Could Your Home Be A Money-Making Movie Set? How Film Location Scouting Really Works
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Could Your Home Be A Money-Making Movie Set? How Film Location Scouting Really Works

It’s your (home’s) time to shine

Ever wondered whether the properties you see in films and TV shows really exist? While some films might make use of particularly elaborate sets, many are shot inside real-life homes – and there are plenty of ways to get your own abode featured on screen. Welcome to the fascinating world of filming locations.

Homes On Film: How Location Scouting Works

From the palaces in Bridgerton to the infamous American mansion in Home Alone, there are plenty of iconic properties we’ve all seen on screen – but are they real? And how do film crews actually find them? This is where location scouting comes in.

Many directors want to shoot in real homes; not only do they lend a film a sense of authenticity (and provide a great place for fans to visit), but each real-life location brings its own unique history and look. Once a pre-production team has decided exactly what they’re looking for, film location scouts will be tasked with hunting down properties that fit the bill. 

There are numerous agencies on hand to help film crews secure properties, but estate agents also run dedicated film location services. Hamptons, for example, offers a media rental network that connects homeowners to film, TV and photography teams – as well as finding accommodation for both cast and crew while filming takes place.

So, can anyone get their home featured on TV? In short, yes: whether you’ve had a property sitting on the market for longer than you’d like, you’re a landlord wanting to avoid costly void periods, or you’d just like some extra cash, you can always look into the possibility of making your home available for filming. 

A refurbished Victorian mansion in Eltham

This 11-bedroom Victorian mansion is one of the media rental properties available via Hamptons

Heather Carter-Drake, the Head of Hamptons’ Media Lets Department, notes that ‘media lets offer homeowners a unique opportunity to monetise their properties in a novel way. Acting as a conduit between property owners and the media industry, our service opens up exciting possibilities that many homeowners may never have considered.’

How Much Money Can You Make?

As you might expect, every media rental request is different, and each project naturally comes with its own budget – but you’ll usually be handsomely compensated, especially if your property is being used for a longer period of time. According to Hamptons, a day rate for filming can range from £500 to £2000, while a month’s rental could be as much as £80,000. 

Could Your House Be The Perfect Filming Location?

If you think your property could be perfect for media rental, there are a few things you might want to consider. Check out some of Heather’s tips below:

  • Space is important: Properties must be able to accommodate both production activities and extensive backstage equipment.
  • Lights, camera, action: Natural light is highly sought-after, so any bright, well-lit spaces make brilliant spots for filming. 
  • Location matters: Easy access and nearby amenities are crucial, as is the need for a quiet environment free from flight paths (or, in some cases, bustling roads).
  • Flexibility reigns: Property owners should be open to schedule adjustments, as filming timelines may shift.
  • Privacy please: In certain scenarios, seclusion is desirable to prevent spoilers or to safeguard actors.

Real Homes In Film & TV

Feeling inspired by all this talk of filming locations? Here are the real-life properties from some blockbuster releases. 

All Of Us Strangers

Andrew Scott and Jamie Bell in a suburban, 1980s-style home in All Of Us Strangers

Jamie Bell and Andrew Scott in ALL OF US STRANGERS. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2024 Searchlight Pictures All Rights Reserved.

If you’ve been swooning over Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in All Of Us Strangers, you might be surprised to find out that not only is the suburban home to which Scott’s character returns a real property in Sanderstead, Croydon, but it’s also the childhood home of the film’s director, Andrew Haigh. 

Saltburn

Barry Keoghan in the party scene in Saltburn, with huge light-up lilypads in the grounds of a country manor

© Amazon Content Services LLC

The now-legendary (and TikTok famous) country manor in Saltburn is actually a Grade I-listed estate called Drayton Manor. Before Emerald Fennell’s team secured it for the movie, it had never been used for filming – and since it’s in fact a private family home, it may not appear on screen again for a while.

Daisy Jones & The Six

Sam Claflin and RIley Keough in Daisy Jones

Image courtesy of Amazon Studios

The gorgeous Los Angeles homes you can spot in Daisy Jones and the Six might look too good to be true, but they are, in fact, real properties. Speaking to C&TH about Daisy Jones filming locations, production designer Jessica Kender explained: ‘In Los Angeles, there are location services that have a bunch of houses – these beautiful mid-century houses where they know people are going to want to shoot there.’

Jessica told us that she had a very specific vision for some of the properties in Daisy Jones, meaning that finding the perfect location took a little more work. This mostly involves sending scouts out to potential locations who simply ‘knock on doors if [a property] looks good from the outside. They go with a whole letter and a card, and they’ll say “if you’re interested in filming, I’d love to shoot your house”, and then they’ll bring back pictures to show us,’ she added.