Filming FAQ

Content
  1. A production is scheduled to film on my block and I have questions, what should I do?
  2. I am interested in breaking into the film industry. What should I do?
  3. I have been approached by a film company to use my home or business, how should I proceed?
  4. I would like to become an actor, or get my child into commercials, what should I do?
  5. What is an "extra" and how are they hired?
  6. Where can I watch a movie film on location?
  7. How can I receive a Film Resources Directory and/or Michigan Production Guide?
Q&A Item

A production is scheduled to film on my block and I have questions, what should I do?

Production companies travel with a great deal of equipment, vehicles and crew personnel. The city of Southfield will grant permits to productions to park vehicles and equipment along city streets and other public properties. 

A company representative will distribute notices to area residents prior to filming specifying any parking restrictions or traffic control associated with the production as well as a contact name and telephone number to address questions or specific needs. You may also call the Southfield Film Office at (248) 796-4161 or e-mail at rfreeman@cityofsouthfield.com.

I am interested in breaking into the film industry. What should I do?

Get involved and gain experience! Independent and student projects are often looking for volunteers. You can learn about those and other job opportunities on the Michigan Film Office Web site.

Make contacts by attending local film-related events and/or join the organizations that host such events. Classes and workshops also offer the technical training which may be necessary in film and video production. Any education and experience you acquire will assist you in this highly competitive field.

I have been approached by a film company to use my home or business, how should I proceed?

Location scouts are the production representatives who search for potential sites where films are shot. It is not uncommon for them to show up at your home or place of business to inquire about your potential participation. 

If you are interested in having your home/business used in a film production, you may call the Southfield Film Office to confirm the legitimacy of the project. The location scout will request to photograph your property and perhaps schedule return visits. These visits will include key personnel (producers, designers, cameramen, director, etc.) as the team collaborates on a decision. If your property is selected, a location manager will work with you on schedules, contracts, insurance and location fees.

If you are interested in listing your home/business for consideration of future film projects, send photographs and contact information to the Michigan Film Office.

I would like to become an actor, or get my child into commercials, what should I do?

If you would like to gain some experience in the field, you can start by listing your name at the Michigan Film Office. If you are looking for representation, you can contact talent agencies. Please be aware that with reputable agencies, you will not be charged a fee until you receive work.

What is an "extra" and how are they hired?

"Extras" are often referred to as "background" or "atmosphere." Extras are the performers who generally appear behind the scene's central action as diners at a restaurant, commuters on a train, or passersby on the street. Most feature films and television productions hire extra talent agencies to provide for these roles. Visit the Michigan Film Office to learn about new projects coming to the area. 

Where can I watch a movie film on location?

As a general rule, production companies do not publish detailed information about their locations prior to filming. Crowd control cannot only create problems for the production, but can place an additional burden on the communities in which they film.

How can I receive a Film Resources Directory and/or Michigan Production Guide?

Contact the Michigan Film Office at (800) 477-3456 or vist their Web site at www.michiganfilmoffice.org.