What is Amazing Spaces?

Amazing Spaces is a company that connects filmmakers and photographers with unique properties for their shoots. We’ve been doing this since 2000. 

 

How does Amazing Spaces work?

We showcase properties to potential clients in the film and photography industry. When the client wishes to book a location, we coordinate and facilitate the shoot with all details & contracts. 

 

What kinds of properties do we work with?

We work with a wide range of properties, from stylish penthouses to beach houses; classic English style homes; American bungalows; modern farmhouses; offices; restaurants; farms; beach houses and more. If you have seen it in a movie, or if you can imagine it, we need it as a location. “Amazing spaces” are unique and have a special charm. They invoke a feeling of ‘wow,’ they have great light, and generally have plenty of space. Lots of parking is a plus. High ceilings, light wooden floors, big gardens (without the pool in the middle of the lawn), or unique architectural features that are sought after such as super modern, mid-century modern, classic English or French, Scandinavian or country farmhouses. 

What's the benefit of having my property listed with Amazing Spaces?

  • Exposure: Your property gets noticed by filmmakers and photographers from around the world.
  • Income: You earn money from renting your space for shoots.
  • Experience: You get to be part of exciting creative projects.

How do I get started with Amazing Spaces?

Contact us to express your interest and send pictures of your home to [email protected]. We are super honest about whether we think we can bring you business or not. Our new locations consultant will come and see you to view the locations if we think it has potential, and she will explain how it all works in the world of film and TV production.

What should I prepare for my first shoot?

  • Ensure your property is clean and ready for clients.
  • Remove personal items and valuables.
  • Be flexible with scheduling; shoots can take a few hours to a few days (but we will always advise you in advance!). We will explain everything in detail when we sign you up.

What is the difference between ‘Stills’ and ‘Film’ Shoots?

  • A stills shoot is traditionally a much smaller shoot wherein stills images are captured by the client, normally for an ad campaign or catalogue. There are fewer than 20 people on location, and the impact on the location is much lower than for a film shoot.
  • A film shoot is a much larger shoot wherein large cameras are used to capture moving footage for a commercial or movie. There are many more people required on location, with catering tables and a base camp for extra vehicles.

How does pricing work?

  • We’ll discuss pricing with you based on factors like location, size, and production needs.
  • Naturally, some properties are in higher demand than others and offer many more shooting areas which are of value to the client and can therefore demand a higher fee.

Will my privacy be respected during shoots?

Yes, we prioritize your privacy. We always name our locations; no addresses are revealed until they want to come and view. No location owner’s names are divulged unnecessarily. We’ll communicate your preferences to clients.

What if I have concerns during the shoot?

Contact us immediately, and we’ll address any issues. That’s what we are here for!

What happens after the shoot?

Your property should be returned to its original condition. We are here to facilitate any unforeseen damages.

What about insurance?

  • We ensure that Production companies must have public liability insurance covering damages and injuries.
  • We suggest contacting your own insurers to advise them that you are having shoots in your home.

What to expect re Times, people and vehicles on Location:

  • A standard of 14 hours for a full day and 7 hours for a half day is applicable, with half days on request. This is counted from the first man on to the last off of set. These hours must fall between 7am and 9pm. Anything outside of these hours requires approval by the Location Owner and Agent as well as concurrence from all the required neighbors.
  • A prep and wrap day is a full day of 10 hours and a half day of 5 hours if negotiated. A full day prep is at 50% of the full day rate and a half day prep is negotiated at the time and dependent on the Location Owner. The Production Company is to stipulate in the contract the number of crew and cast on set, and the number of people at base camp.
  • A standard film shoot consists of 50 to 70 people on set – this includes the crew, cast, catering, drivers, etc. Any crew over this number on set is to be negotiated and is dependent on the Location Owner.
  • Overtime rates apply once the time on set exceeds 14 hours (full day) and 7 hours (half day). The rate per hour is determined as 10% of the full day location rate. This rate applies to both half day and full day film shoots. A rate of 20% will be applied for any hours beyond 16 hours on set.
  • Overtime rates must be negotiated upfront to accommodate the expectations of the Location Owner. Where possible, a minimum of 90 minutes notice (before the contracted time to leave the Location) must be given to the Agent by the Production Company if overtime is required.

What about Cancellation or postponement of a booking?

  • If the booking is canceled within the prescribed notice period, then a 50% cancellation fee will apply to the Production Company for the entire booking period that was canceled.
  • If the Production Company cancels within 24 hours of a one-day booking, then a 100% cancellation fee of the booking and prep/wrap will be charged.
  • If the Production Company cancels within 24 hours of a longer booking, then a cancellation fee will be negotiated. However, a minimum will be 100% of the first shoot day, and 50% of the remaining days.
  • Should a confirmed booking be canceled more than 24 hours before a shoot, but within 1 month of the shoot date, and the Agent is unable to re-book the Location, a cancellation fee of 50% will be charged. Naturally, we always work with our locations to not charge this, however, if they have turned away an accommodation booking, for example, then it may be applicable.
  • Should the team not arrive on set for the day that the shoot was booked, with no communications about a postponement, then a 100% cancellation fee will be charged.
  • All cancellation fees are payable upon presentation of the Agent’s invoice in respect thereof.
  • We request that location owners do not cancel any confirmed bookings unless under extreme circumstances.

What are Weather bookings?

The production companies book what they call a ‘weather day’ if they can only shoot in good weather.

  • Weather bookings are accepted depending on the location.
  • If a cancellation is made due to bad weather, it is required by the Production Company’s team to use the Location on another day by the same team/job number. The Location must be used within a maximum period of 21 days from the weather cancellation date.
  • A full cancellation fee of 100% will be charged if you arrive at the Location, but do not shoot due to bad weather.
  • If the Production Company has already prepped the Location but cannot shoot due to weather, the prep day will be payable, but a 50% cancellation fee will be charged for the shoot day.
  • The Agent must be informed if the team will not be going onto set. If the Agent does not hear from the client, it will be presumed that you are shooting.
  • If the same team does not use the Location on another day, a cancellation fee of 100% is applicable.
  • In the event that the Agent cannot make another day available to the team at the same Location, a cancellation fee will not apply.
  • For weather bookings/cancellations, the Production Company representative must call in at the agreed weather call time that was prearranged upon the booking of the Location.

What are the General rules specific to all our locations?

The production company must please:

  • Cover the floors and walls where equipment will be placed for film shoots – we know this seems obvious – but, as the Agent, we have to make sure that we’ve drawn your attention to this!
  • Cover furniture not in use during film shoots.
  • Return all furniture and equipment back to their original positions.
  • Ensure there is no smoking inside the Location and PLEASE do not leave stompies (cigarette butts) lying around.
  • Take photos of the Locations, position of the furniture, etc. and any existing damages noticed before the start of the shoot, and immediately report any existing damages to the Agent.

What happens with Changes/alterations/damages to the Location?

We request that Production Companies advise us of any changes that we should warn our Location Owners about.

  • The Production Company shall have the right to alter or rearrange any equipment and/or furnishings on the Location, subject to the approval of the Location Owner (via the Agent) and subject to the condition that the Production Company shall, at its own cost and to the Agent’s satisfaction, restore such equipment and/or furnishings and the Location to its original place and condition and to remove all its own equipment and temporary sets after completion of its use of the Location and to lease the Location and all equipment and/or furnishings on the Location in as good condition as when entered upon by the Production Company, reasonable wear and tear, and adjusted from ordinary residential usage, excepted.
  • Signs on the Location may be removed or changed, but if removed or changed such signs shall be reinstalled or replaced at its own cost and to the Agent’s satisfaction.
  • The Production Company will use all reasonable care to prevent damage to any part of the Location and its contents and agrees it shall be responsible for any damages caused by or during Production Company’s use thereof as well as all costs associated with making good, including restoring, replacing, or repairing any altered or damaged or broken items to the Agent’s satisfaction.
  • In the event of any such damages, and without detracting from the Production Company’s obligations in terms of the remaining provisions of this Agreement, the Production Company shall make good and/or make restitution upon demand by the Agent.

“My house looks better after the crew left than before they arrived!”: These are the comments we, as the Agent, love. It is such a pleasure when you, the Production Company, leave the Location after the Picture/Job, and our Location Owner is thrilled with the condition of the Location.

  • What about Wear and Tear? We accept that there is a certain amount of wear and tear that occurs with renting out a house for shoots or events. Floors get scratched from having additional people on location, and lawns can get trampled. We need to always be aware of what is reasonable in terms of what is wear and tear, and what is actual ‘damage’. The cost an owner incurs for the basic cleaning and repairing of such items necessary to make a unit ready for occupancy by the next client are part of the costs of doing business.
  • Damages, however, usually require more extensive repair or cleaning, at a greater cost than ‘normal wear and tear’. Damage is often the result of abuse or negligence that is above and beyond normal wear and tear.

Here are a few guidelines for determining whether damages on the property are a result of everyday use.

Normal Wear and Tear:

  • Faded paint.
  • Carpet worn, screeded floors slightly scuffed or faded.
  • Moderate dirt on the carpet or floors.
  • Minor scratches on the wooden floor or surfaces.
  • Wooden floors requiring a new varnish job.

Client Caused Damage:

  • Unauthorized paint job that requires repainting.
  • Major holes in the wall or an excessive number of small holes from tracks or nails.
  • Stained, ripped, or burned carpets.
  • Chipped or gouged wooden floors.
  • Water stains on wooden flooring.
  • Doors ripped off their hinges.
  • Broken window panes.
  • Ripped fabric, stains on sofas or furniture.

Damages and Facilitation Fees

The Agent will facilitate damages after a shoot, and as long as these damages are ‘made good’ by the Production Company within 7 days of the last shoot date, there will be no charge for the Agent’s facilitation fee. If an insurance claim is made, then this time period will be extended accordingly.

If damages are not concluded within 7 days of the last shoot date, a facilitation fee of R1,500 will be charged for every 7 days thereafter unless another agreement is reached between the Production Company and Agent, such as an insurance claim.

What if my shoot affects neighbours?

  • Production companies (PC’s) do ‘letter drops’ to neighbours 48 hours in advance.
  • PC’s are required to follow Film Office rules for street permits.
  • Take care where generators and base camps are situated to minimise disruption.

Do our location photos reflect reality?

  • Locations may change over time; all clients should visit the location before booking.
  • We’ll inform you of significant changes if possible.

How do options work?

‘Options’ are when the Production Company requests a first right of refusal to shoot at your location on a specific day. Options are granted once approval is obtained from the location owner, and a 1st Option is granted for a maximum of 4 days when 1 shooting day is needed. When asked to release an option, Production Companies are asked to respond within 24 hours (or 2 hours if less than 24 hours before the shoot) when asked to confirm or release an option. First come, first served.

What about ‘recce’ appointments?

A ‘recce’ is when the client wishes to come and view the location to see if it suits their needs. We request that the Production Companies keep their appointments or inform Amazing Spaces if they can’t make it or are running late.

How should the Production Company respect the locations?

We ask everyone to always remember these are private homes; be respectful. Leave the location as you found it, thoroughly clean, and the furniture must be returned to its original position.

When is payment due to the location?

We pay all our locations 2 weeks after the end of the shoot, on the Friday, regardless of whether we have been paid or not.

Measurements of satisfaction

It is important to us after the booking that you feel that our service helped your production. We endeavour to have you feeling delighted by our service, attention, and attitude.

Please feel free to tell us if we did not meet this, as this can be the only measurement of satisfaction. We can only fix what we know about – so feedback is important.

How can I get in touch with Amazing Spaces?

You can reach us through our website or contact our team directly via email at [email protected] or on 021 761 3445. Our after-hours number is 082 828 5580.

Glossary of Film Location Terms for Amazing Spaces

Site Inspection (Recce):

A site inspection, commonly known as a recce, is an initial visit to your property by the location manager. This step happens once your property makes it to their shortlist. During a recce, various team members evaluate how well your location fits their project’s needs. Expect several recces as the team refines their plans and assesses suitability.

Technical Site Inspection (Tech Recce):

A technical site inspection or tech recce is a crucial step in the selection process. It usually happens when your location is a strong candidate but not yet finalized. This detailed meeting with the crew focuses on the technical logistics of the shoot, like where to place essential facilities and equipment. It’s a good sign but not a final confirmation.

Mobile Restroom Facility (Honey Wagon):

The honey wagon is a portable restroom unit for the cast and crew, especially useful for larger teams or locations lacking sufficient in-house facilities. This term is often used in the context of bigger shoots where providing access to on-site restrooms is impractical.

Base of Operations (Unit Base):

The unit base is the operational heart of the production team while on location. It could be a spacious building or an outdoor area like a parking lot, where production trailers, catering services, and other essential facilities are set up during filming.

Set-Up Day (Prep Day):

Prep days are allocated for arranging and dressing the location before the actual shoot. The duration can vary from half a day for simple setups to several days for more elaborate productions. The fees for these prep days are typically lower than the shooting day rates.

Dismantling Day (Strike Day):

The strike day is when the location is returned to its original state after filming concludes. The crew carefully dismantles set pieces and cleans up, often using pre-shoot photographs as a guide to ensure everything is back in place. Strike day fees are generally half the rate of filming days.

Site Coordinator (Location Manager):

The location manager is a freelance professional hired by production companies to find and manage film locations. They are responsible for aligning locations with the project’s vision, budgeting, negotiating fees, and ensuring smooth operations before, during, and after the shoot. They are your primary point of contact throughout the filming process.

Location Finder (Location Scout):

A location scout specializes in discovering sites that fit specific production requirements. They may seek unique outdoor spaces or specific types of properties not listed with agencies. Scouts consider logistical aspects and report to the location manager.

Primary Hold (1st Option):

When a production team shortlists locations, they place holds, known as options, on them. A 1st option gives them the first right to use your property, while a 2nd option is a backup. Agreeing to a 1st option is a commitment and cannot be easily altered for other offers.

Tentative Reservation (Pencil):

Penciling a location is an informal way of reserving it for potential shoot dates. It means that the location is tentatively held for a client until they either confirm or release it.

Booking Confirmation (Confirmation):

A booking confirmation is the final step where the client officially decides to use your location. This could happen quickly for small projects or take longer for larger ones, following extensive inspections and negotiations. This stage finalizes all details, including usage, fees, and contract specifics.

We hope these FAQs clarify what to expect when working with Amazing Spaces for your first shoot. We’re here to make the process smooth and enjoyable for you!

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