In Lafayette Square, you can marvel at meticulously restored 150-year-old Victorian mansions.

Resident & Business Owner Toolbox

Filming & Your Property

Are you interested in listing your home/business as a potential filming location? Reach out to Kelley Hiatt with the STL film office at of (314) 992-0625 for more information. 

If you are approached about a filming opportunity on your property, below are a few things you should know.

What is a Location Scout?

A location scout is the first person to approach a residence or business about a potential filming opportunity. They are hired by the Location Manager or Producer to present “location” options for the director to film their scene. Often, they start with what is referred to as a “cold scout”. The Scout is sent out into a neighborhood or business district to find a specific type of structure. There are several elements that come into play when selecting a viable location including the actual look of the location and the surrounding area, the time and date of the filming and the action taking place in the scene, amongst many other things. Depending on if the scene takes place inside, outside, or both, the resident or business owner may be asked to vacate the premises for the duration of the filming. This is a very normal requirement and should be brought up with the location scout. The production should cover all expenses for displacement including food, lodging, pet care, etc. The Location Scout will then ask to take photos of the interior and exterior of your home or business to be shared with the Location Manager. For smaller productions and most commercials the Location Scout and Manager is the same person.

What is a Location Manager?

Once the Location Scout has collected several location options for the scene, the Location Manager decides which ones should be presented to the Director and Production Designer. Together they pick the locations they would like to physically visit. This is called a Directors Scout. Often up to 10 people will come to your home or business to look around and discuss if it is the right look and feel for the scene. If your home or business is selected, the Location Manger will connect with you on all the details including date and time of the shoot, compensation for the use of your property and over all details of the shoot, from preparing your property to film in, to filming, to restoring your property to it’s original form. They should provide you with a certificate of insurance that covers the entire time the production company is on your property

What questions should I ask?

When will the filming take place? Make sure the timing works for you and that you do not have any significant events planned that could prohibit the use of your home or business during the project’s production dates.

Do you provide insurance? Every production should provide a COI. The coverage may vary, make sure you are comfortable with the amount of insurance they are providing.

What is the compensation? A production should pay you for prep days (getting location ready to film), shoot days (actual filming days) and strike days (restoring your home to how is was). Compensation varys with every production and should be discussed with the Location Manager.

If I am asked to leave my property during the filming, what are my options?  The production should put you up in a mutually agreed upon hotel or housing option. They may also give you a monetary stipend that can be used as you wish. This also goes for the displacement of any pets you may have.

How will your production presence impact my neighbors? Will they be notified? And will they be compensated for any inconvenience due to production? The production should perform outreach to all neighbors on your block including across the street. There is a form letter provided by the Film Office that must be delivered 5 days prior to filming. Compensation may be offered case-by-case. Often it is for use of a driveway, backyard or area within their property that could be useful to production.

Do you provide a cleaning service after you are done filming? This is on a case-by-case basis. However, it is customary to provide a full house cleaning service once production is completed.