How to turn your home into a star of the movies
Tuesday 23 December 1997
It is the equivalent of a winter Wimbledon. Just as owners of properties in SW19 cash in on the championships, people can magic a bonus by renting out their home to film companies and advertising agencies in the run-up to Christmas.
Getting your house on the books of a locations agency can be a nice little earner whatever the time of year, but for those willing to put up with the inconvenience of lights, cameras and action in December, it will wipe out any seasonal overdraft at a stroke.
There is, of course, a risk that your home won't look quite the same afterwards. Take Caroline Cooper, an interior designer, who let her house in Blackheath, south-east-London, to be used as a set for The Knock a year ago. "The carpet had to be relaid because fake blood was put all over it when Dennis Waterman was killed on our landing," she said. "Only this week a new carpet was fitted and it still does not look right."
But Mrs Cooper is not deterred. Last Friday she was called up by an agency looking for a location for a British Airways advertisement to be filmed this morning. She agreed - and is pounds 400 the richer as a result. "You have to put up with the hassle and inconvenience," she said. "That's what you get paid for ... It's nice to have a little bonus you weren't expecting."
Mrs Cooper's house is called Pagoda and looks very much like one. The Chinese features mean it is in demand about once a month, but there are no set rules about what film companies are looking for. James Lindsay, location manager at Location Works, said: "Requirements are very varied. We're not always looking for properties like Chatsworth ... Sometimes people come to us and say: `We're looking for a grotty little semi to shoot something that would be found in a a grotty little semi'. It would be no use sending them off to Buckingham Palace."
Size is often the main consideration and unique features - such as peculiar shaped windows, outrageous decor and impressive views - help, too. Fees vary according to the scale of the invasion and the length of time the job takes, but owners can earn up to pounds 1,500-a-day for a feature film. From the film company's point of view it works out far cheaper than hiring a studio and building a set, and the effect is more authentic.
Sometimes the location owners can end up with more than they bargained for. Tony Relph, a 35-year-old carpenter, registers his loft apartment in Clerkenwell, London, with an agency called Amazing Space. When an advertising agency came to check out his home for a Dulux commercial, it ended up filming not only the location but its owner.
Tiffany Parish, who owns Amazing Space, negotiated royalty and location hire fees for Mr Relph, who was flown to Spain for four days' filming, as well as acting in his own home. His girlfriend, Sharon, a make-up artist, was signed up to do the hair and make-up - turning what should have been a morning's filming into a triple whammy, totting up more than pounds 4,000.
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...