feel of your house. If you live in Scotland you could get in contact with Location Scotland, a company that, among other things, scouts Scottish locations.
You could also contact the BBC locations department or your local film commission directly to ask if they’d be interested in your home. Also get in touch with one of the national location libraries in London and they’ll send you a form to fill in about your home.
Most filming is done in and around London so the closer you are to the city the more likely your property will be used. The more extraordinary or individual your home is the better chance you stand of getting picked if you are further from the city. Not all television programmes and films are made in London though, so don’t give up just because you’re not in London, for example BBC’s Doctor Who is filmed largely in Wales.
All kinds of homes are sought for filming. Homes that have original period interiors might be very useful for a nostalgic series or a period film. You remember the grotty bedsit we were talking about earlier? (Sorry again!) Well that could be great for a gritty police drama.
The key to your property’s success it that it must be a good example of the kind of property it is representing.
If you live in a fabulous stately home you could make a lot of money per day, up to £2,500 for a film crew. For an average home, the fee paid is usually around £1,000 a day, although it would be less for a small place and more for a large home.
The type of filming that is taking place will obviously govern the price. Filming for a Hollywood blockbuster is going to pay out more than a low budget film. In London, for example, documentary makers would pay around £300-£500 per day.
Don’t forget the potential costs either. Although any damages should be covered, it is possible that you won’t discover something is broken until some time after the filming. Even more costly, if the filming lasts more than a day then you will have to consider the cost of alternative accommodation.
You may also be interested in making money as a film or TV extra.