View Full Version : Locations expense questions

03-03-2013, 06:42 AM
The only videos I have made so far were in the park with friends. We had no permits, and it cost us nothing.

Question: If you rent someone's location for a film, what generally is the cost? I have no idea what to offer if I found a private location's owner.

Also-----if permits are required, do they usually have a fee?

03-03-2013, 07:12 AM
It's impossible to generalize about the cost of renting locations. I've gotten the use of businesses that know me (i.e., the bar where my husband and I drink) for free at a time when it isn't usually open. But when a (different) free location fell through a few days before a shoot, and we were under tremendous time pressure to replace it, available options ranged from thousands a day to a few hundred. You can guess which way we went...

Permits also vary tremendously from town to town, city to city, and you'd need to reach out to the local film board or cultural/arts division of the local government. In my experience, they're generally under $100. But I found one town that would not give a permit to anyone under any circumstances, because of a bad experience that they'd had previously with a Hollywood movie.

Also, and probably most importantly, once you move out of the "friends and family" circle, you need to get liability insurance. Even places that let me shoot for free required that. Costs also can be all over the place...

03-03-2013, 07:59 AM
Yea, this is really hard to say. It really all depends on location and what you are planning to do and for how long.

I've actually never had to pay anyone. And I have filmed in some AMAZING locations here in WV. And you know how I did it? Just ask lol. Not kidding. Ask people, get a permit, and film.

Most people are cool enough with it and they won't make you pay.

03-05-2013, 09:30 AM
I have paid anywhere from 100 to 500 a day for locations. Many for free. Try that first and offer them a credit in the film. I have shot in night clubs and businesses and because of the power use they usually ask for money. They are heating or cooling the building and providing power. Most of the time 500 or less for locations like that but it really depends on location, area etc. Some think that when you say "movie" it means big dollars. when you go to someone about a location, don't hype yourself as a movie mogul but rather a poor indie filmmaker...not Mr. Hollywood. They will usually let you get by pretty cheap if you do that.

03-05-2013, 04:28 PM
Again some great info, thank you guys! Thank you MARA!!!

2001 Productions
03-05-2013, 04:36 PM
Also, and probably most importantly, once you move out of the "friends and family" circle, you need to get liability insurance.

I wholeheartedly second this!

03-06-2013, 09:04 AM
Where do you find the liability insurance, for ultra low budget stuff? I'd probobly just google this when it comes up, but since you brought it up...

03-06-2013, 09:17 AM
There are a lot of insurance brokers around who can get you a price quote from an insurance company.
I used one in NY called Reiff Insurance; I've seen these guys mentioned a lot:
Entertainment Insurance for Film and Movie Production (http://www.filmemporium.com/)

03-06-2013, 09:23 AM
Thank you!

03-06-2013, 11:11 AM
There is no set amount. My rule of thumb is to get it as close to nothing as possible. I spent 5 months filming in a lady's house and only paid her $100. I did have to give her a small role, and truthfully, she really dug having people around, so it was an even trade off.

Now, for everyone that is wondering "what the hell was I filming for 5 months, Apocalypse Now the Squeal?" No, it is my latest movie (now in post). It's a case of not really having a budget (I'm not joking here), to pay anyone for anything. I was at the mercy of the actor's schedules. And remember the movie "Open Water"? It took the husband and wife team 2 and a half years to make that movie.

In short, spend as little as you can, and make up for it with talent and clean up in post.

2001 Productions
03-06-2013, 11:28 AM
Apocalypse Now the Squeal

Francis Ford Coppola remakes Deliverance? ;)

My last feature took 4 years. Shooting alone took 2 -- same reason. Well, that and fundraising in between.

03-06-2013, 11:31 AM
A filmmaker after my own heart. "Damn the funds, full speed ahead."