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Location Fees

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Todd TerryLocation Fees
by on Sep 17, 2010 at 2:44:55 pm

Hey kids...

I may post a similar question over in the Indie forum, but I think I'm more likely to get better answers in here.

When securing private locations for shooting, how do you typically handle that... money wise? And yes... I'm asking about specific dollar amounts, although I know most people on the COW skirt the "How much should I charge for...?" and "How much should I pay for...? questions. But, I'm asking.

When we use private locations for shooting, we pay the owners... and I think we pay them pretty well. But frankly they are numbers that I just pulled out of my head through the years, and don't know if I am in line with the rest of the industry.

We're doing mostly :30 broadcast commercials, mostly local (although some regional). These are decent-looking but relatively "low end" productions by big-market standards... I'd say a typical :30 commercial spot has an entire budget in the $5,000 to $15,000 neighborhood, if that helps.

Just today, we'll be scouting for an outdoor cafe location for a production next week. That's typical for locations we have to secure. Another common one is a school setting (we do lots of political spots, and candidates often want to plop themselves in a classroom to talk about education). Here, we're not allowed to use the real public schools, so we throw some cash to a local private Lutheran school that's near our studio and they always welcome us in.

So, just curious... what do you guys pay folks like this?

Thanks much,


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Scott CarnegieRe: Location Fees
by on Sep 17, 2010 at 3:12:18 pm

Depends on the project and how long I will be using the space and whether I need exclusive use of the space.

There is a yoga studio I routinly use for talking head interviews when there are no classes going on and they ask $100 for the day. If classes need to be cancelled to accomodate us then it doubles.

Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Ron GerberRe: Location Fees
by on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:21:07 pm

In the past I've paid $250 - $300. It doesn't come up that much for me but that's generally the amount I've been paying for years. It also depends on how much I'm inconveniencing the property owner or business and if I'm using their power.

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Todd TerryRe: Location Fees
by on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:46:45 pm

Thanks guys...

I was just trying to get a feel as to whether we were doing what's right...

We've paid as little as nothing for locations, or as much as $1K. Typically, we offer in the $300-$500 neighborhood.

Even with property owners who say "Sure, we won't charge you anything," we still like to pay them. Just like we never "hire" free actors because if you pay them you own their butts for whatever duration of the shoot is. We don't usually hit the $1K mark often either... the last time we paid a location a grand it was because it was a fairly upscale restaurant and we had to shut down half their place for a fair portion of a day.

Sounds like we are about in line then... neither outrageously cheap nor extravagant. Thanks....


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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