Registering your property with a Location Agency can be an incredibly thrilling, exciting and rewarding process, mentally as well as financially. However, before you get into the rigmarole you should go in with your eyes open knowing exactly what to expect, which should help to make the whole process as seamless as possible. It’s also important to bear in mind that 1st Option have incredibly high standards when it comes to arranging shoots for clients, so before deciding whether or not to register, check out our top tips on what we look for in a shoot location to ensure you’ll be able to keep these standards with us.
Be Realistic with your Expectations
There are hundreds of properties on our website that all fulfill different aesthetics, trends and briefs. Every brief we get from a client is looking for something different to the next, so if your location doesn’t match up to what the client is looking for, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get work straight away. We have signed your property for a reason and there are bound to be briefs that match your location before too long. Clients also often option a variety of locations to cover all bases, so again if your property isn’t chosen every time it gets optioned don’t get disheartened as this is just the nature of the business.
Be Prepared for Filming and Stills
Here at 1st Option we get calls for all types of shoots whether it be Editorial, Advertorial, Advertising or Filming, all of which carry different day rates. You don’t have to accept any shoot you aren’t comfortable with, however, the more complex the shoot is, then the higher the rate is. For stills photography, Editorial shoots that appear in the editorial pages of magazines and papers work on the lowest rates, Advertorial and Library shoots for companies like Getty Images usually pay mid rates and Advertising will generate the highest rates. Filming rates are usually the highest and are agreed individually based on the production dynamics. This is because the complexities of filming are usually far greater than stills shoots. The crews are larger, they need far more kit, such as generators or tracks to move the cameras on and they may also need to bring trucks or on-site catering with them.
Recces and Viewings
Before a shoot, many clients will want to view your property, or ‘recce’ as it’s called in the industry, to make sure that it’s exactly what they are looking for. This could be because they need to check, among other things, room dimensions, natural light or access. There also might be occasions where owners may have re-decorated or changed furniture since the location pictures were taken and if there is a specific element featured in the images that is crucial to their shots then clients may need to check that this is still in place. To make sure that the recce or shoot always goes to plan and your location continues to have successful bookings it will be your responsibility to ensure the property is always clean and tidy prior to a crew arriving and that it resembles the photos that we showcase on our website. After all, they will be expecting to find what they’ve seen in the pictures, so always make sure it looks the same or you may end up losing the shoot, or at the very least upsetting the client.
Be prepared on the shoot day, crews are often stressed and are working to time frames and budgets, so if you can be accommodating and helpful this will go a long way towards you having a successful career in the industry. Crews often appreciate being able to use equipment like clothes rails, irons and ironing boards, so if you can provide these it will help. Furthermore, if you can provide tea and coffee it will be greatly appreciated, as stated, being accommodating and easy to work with goes a long way to a successful shoot.
Clients may ask to deliver things like props, clothes or any other miscellaneous items the day or night before, and then pick them up after the shoot has finished. Again, we must stress the more accommodating you are the better chance you have of longevity in this exciting industry.
There may be extras involved in the shoot, whether it be overtime, parking permits or damages. If this becomes the case you’ll need to let us know within 48 hours so that we can invoice the client and reimburse you as soon as possible.
Whilst all crews will and do take the utmost care while working in your house, sometimes accidents can happen and damages can occur. If this happens please try not to be too over the top with your reaction, as stated many times being friendly and cooperative goes a long way. As long as you let us know right away we can address the problem for you and sort out any issues so you can get reimbursed as soon as possible. If an incident of damage leads to a claims process, we’ll be happy to manage the initial liaison and help you find a solution, however, we cannot act as a referee and it will be your responsibility to work as harmoniously as possible with the client to reach a good resolution. A top tip in these situations is to always take good pictures of anything that concerns you and let us know as soon as it happens.
Be prepared that shoots to sometimes run over the allotted time stipulated for the job. If this happens, just let us know when we do our call-arounds the following day and we’ll ensure that any extra charges are added to the client’s bill. Depending on the client, payment should come in anywhere between 30-90 days and as soon as we have it we’ll pass the money on to you.
Niche / Specific Client Briefs
We often get very niche or specific client briefs where they are looking for a very specific element or feature from a location, for example quirky art, specific door colours or type of flooring. So do please send any extra pictures that can help promote everything interesting about your property.
After every shoot you will need to send us an invoice so that you can get paid correctly. This should be populated with all relevant shoot info, including our job number, the date of the shoot, the client involved, the net day rate and any extra charges incurred. It’s important to include everything at that time as once an invoice has been sent to a client we’ll be unable to send further invoices for extras. We have templates set up to help make your life easier and will be happy to share them with you, you’ll also be able to invoice us directly from the ‘client’ section on our website once you have registered.
Large Crews Having Full Access to your Location
You won’t always be inviting large crews into your house, but the more complex the shoot you take the more likely it is that there will be large crews accompanying it. There will be a lot of people coming in and out of your property and it’s important to remember that they are paying for access to the entirety of your property (unless stated otherwise). So we can’t highlight this enough, please be hospitable and try not to disrupt them while they are working.
NDA’s and Keeping Full Disclosure
Here at 1st Option we work with some of the biggest names and companies in the industry, so it goes without saying that some shoots are incredibly sensitive and high priority. Because of this some clients will ask for NDA’s to be signed before the shoot goes live to the public.
Reading through this list might make it seem as though there’s a lot to remember and consider but once you have a few shoots under your belt we can assure you that it will all become second-nature. If your location proves to be popular then the fruits of your labours will definitely make it financially worthwhile over time. We pride ourselves on building long-term relationships with both clients and property owners alike and some of our owners have been with us since the company first started back in 2001. So, if you have a great location and you think you can cope with the things highlighted above, we look forward to hearing from you and working with you for many years to come!