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Want To See Your Home On Screen?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see your home in a TV commercial or show but don’t know who to contact or how to arrange it?
We recently sat down with the owner and director of Search Party Locations, Alex Intihar, to ask him a few questions on how to list residential properties for photo shoots, and what the process is like.
Q: Is there any cost involved with listing on Search Party’s books?
A: We don’t charge any listing fees to prospective homeowners, as we feel it is a privilege to be able to represent people’s family homes and to have them welcome production crews into their house. At the same time, we unfortunately can’t guarantee that the house will be hired regularly for shoots, but will do our best to promote each and every one of our locations!
Q: Do I enter into a contract with Search Party, and have to accept every shoot enquiry?
A: We have no such arrangement with our owners, as we want them to have the freedom to choose if a shoot sounds workable for them, based on their schedule that week or any holiday plans around a shoot date.
We do encourage owners to consider most enquiries, as the more bookings the better! Some owners choose to leave keys with us while they holiday, or else have someone staying at the house that can provide access so as to not miss out on any opportunities.
At the end of the day, it’s your home first and foremost. We understand that family life can be busy, and that owners should feel comfortable with any arrangement.
Q: What sort of location fees are paid to owners, and how long do the shoots generally go for?
A: The location hire fee and duration of the shoot will vary for every job. The location fee is paid directly to the owner, in most instances before the shoot date, and we charge our fees separately to the production company.
The length of hire, the size/impact of the shoot and the type of shoot (e.g. editorial photography, advertising photography, and TV Commercial) will determine the fee. It is also dependant on the house itself, as a large stately home will command a hirer fee than a smaller, cute beach cottage.
Photo shoots often hire based on a day rate, which is usually around 8-10 hours. The fee will be around $1000-2000 depending on the above factors. TV Commercials are generally larger affairs, shooting longer hours of around 10-14 hours in duration. They pay an hourly fee for hire, ranging from $150-300/hour as a very rough guide.
Q: Do I need to leave the house for the day?
A: Generally, it is best to be at the house for the start and end of the shoot. This way, you can help the production team settle in, and answer any curly questions about door locks, WiFi passwords and also point out any ‘no-go’ zones and items of furniture that can’t be moved.
At the end of the shoot, you can go through the house with the producer to point out anything that is out of place, and address any issues in the rare case that there is damage.
During the shoot, things can get a bit full-on (we refer to TV Commercials as ‘the circus’), so it’s best not to be home at this busy part of the day. You’ll feel much less stressed, and the crew will be able to move around the house easier with less bodies. If it is a smaller photo shoot, and you are happy to tuck yourself away in a study or bedroom, then this is usually ok too!
Q: Do they need to rearrange my living areas and remove furniture?
A: We work for a large range of clients, some of who are fashion brands that shoot the house ‘as is’. They may need to move an armchair here and there, but generally speaking it is quite low key.
For furniture shoots or TV Commercials, the moving of furniture is unavoidable. They will bring in their own furniture, or else need to remove items to create more space around the camera. When this is required, they will have professional removalists or art department team members who will carry out the moving.
We only like to work with nice people, and the producer or manager on location will ensure that the whole shoot is carried out professionally and with the utmost respect shown to owners’ furniture and belongings.
Q: What if my furniture or house is damaged during the shoot?
A: This is a common question from homeowners, and understandably so. We want owners to have full peace of mind when a company hires their home, so we do not work with anyone who is not covered by Public Liability Insurance. This insurance covers their activities inside the house, and is usually around $10,000,000 – $20,000,000 in coverage.
In the rare instance that something is damaged, the hirer will be fully liable for all costs involved with repairing or replacing the damaged item or surface (say a wall or floor scuff). If it is minor damage, the hirer may wish to pay straight away themselves instead of involving their insurer. For larger issues, a claim would be made by the hirer and repair/replacement quotes provided by the homeowner from suppliers they are happy with.
Q: What is the next step for listing my home with Search Party?
A: Please feel free to drop us an email. The best address to send listing details to is [email protected]. In your email, please include the best contact number for yourself, along with your address and suburb location. If you have any shots handy of the house interiors and exteriors, feel free to attach them to the email.
After adding your details to our database, we will tee up a suitable time and day with you in the coming months to pop by and take our own comprehensive reference shots. This usually takes around 45 minutes, and depending on our schedule and the location of your home it may be a little while until we can swing by. If you do send through shots of the house, we can present these straight away when suitable briefs come in.
Our website will give you a feel for the type of work we do, and style of locations we have on file – www.searchpartylocations.com
Looking forward to listing your house on our books, and hearing from you soon!