Lights, Camera, Bookings — Why You Should Focus on Productions
While many move to Hollywood to get rich and famous, Ashley and her husband, Brett, found success in a less traditional way. They started renting out their sundrenched downtown loft on Peerspace and after seeing so much success, they bought this modern home with panoramic views to attract even more business. So what’s their secret? In short, Ashley attributes their success to production.
“People don’t often realize it, but when you watch TV shows, movies, or read a magazine, everything is a location.” Which means there’s a constant need for locations, ranging in scale and budget. “We’ve pretty much seen it all from fashion photoshoots, YouTube videos and student projects, to big budget commercials, feature films, music videos — the opportunities are endless.”
With over 150 production bookings under her belt, Ashley has learned what producers, location scouts, and show-runners look for, and how to seal the deal. Get in on the production action for yourself with Ashley’s inside tips.
Design with production in mind
With eighteen-foot ceilings, beautiful marble floors, and tons of natural light, Ashley’s space attracts production in more ways than one. Ashley has a passion for design, so she curated her spaces to be elegant, but also neutral to accommodate different looks. “My goal is to appeal to a broad demographic, so I like to stick to neutrals when it comes to color, texture, and overall style.” She recommends, “Try to avoid going too modern or too traditional. You don’t want to eliminate yourself as an option when projects are hunting for a beautiful space, so balance is key!”
Equip your space with production-approved amenities
Because you’re working with a crew of professionals, scouts are more likely to book your space if it’s production-friendly. “Keeping things like wardrobe racks, tennis balls for lighting/c-stands, gaffer tape, extra tables and chairs, a steamer, and layout board on site comes in very handy when crews run out or forget to bring them. It’s also helpful to have a designated hair and makeup station, as well as a separate area to store equipment that is out of the way.“ Ashley highlights these amenities in both her listing descriptions and in person during location scouts to instill confidence that her space can accommodate all types of bookings.
Be open-minded to site visits
Even if your listing has high quality photos and a wide range of angles, producers will often still send out location scouts. “They want to see what the lighting is really like without the photos being edited, as well as get a feel for parking and loading feasibility. Get comfortable with the idea of accommodating free scouts for production bookings, because you’re more likely to have a higher conversion rate than by simply trying to close them over the website. Ashley recommends scheduling a scout as early as possible so you’re able to highlight how great your space is in person and beat out the competition that wasn’t willing to accommodate one.
Don’t keep clients waiting
Unlike events, production guests are often working on tight timelines. “There should never be any reason why you’re waiting more than an hour to respond, especially for production, since they’re most likely messaging several spaces at once.” Ashley always tries to respond right away and never waits more than an hour. “The first person who responds and schedules a scout, will increase the likelihood of them booking your space.”
Pro tip: For iOS users, the Peerspace app provides immediate push notifications for incoming inquiries and requests, and makes it easy to reply. Download it here.
Production-proof your space
If you’re worried about damages in your space, Ashley has some great hacks she’s learned along the way to keep your space in mint condition. “We’ve invested in something called layout boards to protect our floors from getting scuffed up. They are large boards that people can put their gear on top of which prevents damages.” Tennis balls are another easy way to protect your floors. “A lot of productions bring in heavy lighting, so we ask guests to put tennis balls on the bottom of the lighting stands so that your floor is completely protected.”
Avoid last minute surprises
Ashley suggests being thorough in your communications from start to finish. “It’s your responsibility to ask a lot of questions. What type of equipment are they bringing? How many people will be there? What specifically are they planning to shoot?” Make sure you get the answers upfront so they aren’t any last minute surprises.
So what’s next for Ashley and Brett? They’re in the process of finding a warehouse to diversify their portfolio even further. They’re also launching their own consulting business, which will teach people how they can earn money from their space. Check out their website, Your Income Space, for more information on how to maximize your space.