Olivia Riddiford on how to promote your venue as a filming location.
Venues need to utilise their space as much as possible. There may be gaps in the diary that need filling with bookings other than events (especially as you near them) so have you considered getting yourself out there to TV and film production companies? Literally any venue or space can be used as a filming location (depending on the script being used of course!). It might seem a little alien to you but it’s another great way to not only provide additional revenue but can work wonders for your PR! Here are my top tips on preparing your venue for the small (or big) screen!
Do I have the right kind of property?
Anything goes when it comes to filming. You might be required for a photoshoot, TV show, advert or feature film and your first thoughts should be:
• Can a crew fit inside the property comfortably?
• Is good lighting available?
• Is there plentiful parking for large trucks, buses and other vehicles?
• Are the dates completely free with no crossover from other events?
• Are you happy with many people on site?
Get yourself listed
Once you know you’re happy with the above, then you need to get yourself out there. One of the first considerations a production company will have is where the filming will take place. Here’s where you come in. A location scout either working for the production company or employed through an agency will likely be the person searching for you. They will search organically for a property suitable or use a directory site. Some of the most popular are:
How much should I charge?
You’ll need to price location enquiries on an individual basis subject to the requirements of the job. You know what your daily costs, which obviously need to be covered, but pricing above this will be relative to the type of filming proposed. If it’s a three hour photoshoot it’s going to be considerably less than a full-blown, 100 crew feature film that requires the use of your venue for five weeks. It needs to be worth it for you and your business.
All film projects will have a budget for the venue, so go ahead and ask. Do note that agencies will take a commission of the overall booking for their finding and contract fees, so make sure this is covered too.
What happens if we are chosen?
Hooray if that’s the case! It could be a long wait until actual filming takes place or it could be really last minute. A ‘recce’ will be done by the production team to plan ahead and study the facilities in more detail. The production company or agency will usually draw up a legally binding contract that you will need to read carefully before signing. A date will be set for shooting and voila you have a filming contract in place!
It’s a newsworthy story for the media (and your social channels) that (insert name of film/tv show) is filming at your venue. People love this sort of news to read, which can of course lead to future bookings. However, you must check your contract as often you’ll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which means you will not be able to shout about the fact you have been chosen as a location at the time. You should however be able to do so once the programme/film has been aired.
One of our member venues at Host Venues, Somerley House, has had huge success as a filming location. They have been lucky enough to have Netflix hits ‘The Crown’ and ‘Bridgerton’ film at their stately home in Hampshire.
Alex Dollin-Webster, weddings manager, appeared on Channel 4 lifestyle show ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’ speaking about her involvement with these two huge historical dramas. Alex says: “We had an increase of 900% worth of website hits after appearing on the show with many enquires and two bookings from the appearance”.
Why promote as a filming location?
• Fill those gaps in the diary
• Make additional revenue with less effort
• Generate fantastic PR
• Exposure can lead to more event bookings
• Shoots can be great fun!
About the Author
Olivia Riddiford is the founder of Host Venue Consultancy and its sister multi-award winning planning company Host Weddings & Events. Olivia became one of the UK’s youngest general managers at the age of 22, setting up an exclusive use wedding venue near Bristol, bringing the business more than £8million revenue within five years.
With over 10 years’ experience working within venues, Olivia fully understands the bridal buying process and operational logistics in both large and small wedding venues. Along with her skill set in planning weddings and selling them, she has the perfect tools to mentor others to achieve top results. www.hostvenueconsultancy.co.uk