Many public authorities own and maintain buildings or land which are of great potential interest to film and documentary makers. As well as providing a potential source of income, the right filming project can generate positive profile for the featured organisation and locations.
However, permitting filming also carries with it a number of risks, both in terms of reputation and of the potential liabilities that could arise in the event of injuries or damage to property being sustained during filming at your location.
For these reasons, a suitable film location contract should always be negotiated with the film production company prior to commencing filming.
Some of the key issues which a public authority is likely to want to see addressed in a film location agreement are:
- the fee payable for access;
- the date or dates of filming (or period of notice to be given in advance of each filming date);
- whether the production company is allowed to make any alterations or changes to the location and if so, that they will be required to restore the property to its original condition;
- whether the production company is allowed to make use of facilities (such as gas and electricity) at the location;
- the form of credit to be given to the public authority and if applicable the location;
- an obligation for the production company to reimburse (indemnify) the public authority for any damage to property or death or personal injury. This should be reviewed alongside the terms of the production company’s insurance to ensure that they have sufficient cover in place to meet any liabilities which may arise; and
- depending on the nature of the project, the public authority may wish to have some right to review the completed project for factual accuracy and fairness.