What can I expect to occur during filming?
There are three types of companies which film in Los Angeles: motion picture/television companies, commercial companies, and industrial/educational/student/video productions. A production can have anywhere from one pick-up truck for an educational film to 15 trucks for a major feature film.
Student/educational/video productions are small and not very noticeable. They usually involve a maximum of 12 people, a small van and a few cars.
Commercial companies will usually bring 5 small 20 foot trucks on location and 15 to 30 people. The trucks usually carry prop equipment, electrical cables, dollies and a camera. A small shuttle van will shuttle the crew to the location. They usually film during normal waking hours (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and cause minimum disruption in the community. Over 75% of the production that occurs is commercial.
Motion picture/television productions include the same equipment as commercials as well as motor homes for their actors and a catering set-up. Motion picture/television trucks tend to be longer (a maximum of 65 feet) because they need a larger variety of materials. The crews are also larger, usually 35-125 people. Film crews are required to base camp their personal cars, catering set-up, motor homes and most of the trucks on private property. You may notice that the police officer will stop traffic intermittently when the companies back their trucks onto the property when they arrive. Shuttle vans will pull up in front of the location property throughout the day to pick up personnel.
How will I know when a film company wants to shoot in my neighborhood?
The City requires that film companies provide a written notice on their company stationery to all property owners/tenants within 300 feet of the filming location on each side of the street. This notice includes the company name, the dates and times of the proposed filming, the geographical area affected, the area to be posted with “no parking” signs, and any construction and set removal plans.
What are signatures of permission?
Signatures are required at all times from property owners and tenants affected by filming or parking in front of their property. Signatures guarantee that those directly impacted have been notified. Additional signatures must be obtained if a company proposes to film past 10pm.: a majority 51% of signatures within 300 feet of the filming location on both sides of the street. After 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m., 90% signatures are required (Sunday – Thursday) & 75% on Friday and Saturday.
How will the city know where the company will park and conduct the filming activity?
All film companies who plan to park or film on the street must prepare a parking plan. The parking plan shows the exact locations where the vehicles will be parked on a street. The addresses of surrounding properties are listed on the parking plan along with the width and length of the roadway. The Film Liaison compares the parking plan with the signatures of permission. If a vehicle is placed on the map in front of a property where a signature is not listed, the Film Liaison will deny the parking until a signature is obtained. A copy of this map is provided to the on-site police officer who is assigned to the shoot to ensure permit compliance..
How does the city determine if my neighborhood is a frequently filmed area?
The Film Commission has created a booklet called “Your Property in a Starring Role” (within the “Filming in your Community” link). This guide provides important information and sample contracts for those who are interested in this opportunity. The California Film Commission has a location library which features pictures of locations around the State. The Commission also maintains a list of location managers and production companies which they will mail to you.
If I decide to host filming, what can I do to create a positive relationship with my neighbors?
The most important thing you can do is be involved! It is recommended that you do the following:
1. When a company plans to film at your property, volunteer to walk around with the company representative while they notify your neighbors and obtain signatures.
2. Encourage your neighbors to call you directly if they have questions or concerns. Be responsive to their needs.
3. Have your agent gather the appropriate permits and Insurance.
4. Have an on site present. This designee should be present during all filming hours and watch to ensure that the company is complying with the permit.
5. If you host filming more than once in a great while, show your appreciation to your neighbors. Acknowledge their support by inviting them to dinner, sending them a beautiful gift basket, or throw a block party once a year and invite all your neighbors.
You can also simply talk to your neighbors on a regular basis. Find out if any problems occurred and what could be changed so filming will run smoothly next time.
Of course, while it may be easier than landing a walk-on role, there are certain things you need to consider before seeing your home on the big screen. First, you have to catch the eyes of California location scouts.
What California Location Scouts are Looking For
When searching for the ideal setting for a film, television program or commercial, most California location scouts have certain things they are looking for. Some of these considerations include:
• Sizable interiors to fit the cast and crew comfortably
• Suitable power supplies to handle the demands of the filming equipment
• Ample parking to handle the crew’s trucks
• Flexible homeowners and understanding neighbors
• Acceptable lighting situations throughout the course of the day
• Acceptable price range for the project’s budget
What Makes a Great California Film Location
When Hollywood producers want to add a level of realism to their feature films, they send studio scouts out to find the perfect California film locations to fill that need. Whether the film needs a single family dwelling, an apartment complex or an independent convenience store or restaurant, the studio will rent these areas from the everyday, regular people who happen to own them.
Registering your property as a California film location with us is a great way for your home, business or property to serve as an additional financial resource. It’s no hidden secret that Hollywood studios shell out large sums of money, just for the opportunity to use someone’s property in a shot. Imagine if the production takes days or months to wrap, and you’re property is being rented out that entire time!
few things to consider:
• Does your property have enough interior space to fit a cast and film crew comfortably?
• While the property is being used by the production crew, you may not be able to live there. Do you have somewhere to stay in the meantime?
• Occasionally, the script may call for a property to be damaged in some way. The studios will make any necessary repairs but are you emotionally ready for that type of alteration to your home?
• In some cases, a director has a specific vision for his film which may require your home to be repainted or altered in some other way, like having a pool in the backyard. Are you willing to have your property altered?
Why Studios Need Los Angeles Film Locations
When a science fiction film is being produced, it’s not surprising that many of the film’s backgrounds are created using computer generated imaging or built on a studio back lot. That’s because this is a fantastic film that’s not based in reality, or at least for the most part. But, when a film is trying to deliver a believable story, studios will usually opt for actual, physical Los Angeles film locations to serve as the backdrop.
For this type of movie, the producers may require an average-looking single family dwelling in which the film’s family will be experiencing some type of inner turmoil or crisis. Or, they may need a slightly dilapidated apartment building to lend their story the realistic atmosphere of inner city plight.
While studio craftsman and technicians can pull off some incredible effects and magical moments; this type of realism can only be found at Los Angeles film locations that actually exist.
Additionally, when a studio is producing a film, television program or commercial, time is money. And most executives don’t want to wait for a backdrop to be created from scratch; they would rather pay for a Los Angeles film location that’s already available and ready for filming. Therefore, studios of all sizes are constantly on the lookout for suitable film locations in Los Angeles or the surrounding area that conveniently fit within their script’s set descriptions and timeframe allowances.