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During this past year we have received multiple requests to rent one of our houses (single family house) for film shoots. Two of them came from Playboy and actually did have what appeared to be a Playboy e-mail address. Another was to film a religious shoot and others did not specify. Has anyone else had similar requests? Are they legit or some type of scam. We just ignored the inquires even though they were offering quite a bit of money.
I would check these inquiries out very carefully. If you can be assures they are for real and you are comfortable with this type of usage then it is a good way to earn income. I would only proceed with this type of rental if I were 100% certain of who I was dealing with and I would take a large security deposit a create a specific rental agreement for this purpose to be sure you and your property are protected.
It's a scam. Check this out: http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12459
No doubt a forged or stolen cheque would follow made out for too much money, followed by a request to deposit the cheque, and send a refund with your own cheque! Beware!
In New Orleans, I had several requests for "independent movies" - everything from one starring Melanie Griffith (Crazy in Alabama) to "Euro-style Vampire Porn". The first one was legitimate: though only the front wall was used, the film company had to pay to re-paint the whole house, since they had damaged the wall with some artwork. And I was well-paid, on top of that. Would I do it again....probably not worth the hassle or the money.
If you find the idea intriguing, the first thing to do is to check with the Mayor's Office on Film - legitimate productions must file for several different permits before they are allowed to begin filming. If the people contacting you cannot produce the proper permits, including a hefty insurance policy that includes Workman's Comp., don't even consider it. There is even a set rate for things like parking a catering truck on your property, etc.- it's all under Union control. Most companies prefer to pay by check, but you can demand to be paid in cash. If someone waves a bunch of paperwork under your nose, take it and call the Mayor's Office. Just make sure you want to put up with a lot of nonsense before you accept any money. It ain't as glamorous as it seems...
years ago our own house was scouted for a commercial shoot for the Ford Mustang ad (remember the Field of Dreams Steve McQueen commercial back in 2005ish). They ended up renting someone else's property. At the time they told us they would re-do this, re-do that, etc. etc. but then put it back in its original shape. Apart from the whole legitmacy thing, do you trust them to actually 'make it right' at the end again? And yes, are you willing to put up with the hastle? And how will the neighbors react?
Boy I wish they had shot that commercial in our field - of course, it ended up being a 6-7 week event (rather than just the one week) because of bad weather.
Interesting. Having worked on some commercials and films in the past, I'm not sure that I would want to submit my home (or another owner's home) to the potential wear and tear that can come from a HUGE film crew coming through.
The wear and tear from a family staying in a property is one thing; the vast amount of people, equipment, vehicles, props, lights, sound and so on from a film crew can be daunting and overwhelming...to the entire neighborhood!
If legitimate opportunities do come through it may be wise to check-in with the homeowners and tenants in the properties surrounding yours first, before finalizing any agreements as likely ALL within the neighborhood will be affected in some way.
One of the things we need to be careful about as vacation homeowners and property managers in the vacation rental industry, is to not unnecessarily draw negative attention towards ourselves. A film shoot in a home typically used as a short-term vacation rental may be enough to push some neighboring residents over the edge to the point of filing some kind of formal complaint with the city or county. Just something to keep in mind.
Definitely be wary of any unusual inquiries though...there are so many wannabe scammers out there that you can't be too cautious these days. If an inquiry is suspected to be fraudulent you can often weed it out by offering to have a phone conversation with the person.
While some brazen ones may agree, I've found that in many cases, a would be fraudster doesn't like the idea of having a heart to heart chat about the proposed arrangement.
DO NOT TRUST MOVIE CREWS! We rented to one reputable college for a film and that worked out just fine. Then we got a call for a "Low Budget Film". This means they have no clean up crew. They always smoke. Trash in the yard. Huge electrical bill from lights on til 4 am. Neighbors are very disturbed. They borrow items without asking and leave them in the yard. Total focus on their film, not on your property. If someone very reputable asks, consider it. But keep a very large cash deposit for damages. Most damage like: plaster and paint ripped from walls is not an accident it is misuse and insurance does not cover it. Not worth the high blood pressure.
On our island a couple of years ago a "film crew" rented a VR from an individual owner; it turned out to be a porn film. The "cast" apparently spent their off hours smoking "substances" and had candles burning all over the place. They somehow started a fire that spread to a cottage and did major damage. The story was even in the local paper.
Not that this is ever likely to happen to the average VR, but an owner probably should have some pretty iron-clad assurances and contracts in place before anyone agrees!
Thank you, I believe we did have the same problem. One guy scouting is
always a smooth talker and promises anything you want to hear. Once they
are in the house it's another story. They broke the rental agreement by
smoking and making noise and other things, and when we told them they would
not be getting their deposit back, they said they would pursue legal
recourse. A bunch of sleazes.