When reading a magazine do you ever find yourself drooling over the period features of a house, instead of the furniture and accessories featured? And when watching the TV do you often find yourself looking over the shoulders of the actors, and admiring that state-of-the-art kitchen? I know I do. I might have a one-tracked mind when it comes to interiors, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who does that. So it won’t surprise you to know that there’s an entire industry built around location houses. And yes, some home owners are making a living out of sharing their homes with film crews, photographers and stylists. Imagine that. Could you do it? Does your home have what it takes? I asked Sophie at Light Locations exactly what makes a good location house.
It’s got to have style! Rooms with good dimensions for a start, period features such as big windows, fireplaces, and handsome floorboards. The house has to have scope so needs to have a good variety of suitable, shoot-able rooms: living room, kitchen, main bedroom, bathroom, children’s room.
Is geography important?
Yes. London is ideal or surrounding area. We don’t take properties more than 2.5 hours from London.
What about size?
They need to be a good size so it is possible to get a few pulled back angles in each room.
Are there any features/styles that are more popular than others?
Period houses all do well with us but also very modern, open spaces with large glass windows.
Is it a good idea to have a stock of props?
It is great if the furniture, props in the house are photogenic, this is an added bonus to the client if they want/need to use them!
Is outside space important?
It is helpful. Outside of London it is more important.
Do rooms have to be empty?
No, but being empty is helpful for large furniture shoots.
I know rooms are returned to the original state, but is it best not to paint or wallpaper at all?
We do a great deal of interior shoots so a lot of our locations are adapted by clients. People want to paint walls, hang wallpaper etc and offering this service definitely makes the house more appealing and versatile for the client. The houses that offer this get more work.
Are the requirements different for TV shoots – as opposed to press shoots?
Large TV shoots need space. Depending on what they are looking for. I would say sometimes they are looking for a more ’normal, family’ house rather than an inspirational space but it would depend on the job. TV shoots involve far more people than a still shoot so are very much more intrusive!
What about the requirements for events?
Events require space and central locations.
Exactly how disruptive is it to have a house available for shoots and events?
It is disruptive. You do have to be the right type of person to do it, but if you don’t mind having strange people in your space it can be fun and a great way to earn some extra money!
Do most house owners stay in the house or move out entirely?
Owners never move out for a still shoot. a great deal of them work from home and have home offices so they hide away in their space and leave the clients to it!
Images featured are the Frome House, Clapham House, and Seend House. All available via Light Locations.