Land in de­mand for TV and films

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FARMING - Agripro­fes­sional Liam Mcmona­gle Liam Mcmona­gle is an in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty part­ner with Thorn­tons So­lic­i­tors.

Many parts of Scot­land have be­come fa­mil­iar through use in film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions.

Out­lander has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to tourist foot­fall at places like Falk­land and Doune Cas­tle and nat­u­rally beau­ti­ful places such as Skye are reg­u­larly used for film­ing.

Ur­ban land­scapes are in de­mand too. Glas­gow city cen­tre’s Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­ture saw it used as a re­cre­ation of early 20th Cen­tury USA in Pa­trick Mel­rose last year.

Use of a site for film­ing is nor­mally gov­erned by a lo­ca­tion agree­ment en­tered into by the landowner and a pro­duc­tion com­pany.

These are com­monly en­tered into with ex­cite­ment and en­thu­si­asm but there are some is­sues which typ­i­cally need to be con­sid­ered.

Prac­ti­cal mat­ters in­clude: Film­ing can in­volve a lot more kit and peo­ple than is vis­i­ble on-screen; it in­volves long days and may re­quire shoot­ing in hours of dark­ness or at odd times of day; ve­hi­cles, cater­ing and other equip­ment may need to be brought on site and stored there for some time; and power, wa­ter and other fa­cil­i­ties will need to be ac­cessed or sup­plied.

Pay­ment is usu­ally ne­go­tiable, but for any kind of in­tru­sive film­ing usu­ally an ac­cess fee is agreed.

This ought to take ac­count of the de­gree of dis­rup­tion, in­con­ve­nience and any ac­tual cost in­curred in mak­ing the lo­ca­tion avail­able.

A check whether bring­ing film pro­duc­tion on site will af­fect ex­ist­ing in­surance ar­range­ments for the lo­ca­tion and if ad­di­tional cov­er­age is re­quired.

There is of­ten a need to mod­ify the lo­ca­tion, for ex­am­ple to cre­ate a pe­riod ap­pear­ance, and these will need to be set up and re­moved on com­ple­tion.

Usu­ally, the pro­duc­tion com­pany will ex­pect a right to make these changes sub­ject to them be­ing tem­po­rary in na­ture and be­ing re­in­stated af­ter­wards.

Where com­mer­cial rates are paid for ac­cess to the site, it’s likely use of the fa­cil­i­ties will be re­quired on an ex­clu­sive ba­sis. This means reg­u­lar work­ings must stop and the ef­fect of this needs to be con­sid­ered.

If the pub­lic right to roam is go­ing to be im­pacted, lo­cal au­thor­ity con­sent may be re­quired.

Pro­duc­ers of­ten op­er­ate on very tight bud­gets and timescales, and agree­ments will nor­mally pro­vide for ar­range­ments to be made to ad­just sched­ules and ac­cess times, usu­ally by agree­ment.

You also need to con­sider rep­u­ta­tional mat­ters. Own­er­ship or con­trol of a film­ing lo­ca­tion does not pro­vide any right to con­trol the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty in the film ma­te­rial pro­duced.

The lo­ca­tion may be por­trayed en­tirely fic­ti­tiously or rep­re­sented as a com­pletely dif­fer­ent place – such as the west end of Glas­gow be­ing passed off as 1940s Bos­ton in Out­lander.

If this is of con­cern be­cause, for ex­am­ple, you don’t want one of your out­build­ings to fea­ture as the scene of a grisly mur­der, it is worth find­ing out what is likely to be filmed on site be­fore agree­ing to per­mit film­ing.

It’s not nor­mally pos­si­ble to ex­pect any form of ed­i­to­rial or man­age­ment con­trol over the re­sult­ing con­tent.

Con­fi­den­tial­ity needs to be taken into ac­count as legally-bind­ing com­mit­ments to keep con­fi­den­tial shoot dates, any cre­ative de­tails and pos­si­bly block off cer­tain sight lines from pho­tog­ra­phers are com­monly re­quired.

Even if they are not, a de­gree of dis­cre­tion is gen­er­ally ex­pected.

There may also be re­stric­tions on pub­li­cis­ing the lo­ca­tion or the use of the film­ing site dur­ing the film­ing pe­riod or an on­go­ing ba­sis.

It is rea­son­able to ask for a spe­cific men­tion in cred­its, al­though this would usu­ally be made any­way.

With im­prove­ments be­ing made in the qual­ity of in­door pro­duc­tion stu­dios and fa­cil­i­ties in Scot­land, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a ma­jor film stu­dio be­ing con­structed, the value of our ur­ban and ru­ral land­scapes as film­ing lo­ca­tions is in­creas­ing and it is likely this will con­tinue in com­ing years.

If the pub­lic right to roam is go­ing to be im­pacted, lo­cal au­thor­ity con­sent may be re­quired

Doune Cas­tle has fea­tured in the hit TV se­ries, Out­lander.

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