How Your House Can Star in the ‘Hollywood of the South’
Atlanta is quickly earning its place as the “Hollywood of the South,” FOX News reports.
Dozens of film and TV projects were shot in Georgia in 2013, according to the official site of Georgia Film & Music. Many of them were filmed in the metro Atlanta area, including “The Hunger Games” sequel, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and “Prisoners.” Local film productions spent $933.9 million in the state and generated $3.3 billion in economic impact last year, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.
All that industry growth may leave some Atlantans wondering how to cash in. If you own a business, home or land, read on for some tips on how you may be able to participate.
Making the Cut
How do you get your property on a scout’s radar? For starters, spaces that are large enough for a production crew are desirable, says Jen Farris, an Atlanta-based location scout who has found filming spots for TV series such as “Constantine” and “Being Mary Jane.”
“You have to assume that there will be multiple layers of people on set: lighting crew, different levels of directors, producers, audio guys, a makeup and hair [team] and actors,” Farris says.
One way to get your property in front of the right people is to list it with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Follow the requirements listed on the site and fill out the form online submission here.
If approved, your property will be added to an extensive library of homes and businesses that are matched to location requests from producers of films, commercials, music videos and corporate media, according to Georgia.org.
Contract and Insurance
Once a home is selected, the location scout typically passes the baton to a location manager who will discuss the fee, contract and insurance with the homeowner, says Farris. At this point, the homeowner is in a great position to negotiate, she adds.
“The homeowner wants to know, ‘Is my home going to be insured?’ and the production should accommodate those [types of] questions,” Farris says.
Homeowner policies typically exclude liability coverage for business activities. A homeowner should verify that the production company’s insurance provides liability coverage for the homeowner, in case an accident occurs on the property.
“The big production companies work with attorneys; they will formalize a thorough contract that covers insurance and will determine compensation based on the production’s budget and the square footage of the house. The production wants it to be a win-win,” Farris says. “They are prepared for a mishap, scratched paint or dirtied carpet.”
If the chosen property is a place of business, the production will often compensate for lost business during the time the crew is on-site, Farris says.
What to Expect
Depending on the length of time needed to shoot the scene(s), a production crew could be on location for a half-day or up to two weeks, Farris says. The production company may choose to provide lodging and accommodations for the homeowner elsewhere in some cases; other times, the crew may only need to use external areas, and living spaces aren’t affected, she adds.
And what about your neighbors? Won’t they complain? In an apartment or condo, there might be a situation with the noise, says Farris, who recommends that property owners let building management know what’s going on and keep communication open. “I’ve seen neighbors compensated [by production] for noise,” she says.
When it comes to compensating landowners for the use of their properties for film or TV production, Farris says pricing can vary.
“Every production is different,” she says. “But most homeowners that I’ve scouted were very pleased with what they were offered and said they would do it again.”