Could your house earn €1,000 a day?
Renting out your home for film shoots can prove a money spinner writes June Edwards
Waiting for Hollywood to come knocking on your door may seem like a long shot if you've no acting experience, but that's not stopping thousands of Irish-based hopefuls, according to the Irish Film Board. But in this case, it's their homes that are competing for the attention of Scorsese and Spielberg.
"We've seen a huge upsurge in the number of homeowners registering their homes as potential film and advertising locations in the last couple of years," says Mags O'Sullivan, deputy Film Commissioner with the Irish Film Board.
"Now we're getting every type of home, from very basic two-up, two-downs and suburban three-bed semis to former boarding schools and old castles. We're also getting a huge number of holiday homes with coastal views, which we never got in previous years," adds O'Sullivan.
But it's not just strapped-for-cash homeowners who are offering their homes to film crews. Local authorities are only too happy to rent out their stately homes to film crews. Watch out for Cabinteely House which was used recently as a film location for Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close and Rodrigo Garcia.
Some homeowners are reputed to have hit the jackpot with film sets and earned a quick and relatively easy fee of between €750 and €1,000 per day. So no wonder hard-pressed mortgage payers are deciding that having your home 'in the movies' is more lucrative than taking in lodgers or renting out a room to noisy students!
Anyone can register their home for free with the Locations Department of Irish Film Board. Forms can be downloaded from their website and they can simply be returned with six colour photos on a CD.
"When it comes to money, we don't get involved. It's purely between the film-maker and the homeowner. Obviously the fees will vary greatly depending on whether it's a Hollywood budget or a small independent production.
"Our advice is always to take into consideration the level of disruption and the length of time they will need your home, and if you will need to move out or rent elsewhere. It's also important to agree the number of set-up days that are required, what changes will be made to your home and that it will be handed back to you as they got it," warns O'Sullivan.
Offering your home for fashion and interior design photo shoots is another way to earn a few extra euros, says Kate Moran of photolocations.ie, an Irish location website.
"There is a good demand for homes that would be suitable for photo shoots, although the criteria is a bit different to what a film-maker might be looking for," says Moran.
"Bright, contemporary spaces that are styled in a more neutral way are always popular with photographers. In fact, I am always on the lookout for very minimalist-style homes, but they are quite hard to come by," explains Moran who charges between €350 to €500 per day for the use of the location, and out of that fee, homeowners receive between €150 and €350 per day.
Lisa Molloy, a Malahide-based estate agent, regularly rents her stylish Port-marnock pad out for fashion and advertising shoots, and her home has been used in the Heaton's Home Furnishing advert.
"I have had no problems whatsoever. They come early in the morning and are usually cleaned up and gone by the time I get home from work," says Lisa.
"I think they like working in our home because the rooms are fairly bright and spacious. They do their own styling and move things around, but then they leave it exactly the way they get it. My sister-in-law rents her home out too, and again there has never been any bother. Although I do wonder what the neighbours think when they see a busload of gorgeous models arriving at our front door at 7am," laughs Lisa.
Teacher Patrick Davern's ultra-modern home in Dublin's North Strand has been chosen twice for photo shoots, once for a fashion shoot, and another time for an interiors shoot.
Having won an Architectural Association Ireland award for his property back in 2009, Davern's architect Maxime Laroussi suggested registering his property for film and advertising work with PhotoLocations.ie.
A unique, contemporary property with a glazed bathroom ceiling, no clutter and wide open spaces in every shade of white, it's easy to see the appeal of this property from a photographer's eye.
"The house has only been used twice as a photo location, so I wouldn't be planning on giving up the day-job."
In Cong, Co Mayo, the village that was swept to stardom when John Ford arrived with his stellar cast including John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara 60 years ago, The Quiet Man Cottage is for sale. The traditional, thatched cottage which has operated as The Quiet Man museum for the last 15 years, includes all of the memorabilia which current owners, the Collins family have collected over the years including outfits worn by the cast, newspaper cuttings and items used during filming.
And while the cottage scenes were filmed back in Hollywood, it is laid out exactly like the set used in the 1951 classic.
Estate agent Matt O'Sullivan (095 21066) is guiding at €2.5m. for this piece of film history and tourist attraction.