How To Hire
Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker or a first-time supplier, it’s good to know how the professionals do it. These industry guidelines outline a prop hire process widely accepted as the norm, designed to help suppliers and filmmakers alike do things properly.
Suppliers should always take note of a buyer’s name and number. This person will be a freelancer working on behalf of the production company and will be their contact should they have any queries. They should also keep hold of the production company’s name and number, as well as the job reference. All this information can be recorded on a Purchase Order supplied by the buyer. Buyers will be expected to have the necessary information to hand.
A production will always arrange collection from a supplier’s premises with fully insured industry transport. Where in doubt, suppliers can take the driver’s name. The industry uses established companies, which are easily identifiable. Stills shoots will sometimes use couriers. If so, both production and supplier should obtain a reference for the booking.
Every production company has insurance, which includes cover for props. This is usually extensive due to the nature of film. For very delicate or expensive items, suppliers can request a copy of the insurance document for their own reference. For added protection, they can also request that the production company informs the insurer.
4. Loss and Damage
In the unfortunate event that a prop is lost or damaged, the production company is liable to pay the full retail price for the item. Suppliers may request an additional cheque to be held in trust for the retail value. The cheque is returned to the buyer when items are brought back in a satisfactory condition.
5. Hire Terms
Hire terms vary between percentage per day / week to a flat fee. There are also ‘buy back’ options where a film will purchase goods to be bought back at 50% at the end of a six-month shooting period. With every project requiring a diverse range of props, hire terms are different for every prop supplier and production. Budgets vary enormously: a glamorous, high profile shoot may well be produced on a shoestring. In a bid to remain competitive against growing pressure to shoot overseas, budgets are not what they once were. Due to time constraints, buyers may need to be upfront and honest with the amount they can afford.