How to Get Your First Few Bookings on Film Locations

 

4 min read

So, you wanted to make money on your home by using it as a filming location? 

You’ve signed up to Film Locations, your listing is published and yet, you’ve had hardly any enquiries.

You may be surprised to learn that most of our owners have been there.

And yet, they followed a few simple steps in order to make their listing the best it could possibly be, and that led to their first booking, their second… and even some owner’s 3rd bookings and beyond.

In this article, we will look into how you can improve your listing in order to secure your first booking, and hopefully many more bookings after that! 

Your Film Locations Listing

It can be exciting listing your house for film production, and if you’re doing so for the first time, you may not know how much to set your day rate for. 

It’s important to remember that your pricing can change at any time, so you have a lot of room here to experiment. You are representing your location and it’s important to consider having a ‘strategy’ of some sort. 

Try setting your price lower. You are more likely to receive an enquiry if the day rate is low, and this can really help you to get your first booking. If you secure your first booking, you can use your gained shoot experience to increase your price, as your location and hosting will provide more value to the booker. 

You may also be allowed access to the final product, be it filming or photos, and you can use this as a ‘showreel’ – evidencing how great your location is for a booking. This would also give you the authority to be able to increase your price. 

We have a more detailed guide on what to set your pricing as here.

The Power of Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media when it comes to attracting bookers for shoots. The industry is creative and often uses Instagram to source their locations, as it’s already a visual representation of a location on one account. 

If you have a social account already set up for your location – great! You can use this to attract bookers by looking for and using relevant hashtags in your posts that a booker may use to find locations e.g. #filminglocation #photographylocation. You can easily do this research by typing in a hashtag on Instagram you could potentially use and seeing how active the hashtag is. If it’s active, go ahead and add it to your post. You don’t want to add any hashtags that are not active or are irrelevant, as it will clog the post up and potentially detract a booker. 

For a range of reasons, you may not have an Instagram account for your location. You can easily set one up and start posting photos of your location. The more active you are, the higher your reach and following will be. You can put a link to your Film Locations listing in the bio of your Instagram account, and bookers can enquire directly through that link. 

Managing a Booker’s Expectations

There are certain levels of expectations from bookers in the industry. Traditionally, a booker will have an agent that will find out all the information for them and manage the back and forth with the owner. With a modern locations platform like Film Locations, bookers are learning to adapt and so it’s important to be aware of their existing expectations. 

It’s important to make sure you understand that the film and media industry is fast-paced, and often bookers are looking at multiple locations across a range of sites at the same time. 

One of the biggest reasons an owner misses out on a booking on Film Locations is because of their response time. 

We’ve seen that owners who respond within 2 hours of an enquiry are far more likely to progress the enquiry into a booking. If another location that the booker has enquired to responds faster than you, you will lose out! It’s high competition in the industry, so make sure to keep your response time as low as possible. 

Another key tip in increasing your chances of an enquiry is to understand that a booker will have certain expectations of a location, and if they can’t get that with yours, they’ll move on. These are things as simple as including in your description what the parking options are and if there is anywhere for the cast and crew to store equipment. 

Make sure you include as much information as possible in your description, allowing the booker to know exactly what to expect by enquiring with your location. 

An Owner’s Expectations are Important Too!

It’s wise to remember that whilst having your home as a filming location can be very exciting, it can’t always be a reliable source of income.

It’s also no secret that locations in London or major cities are more likely to be booked, but don’t lose hope! As long as you have somewhere for the cast and crew to park and have said so in your listing’s description, you have a great chance of enquiries. 

There’s no guarantee of a booking, and even an enquiry can sometimes go nowhere as the booker will have multiple options. 

However, don’t be discouraged – as the seasons and trends change, so does the demand for locations. And whilst you may not have had any bookings, it doesn’t mean that you never will, and the tips in this article will help you to increase your chances of landing that all-important first booking – and more! 

The crew on set with wedge house after booking through film locations

How to Get Repeat Bookings

You’ve got your first booking – congratulations!

So, how do you keep the momentum going to make sure the enquiries continue and even potentially the same booker comes back?

There are some small ways to encourage this, including:

  • Providing service on the day
  • Make sure the house is as pictured
  • Network with the crew 
Providing service on the day

Whilst it’s not necessary for you to do anything on the day of the shoot, and the crew may even ask for you to not be present at the time of filming, it’s always a nice idea to cater to the crew in small ways.

You can offer them teas, coffees and maybe even snacks throughout the day. This will make them feel welcome, cared for, and give them an even better excuse to come back and shoot there again!

Make sure the house is as pictured

You will have one chance on the day of the shoot to impress the booker with your location. Whether this is on the day of the recce or the actual shoot, make sure the location is presented as the pictures show online. If you have a mess in the house or the room is painted a different colour from the images, this will impact the crew and the shoot.

So, make sure you regularly update your photos if you have been redecorating and put that floordrobe away!

Network with the crew

Speaking with the crew on the day is not always possible and is not always necessary either. However, it would be a nice idea to speak to the cast and crew about the possibility of them shooting with you again for future projects.

The industry relies very heavily on close networks, past experiences and word of mouth – so finding ways to interact with those on the shoot is a great way to increase the chances of bookings in the future.

We hope this has helped you to feel more confident in securing your first few bookings, but please do reach out to the support team if you have any further questions!

support@film-locations.co.uk

 

By Rosie Budd

Community Marketing Manager