What’s Included in a Private Property Location Agreement for Film Production

What’s Included in a Private Property Location Agreement for Film Production

A great location, as any filmmaker will tell you, is worth its weight in gold. In terms of providing the production with great value. As it’s one of the key factors in producing an amazing film that entertains your audience. Drawing them in and immersing them in your story. Oftentimes, the best locations are located on private property. Which means you’re going to have to enter an agreement with the property owner. A private property location agreement for film production purposes includes many important details that are pertinent to the rental agreement made between you and the property owner.

contract agreement

What is a Private Property Location Agreement for Film?

Not familiar with location agreements? They’re really not too difficult to understand! Anytime you want to film at a location, any location really. You’re going to need a location agreement.

This includes anytime you’re planning a film shoot in a local community park or along a city block or at the beach. As well as anytime you intend to film on private property.

Such as a private ranch, restaurant, or store. Pretty much anywhere you film will require that you enter into some sort of an agreement prior to your production.

That’s the easy part! You need a location agreement to film at a location. The location agreement provides you with permission to be present at the location, with your crew, for the purpose of film production. 

The Location Agreement is Not the Location Release

Don’t let the two confuse you! A location agreement is not the same as a location release form. The location agreement gives you and your crew permission to be on location. Sort of like a rental contract or lease.

However, if you want to use footage that you capture at the location? You’re going to have to get a signed location release.

The location release provides permission for you to use footage that is filmed on location in your film. And releases the location or property owner from any right to copyright the footage. 

It Takes Two

A location agreement, without a location release form, is really not ideal for you, the filmmaker. It’s important for you to obtain BOTH permission to be on the location.

And to film AND permission to use the footage that you obtain while on location in your film. This means you need two contracts! The location agreement and the location release.

What’s Included in a Private Property Location Agreement for Film?

As you know, a location agreement is necessary whenever you film on private property. But there are also instances in which a location agreement is a must when filming in public places too.

This is true if you’re filming in a city park or similar location. Which will require a special permit in order to legally shoot footage and perform commercial activities within the grounds. 

The private property location agreement for film provides permissions to the filmmaker to use the location for the purpose of film production.

In addition to acting as a rental agreement, and including key details such as the property owner’s name. The name of the filmmaker, and the dates in which the location will be used.

Every private property location agreement for film must also include:

  • Specific details that outline the permissions granted to the filmmaker. This includes information regarding what areas of the property the filmmaker may enter. And what areas of the property may be recorded. This will also include the dates and times that recording may take place.
  • A release of ownership of recordings that states that the filmmaker will own all recordings that are created on the property by their and their crew. 
  • Compensation details that clearly specify how much and specifically how the filmmaker will pay the location owner for the use of the property. Compensation might include monetary compensation. As well as the location name or owners details appearing in the film credits.
  • Representation of the property owner which states that the individual entering the agreement is renting the property. And does not have any ownership authority to the property whatsoever. 
  • A clause stating that footage produced on the private property may or may not be used in the final production. And that the filmmaker is under no obligation to use the footage.  
  • An assignment of rights clause which states that the rights are assigned to the filmmaker. And that they have the right to otherwise transfer, license or share the work however they see fit.


The typical private property location agreement for film is also going to include pertinent details about how the property is portrayed in the film.

In the event that the property is portrayed in the film in such a way that it is recognized and that others might draw conclusions about the production, the location agreement should address any specific details from the property owner as to how the property is reflected. 

The property owner, through the private property location agreement for film, may request that their property be portrayed in a positive manner. Or that certain aspects of the property not be shown.


They may also request that you alter a particular part of the script. Or otherwise adjusted if it would showcase their property in a negative manner. Property owners may also enact legal aspects of the location agreement.

Which allow them to request that you not use footage that they are unhappy with. Or which does not reflect positively for their property. Keep this in mind, and have your entertainment attorney review any location agreement prior to the production.

To ensure there are no clauses that may create a slowdown, or potentially halt your production should the property owner decide to take action.

In Summation

As you can see, there are a lot of working parts to any private property location agreement, and understanding each of the parts and how it all works is key.

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