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Rules to Live By, When Your Home Lands a Starring Role

Los Angeles Times  Saturday April 14, 2001
Home Edition  Calendar  Part F  Page 18  Entertainment Desk
7 inches;  245 words | Type of Material: Sidebar

   Each year, film, TV and advertising production companies spend an
estimated $500 million for location expenses in L.A., says Entertainment
Industry Development Corp. spokesman Morrie Goldman.

   If you want to promote your residence or place of business, the
company provides a free how-to booklet titled "Make Your Property a
Star," which you can obtain by calling (323) 957-1000, or logging on to and clicking on "public information."

   Should Hollywood come knocking at your door, here's what to look out
for, according to Russ Fega, location manager for "I Am Sam."

   * Realize that the location manager takes care of whatever happens, so
ask for references beforehand. I didn't, only to return to my "restored"
apartment the day after the shooting to find nearly everything still in
packing boxes and my TV and stereo unhooked amid a maze of wires. A call
to Fega resulted in two crew members coming over and restoring my
apartment within 24 hours. A less reputable individual could easily have
left me hanging.

   * Many companies will pay you in full when you sign the contract. In
my case, the company's travel agent asked me for a list of my preferred
local hotels and then booked and charged the hotel rooms directly to the
company. I paid for meals, drinks and other incidentals, and was
reimbursed within a few days by the production company.

   * If you own your property, ask for a copy of the production company's
insurance certificate and make sure you are free of liability should,
say, a crew member trip in your home. (I'm a tenant in a rental building;
my landlord got that certificate.)

   * Ask for a deposit to cover breakable items. Should no major damage
occur (none did in my case), be prepared to refund the deposit, usually
within five days.


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