On location: how to make your home an Oscar winner

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If you are lucky enough to own a picturesque country estate, you are probably laughing all the way to the bank. Play your cards right and your property could become the next Downton Abbey, recognised around the world.

But how about if you live somewhere less obviously easy on eye? Don’t despair! The demand for TV and movie locations has never been higher, and there are properties right across the country which are eminently suitable for the purpose, even in cameo roles.

So if you would like your home to be one of them, earn a little extra money, hang out with actors and film crews for a few days, then follow our ten-point guide to turning your home into a movie star.

1. First, check out the websites of reputable location agencies (e.g. www.shootfactory.co.uk and uklocations.co.uk), which do exactly what they say on the tin – track down suitable locations for forthcoming films/television series.

2. When you have found a location agency which best seems to match your expectations, register with them.

3. Be sure to submit high-quality, hi-res pictures at this stage. Looks are everything in the movie business, so don’t skimp on the photography. Imagine you are trying to sell the property – which, in a sense, you are.

4. Inquire about how much you are likely to earn from your property if it is used as a location. It is probably more than you imagine. A day-long photo-shoot for a magazine might earn around £500. But you can earn five times that daily rate if your home features in a major movie.

5. Remember that location agencies are after secondary locations as well as primary ones. Your home might feature for a few seconds in a scene with no great consequence, but might still net you some pocket money.

6. Be realistic. You are not going to be having a cuppa in your kitchen with Dame Judi Dench within days of registering. Play the long game, do everything you can to make your property attractive to film companies, and wait for the offers to come trickling in.

7. Give thought to where film crews might park. If parking in your neighbourhood is a nightmare, you should probably abandon any hopes of your home becoming the main location in a new sitcom.

8. You will not need to be in your home during filming, but you will need to be flexible with your time in general. Film companies will usually send their people in advance on a recce, so you need to be there to receive them, often at short notice.

9. You will also need to be flexible about the appearance of your property. Movie companies may want to take down satellite dishes, rearrange paintings, tinker with the kitchen, etc. Make it as easy as possible for them – that is why they are paying you.

10. Talk to your immediate neighbours. Film crews can cause disruption, so reassure your neighbours that they will not be there long. Encourage them to help/get involved/enjoy the novelty of the whole experience.

If you think making films and TV shows is stress-free, then think again. But the proceeds could pay for a decent summer holiday. You will also meet some interesting people, and have some great tales to tell your friends about your adventures on the silver screen.

– See more at: http://www.winkworth.co.uk/articles/on-location-how-to-make-your-home-an-oscar-winner