Can You Really Rent Out Your House for a Movie….seriously?

Beautiful home in a very affluent area of town,

Does this really happen…heck yes. My friend Yvette did that just last summer. She happens to live in a suburb of Toronto that is very appealing to movie makers, due to lucrative tax credits for filmmakers. And added to this, the Canadian dollar is very depressed, making it cheap for Hollywood to come a-calling.

Here’s The Story Of How Your House Can Become a set in a Movie

A few years ago in Yvette’s neighbourhood, she noticed some of her neighbours houses were being used for movie making and it seems filmmakers loved the neighbourhood.  Eventually Hollywood came knocking on her door. Yvette signed up for the possibility of having her house featured in a movie and then forgot about it.  No, that house in the picture isn’t Yvette’s.  We need to protect her privacy!

A couple of years later,  producers came calling to inquire if she was still interested, because they were scoping houses in Mississauga for a new movie starring Gerard Butler. Her house was one on the list of possibilities.

Sure, Yvette said, why not! After all, the filmmakers were picking a house from of several choices and her house had a 1 in 5 chance of being THE one. But then, guess what, after 18 people from LA flew in to inspect her house, Yvette’s house was picked as THE one.

So what did this entail? She and her family would need to move out for 3 weeks in a house rented for them for a month with the movie investors footing the bill. Her house would be transformed into the movie set, repainted and then painted back to the original colours. She could come back in to watch the movie being made and pick up things from her house, if needed.

The Headhunter’s Calling

gerard butlerThis the name of the movie, in which Gerard stars. He is a job recruiter with a family crisis. To research his role as a headhunter he met with the global recruiting firm PageGroup in New York to get the scoop on the job of a headhunter.

So Gerard Butler arrives! Yvette and her husband are European by birth and found instant rapport with Gerard who hails from Europe himself. Soon the family was inviting him to a typical European lunch at their house. He he enjoyed this simple welcoming gesture and happily engaged with the family, kids and all.

Yvette dropped by her house one day and happened to look on the monitor as the filming was taking place and she saw Gerard Butler in her bedroom and IN her bed and on HER side of the bed! What! She took a double take. Yup he was there right in her BED. And then, he gets up and goes into the master ensuite. YES in her BATHROOM, his handsome profile looking in her mirror. Now Yvette can attest that heartthrob actor Gerard Butler was in her bed and used her bathroom!

Rent Out Your Driveway for the Day

As is often the case, filmmakers need extra parking for the large crews and pay $1000/day to rent a driveway. Yvette’s neighbour said, “I don’t want the $1000 I want a picture taken with Gerard” and so that’s how she got paid for the use of her driveway.

Was all this a great experience. Heck yes. There was minor damage to the house because of all the heavy camera equipment being dragged around, but it was cleaned up and repaired quickly by the crew. And what did the movie makers pay for this 3 week rental ….well in the range of $60K. So yes, Yvette is happy to have had Gerard in her bed.

The movie “The Headhunter’s Calling” will be out in the fall of 2016. As well as Gerard in the leading role, other actors include Gretchen Mol, Allison Brie, Willem Dafoe, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher and Max Jenkins as his son, Ryan.

Elaine Slatter is a business strategist at XL Consulting Group and author of Fabulous Fempreneurship, a complete startup guide for women entrepreneurs.