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Location Shooting Agreements: Small Print Explained

Posted by Valerie Nolan on April 6, 2015

Fine print can be stressful, but don’t let it get you all worked up. We’ve broken down some of the most common small print items and explain what they mean, and what you’re obliging to by signing the agreement.

No shoot will take place without written permission from [the location].

What it means:
You can’t shoot on privately owned property without the permission of the owner. Written permission is a precaution to cover your back in case anything goes wrong down the road, or if unsuspecting security or police show up on the day questioning why a film crew is present.

[location] reserves the right to charge a location fee for the shoot.

What it means:
Locations don’t always come for free. This fee covers any time location managers spend supervising, managing the film location, or inconveniencing themselves to help your production go smoothly. They may not always be present during production, but having a large film crew will cut into their time no matter what.

All shoots held must be in line with the [location’s] positioning and corporate image.

What it means:
Let’s say your shoot takes place in a well-known brewery. If the brewery is portrayed in a negative light, the location manager or owner can refuse you the right to use the footage. In other words, you don’t want your video to make their beer look terrible and for them to lose sales because of it.

All equipment brought onto the property for the shoot will be removed immediately thereafter.

What it means:
Make sure you pack up your gear and return the location to its initial state. Location managers don’t want to deal with leftover messes that further inconvenience them.

Use of models, extras and props will be at the expense of the production house /agency/ photographer.

What it means:
Don’t expect the location to provide everything for you. It’s your responsibility to source all props, extras and talent used in the video. This ensures that the location manager suffers no damage or liability once the shoot is wrapped.

No member of the public may be viewed in the shoot material without their prior consent in writing.

What it means:
To film anyone, you’re going to need their permission. Having everyone who appears in front of the camera sign a release form will cover you in case someone claims they didn’t give you their consent to use their image in your finished project.

Lighting or any other photographic equipment may not be erected in any manner that could cause damage to [location] property.

What it means:
Lights are dangerous. There’s a reason gaffers and grips use gloves when handling them. Aside from being hot, they are heavy, and if one falls on the property or a person, there could be massive costs in damages that your company would be liable for. Make sure your crew is well versed in set etiquette and safety precautions before going to camera.

The Photographer/ Production Company must ensure that comprehensive insurance exists in the event of any damage to [location] as a result of negligence on their behalf. Proof of such insurance is required.

What it means:
Insurance is essential for every production. It covers the equipment and protects you from liability if anyone is hurt by their own doing while on set. Concerning negligence, location managers want confirmation that they will be reimbursed if any crew member acts irresponsibly or unprofessionally, causing damage to their property. Think of it as their way of covering their bases.

Overwhelmed? There is much to consider prior to your shoot concerning locations, but you have options. Staffing agencies like Crews Control take full responsibility for the agreements with the crews and locations so the client doesn’t need to worry about any of that small print. They take care of the insurance for each shoot, and provide qualified individuals well acquainted with set etiquette and the safety precautions that most Location Agreements want you to abide. Check out www.crewscontrol.com to find out more.

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