Filming in Commercial Areas

While there are obvious benefits to having a production shot in our communities, merchants are often concerned about the effect the work might have on their businesses. The BC motion picture community supports compensation for those businesses that have been negatively impacted during a location shoot. If a business believes that a location shoot has resulted in lost business, and there is no separate deal with the producer, a loss of business claim should be submitted to the film production company's Location Manager. 

A claim should include proof of loss of net profits in comparison with past days of equal activity over the previous year. Other factors, such as weather and time of year, may have resulted in losses as well, and should be taken into account when assessing the production company’s impact. Download the Loss of Business form (pdf).

Production companies often buy products or services for the value of the claimed gross losses to compensate for business loss. Each production is different and the impact varies a great deal. Don’t expect that all productions working in your area will compensate at the same rate. Meanwhile, some businesses, particularly those that take appointments like hair salons and dentists’ offices, should not shut down when there is a location shoot nearby. Working with the location manager will ensure customers have access to the shop and they can address the unique needs and work to find a mutually beneficial solution. Alternative parking arrangements or valet service for customers may be options.  The name of the location manager will be on the Notification Letter, or try contacting:

or Creative BC (604) 736-7997

The best strategy for dealing with a location shoot in a commercial area is to consider it as an opportunity for both parties. Production cast and crew are generally a captive audience and require the same type of services and products that any visiting business people or local residents might need. Lots of local businesses have done well by establishing relationships with location managers and production companies who come back and use those services again and again.

For additional resources and support for business owners, please see the merchant toolkit (pdf).