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Movie Houses : Renting Your Home for a Film Shoot Is Lucrative, but Has Its Drawbacks


"They took pretty good care of the house, but they nicked the walls, and in my house the walls are glazed, so anytime one gets nicked, the whole wall has to be painted," he explained.

Because of the size of his house, even the general upkeep is expensive, he noted, but Reissman has done well financially on filming, anyway. He gets $10,000 a day for a shoot.

"I took in close to $200,000 last year," he said, "but I had to pay taxes on it, because I allowed filming for more than 14 days."

(Although there may be exceptions, the federal tax code allows a residence to be rented for up to two weeks a year without the rent being included in a taxpayer's gross income.)

Warmack, who scouts locations, has heard horror stories about film companies damaging houses. "But, usually, there's a pretty sizable (damage) deposit when a company rents a house, and most companies don't want to lose the deposit, which could be $5,000 or more for a one-day shoot," he said.

Some homeowners demand that somebody represent them at their houses when any filming is done there.

"That's one thing I insist on," Reissman said. "A person from the location company must be there all the time to see if anything will need to be repaired."

Aaron Speiser and his wife, Kristy, also made sure that they were represented at their home during the four days that a film crew was there for the upcoming Paramount film "Talent for the Game," starring Edward James Olmos.

Billy Warren King's Hancock Park house was used for the movie "Parenthood," but she has only happy memories of the experience.

"It was easy," she said, "and it was fun to meet Ron Howard and Ed Begley Jr., people who I could tell, 'I really enjoy your work.' "

Guide to Getting Home in Movies

"Your Property in a Starring Role," a booklet for anyone interested in renting their property to the film industry as a location, is available from the California Film Commission at no charge.

The booklet discusses what owners should charge, what kind of insurance they should get and how they should monitor filming. A sample contract and insurance form is included.

Copies may be obtained from the Commission at 6922 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 600, Hollywood 90028, (213) 736-2465.

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