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Using a Location Agreement

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/19/2010

Learn how to use a location agreement to secure the rights of a location for filming.

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    Film Producer Responsibility

    A producer is responsible for really performing project management on a film production during the pre-production phases. This does involve creative planning, but it also requires a fair bit of paperwork to keep things organized. Much of this pre-production paper work involves getting legal security for your film production so that what you have planned can go off in the way that you need and so that you are not legally liable later on. To do this you need releases and agreements for everything from personal photo images to the location you are working on. Often times people will be using a location release to get the legal rights to show a location and use it in your film production, but you may also want to use a location agreement to guarantee the use of the film in your given schedule.

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    Film Location Agreement

    The location agreement is more in line with the planning phases of pre-production than the legal ones. It does have a legal component to it since it is signed and agreed upon by the owner of the location you are using, but it is not a purely legal release. The location agreement outlines the exact transaction that is taking place between the producer or director and the owner of the property. This outlines both the information for the producer, the specifics of the shoot, and any compensation that may be required.

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    Location Agreement Specifics

    Start off the location agreement you are going to want to include a fair amount of header information. This information should include the film's name, the name of the production company, the names of the producer and director, and their relevant contact information. The location agreement is going to be done for a specific scene or number of scenes that will take place at that location. You are going to want to list the location that is in the script that this location is going to represent. You will also need to include the numbers of the scenes that are going to be filmed there.

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    Film Production Agreements

    You will have to include the basic agreement language in the location agreement where the owner or owners grants rights to the producer and all production staff to use the property and show images of the property in the finished product. There is no specific language that must be used for this purpose, but you can usually find some of this in other agreement contracts. It is easy enough to outline your own by simply listing that this agreement grants all rights to the production staff to use the property as needed for their production.

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    Dates in the Film Location Agreement

    Below this you will list a specific date that the producer and production staff will take control of the property. The location agreement is essentially used for outlining temporary control over a property, even if that control is limited. If it is an absolute control you will just have to list that control will be taken on a certain date. If it is limited control you will list your limitation as well in this location agreement. You will also list the days you will shot on, what will be done on those days, and what size of production staff will be there.

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    If you are giving the owner compensation for their property then this must be included in the location agreement. You are going to want to list the total amount of money that will be exchanged as well as the amount of money per day according to the cost negotiated for each work day type.

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    Other Production Elements

    All other aspects of the location will be addressed in the location agreement as needed. This means anything that must be done to the property by the producer, not done to the property, or left in the property must be outlined in the location agreement so that it will be followed in the production process.

Film Production Forms for Location Filming

Here are articles outlining how to create production and legal forms for location film production.
  1. Putting Together a Location Receipt
  2. Basics of Location Planning
  3. Using a Location Agreement
  4. Constructing a Location Information Sheet
  5. Legal Considerations When Shooting in a Public Location