Film New Orleans

Locations. Resources. Incentives.

Guide to Becoming a Location

 A request to use your property as a location is a business proposal. As each production has specific considerations, it is impossible to address all situations. However, Film New Orleans has provided some guidelines to consider when establishing an agreement with a film production company.

Initial contact is generally made by a location scout or location manager. This person is often hired locally by the film company and will be your point of contact with the production. Feel free to confirm the scout’s credentials through Film New Orleans at 504-658-4315.  

Determine the exact number of days required for the shoot. Be aware that a “day” can be as long as 16 hours and can be either daytime or night time. Days required should include:

  • “Prep” days  (preparation time before actual filming)
  • Days of actual filming
  • “Strike” days or “wrap” days after filming (the time needed to return the location to the agreed upon condition)
  • Back-up days (also known as “cover set” days)

Arrange for a walk-through with the location manager to determine specifics:

  • Exact interiors and exteriors desired for filming (It is reasonable to ask to read the script segment where the property will be used.)
  • Where equipment and vehicles will be positioned or parked
  • Any “off-limits” areas as determined by the owner
  • Any areas (such as roof, trees, fences, windows) which may need to be used or altered during filming

 The office encourages you to document your property before filming begins should damages occur and to have agreed-upon specifics in writing.

Determine who will be allowed “on set” (location) during periods of use and how this will be enforced. A feature film or television movie may have a crew of 60 to 150 people; commercials may require 5 to 40 crew members; while documentaries and video crews usually require fewer crew.

Determine how the owner and family will be accommodated during location use and any living expenses that may be required.

Designate parking for personal vehicles.

Location fees are negotiable. As the owner,  you should feel comfortable with the amount agreed upon and payment should be made in full prior to any filming. If the movie is legitimate, this should never be a problem.

The owner should get a certificate of insurance, including a hold harmless clause for protection in case of any injuries on the property. All production companies should carry insurance policies that cover third-party rentals for property damage and liability. A copy of the insurance certificate should be given to the owner before any crew comes on the property.

It is important to understand that, with the uniqueness of each film project, unforeseen circumstances or even weather changes can require more time, additional space, additional personnel, etc. This is the norm in making motion pictures, so contingency plans, options, and fees should be discussed with the production company.

Determine clean-up requirements: who is responsible, time limit for completion (such as 24 to 48 hrs.), etc. Arrange for a final walk-through for owner approval.

Don‘t be afraid to ask a lot of questions! Make sure you fully understand the terms of the contract, and in turn, that your conditions are understood.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Film New Orleans if you have any concerns or questions about your property being used as a location.