Having a country home is a wonderful thing, living in a piece of history and surrounding yourself with the beauty of a past age. Restoring a property to its former glory and ensuring that it looks just as you want it to takes time and money. Now, there is a brilliant way to show off your work and to even make some money from it in the process – by making your country home famous as part of a film or a TV show.
Being on TV
The idea started out with shows like Downton Abbey, which used a property in Berkshire for most of its filming. Rather than build a costly set that looks like a country home, the show makers actually rented a real one out. This allowed them to film in a property that really was from the period the show was based in for that added element of authenticity. It also netted the owners of the property a cool £750,000 per series and they are now welcoming an increase in visitors due to their association with the show.
But how do you get involved with such an enterprise? The easiest way is use a specialist and experienced location agency. These guys work for studios around the world, sourcing the kinds of properties needed for TV shows and films and organising everything with the homeowner, from payment to alternative living arrangements if the show needs to take over the house entirely.
How it works
Because you live in a country house, speak to location agencies who deal with the kind of shows that might want your type of property – though you might be surprised how wide a range this might be. Period dramas are the obvious ones but shows such as sci-fi and horror often use period properties for selected shows.
Once you have been approached by a studio via the agency that wants to use your property, a fee can be agreed. Anywhere up to £2,500 a day can be charged for the property though around £500 is a more typical figure. The location agency will have a fee agreed beforehand and the rest is profit for you.
While in the property, if the film crew causes any damage, it will be covered by a special insurance policy that the location agency will put in place. It is also worth telling your own insurer what is taking place just to cover yourself.
Take a break
Sometimes the studio will ask you to leave your home for the duration of the shoot and if this is overnight, they will put you up in a hotel. It can be a great opportunity to take a break, while your home pays for the holiday in a sense! Otherwise, you can even watch the filming discreetly and maybe even get to meet the stars of the show.
So if you don’t mind a bit of disruption to your life and have a property that a film or TV crew might be able to make use of, then renting the house to them is a great way to make some money and be able to boast you live in a famous house too.