(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

Why do production companies use locations? Don’t they have sets?

What makes a good “shoot house”?

How do I submit my home or business to the Alameda on Location website?

Explain the location process to me once I am added to your website.

What if the company selects my property for their shoot?

What happens on shoot day?

When am I paid?

What if my home is damaged during production?

How do I know if my home is safe? And if something is stolen from the premises, how is that covered?

I own a small grocery store. Are you just looking for homes or do production companies need business properties?

Once my location is on your website, what additional marketing does Alameda on Location perform?

Do I have to pay taxes on the money I make?

  1. Why do production companies use locations? Don’t they have sets?

In fact, they need/use both! Building a set makes sense, especially for TV shows and some movies, as the location will be used repeatedly over the course of days, or months, or even years. Frequently, however, a location is needed for just a day or two, and so a production company will hire a location scout to search out properties to rent. Alameda on Location works only with professional location scouts and managers.

  1. What makes a good ‘shoot house’?

While production companies look for a variety of locations and often have very specific criteria for that search, there are a few minimum requirements they consider standard. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my home have plenty of light?
  • Are the rooms large and uncluttered?
  • Is my kitchen remodeled within the last ten years?
  • Do I like to entertain people in my home?

Especially consider this last question because while you won’t be entertaining the production company, there will be many people in your home. To see some shoot houses, check out our gallery of homes here.

  1. How do I submit my home or business to the Alameda on Location website?

Visit our contact page, and zip the following photos together (or send USPS if you prefer):

    1. Exterior of your entire home
    2. Interior living room
    3. Interior kitchen
    4. Interior family room
    5. Interior dining room

AoL will review your photos. Should you have a good ‘shoot house’ you will sign an exclusivity clause, which is completely free of charge. I will come out and take photos of your property during a visit that usually lasts about half an hour. The images will be posted to the AoL website without your address on display so that your privacy is maintained.

  1. Explain the location process to me once I am added to your website.

If a location scout thinks your property is a good fit, I will call you to discuss the nature of this particular shoot. Topics we are likely to discuss include the following:

    • The number of hours or days the production company will need your property.
    • The number of trucks and staff that you can expect during the shoot.
    • Which rooms or areas of your property they would like to use.
    • Your immediate availability as often these shoots happen quickly.
    • The amount of money the production company is paying for this shoot.

If you agree with what we discuss, a location scout will visit your property to take photos specific to this production. During this stage, the scout will look at A LOT of different homes and properties so as to be able to present the production company with some options. This is a “weeding out” process that may include another visit from other members of the production company before a final decision is made.

  1. What if the company selects my property for their shoot?

Wonderful! Alameda on Location will negotiate your pay rate for the job. A few days before filming, AoL and a few members of the production company will come to your property for a “tech scout” and walk through each step of the shoot.  Shortly thereafter, AoL will present to you a contract which specifies exactly what was discussed and agreed upon during the tech scout. After this, we will finalize your pay rate.

  1. What happens on shoot day?

The crew arrives early in the morning and begins set up. While the amount of gear can look intimidating, it is important to remember that once they leave, your property will be perfectly restored. You do not need to be present during production as the location scout and I will represent your home, protecting it from damage and ensuring that the standards of the contract agreed to during the tech scout are upheld.

  1. When am I paid?

You will sign a W-9 and a location agreement and receive a copy of the production company’s insurance policy. Upon completion of that paperwork, you will be paid, usually the day of the shoot, if not before.

  1. What if my home is damaged during production?

Before the shoot, you will be provided with a copy of the company’s damage and liability insurance. Usually this is a policy with coverage of a million dollars. Most shoots have had no damages, other than a scratch or two on the floor. As of this writing, ONE insurance claim has been filed for an amount less than a thousand dollars. The production company is responsible for paying for all damages and for that reason, each crew member does their best to protect your home.

  1. How do I know if my home is safe? And if something is stolen from the premises, how is that covered?

Location security is extremely important. Alameda on Location carefully selects both its clients AND the production companies who approach us. We’ve built solid relationships nurturing repeat business so that in the end, the people entering your home are respectful, polite and serious about their work. We use a final walk through process at the end of the day to ensure that your property is secure and items have been replaced as agreed upon. Any losses reported by you are covered by the production company, but we have never had anything reported stolen in relation to a shoot.

  1. I own a small grocery store. Are you just looking for homes or do production companies need business properties?

We have a growing inventory of business locations and are always hunting for more. Anything you’ve seen on TV, the Web, or in the movies qualifies! Scroll back up to the top of this page to read about the location requirements and application process.

  1. Once my location is on your website, what additional marketing does Alameda on Location perform?
  • We update our website weekly.
  • We work with the City of Alameda to promote production in Alameda.
  • We email production companies and scouts and promote our properties through our newsletter and social websites.
  • We contact local media outlets to keep them current on AoL news.
  1.  Do I have to pay taxes on the money I make?

No, you do not, if the property used is your primary residence. Under tax code topic 415 your primary residence may be rented out tax-free for up to 14 days each year. Read more about that here.