Paying off location owners with your day job’s free perks
So this is probably gonna be more anecdotal than pragmatically useful. But maybe someone can use this for their project…
When I was a 21 year old art student, I was asked by a peer in the department, Chad Hutchison, to be DP for his very ambitious film project. He didn’t really have the money to make it happen, but we found all kinds of ways to stretch the budget. His part-time job was as an assistant manager at a big chain movie theater, where he was regularly given a booklet of vouchers to hand out to complaining customers, basically to make them shut them up and go away.
To most people, free movie tickets are as good as cash. So he would kinda ration them until he’d be given a new booklet, and we could have our little pile of “filmmaker Monopoly money” as I would call it. We were able to pay for two days of shooting at a local pub by shelling out a stack of them to the owner. If you’ve ever shot at a private location with the owner/manager present, then you know how huge of a difference it makes if they’re getting compensated– asking them to flip a circuit breaker or turn off a loud ice machine is no big deal for them when they have something in their pocket from you, versus it being a big annoyance when they’re doing it as a free favor. Oh yeah, I remember we also decorated the bar for halloween… it’s a safe bet that had we not been paying, they wouldn’t have allowed that, which would’ve had a definite negative impact on our already meager production value. So if you have any kind of access to job perks stuff like that, keep in mind you might be able to pay people with it… never hurts to ask. After a particularly long, exhausting shoot day our actors appreciated them as well.
Yeah so, I guess if you don’t have any budget and you work at like a pizza place that lets you take home one pie at the end of your shift, maybe work out a deal where you drop it off after work for X number of days. Okay, maybe I’m just fantasizing that someone would be paying me that way. Like right now. Whatevs, I’m hungry.
You can see clips from that film (including some from the paid-for bar scenes) at dopjaan.com/213.html.