No matter the size or type of production, there are a number of baseline items to keep in mind when it comes to keeping a good working relationship with film location hosts and site-reps.
It’s not rocket science, but we all know it’s easy for things to get a little chaotic once the day of shoot arrives. Not to worry! Our team of in-house location pros put together a short list of tried and true dos and don’ts to help keep you on the nice list next time you rent a film location:
DON’T: Show up early or stay late
Be respectful of the host’s time. The hours you book at a location should include loading in and wrapping out. Don’t show up early to start setting up, even if it’s just a couple of people. Use the last 30 minutes of your booking to start loading out. If you think you will be cutting it close, just book the extra hour ahead of time!
DO: Protect the floors and hard surfaces
We really love our hosts, so treat their home as you would treat your own. If you’re going to wheel heavy equipment through the house, put down ram board or runners to protect wood and tile floors. If you’re setting up equipment on the dining room table, put a furniture pad down first. Have large crews wear booties on locations with carpet. Plan ahead for whatever you might need to keep hosts happy and avoid any damage fees
DON’T: Make any major changes without asking first
We want you to have the perfect location for your project. Hosts expect some light staging, but for big changes, always ask first! For example, scooting around the furniture a bit is fine, but check before moving all of the living room furniture to the backyard for the day. Holes in the walls should be patched and covered with matching paint. If the host doesn’t have touch-up paint, it’s on you to pick some up before wrapping out.
DO: Cleanup after yourself
The golden rule is to always leave your location as you found it! Pick-up and take out any trash – don’t leave the host’s inside trash can overflowing. Most importantly, put furniture and decor back the way it was. To make it easier, snap a few pictures before you start rearranging to reference at the end of the shoot.