Shooting Inside a Hotel Room.

For my next film, there will be one day on which we shoot inside a hotel suite (living room and bedroom).

I've contacted a number of hotels and explained that we're an independent production that needs to shoot inside a hotel room and asked if the hotel would have any objections. But, in most cases, the person who I was told would need to make such a decision was unavailable or never returned calls or email messages. One of the managers I spoke with seemed as if he would agree but somewhat begrudgingly; another hotel treated it essentially as just another reservation.

I'm still concerned that, perhaps I should tell the hotel we'll be shooting, albeit only within the room I'm renting, so there won't be any potential questions — when our equipment or crew arrives, for instance.

But, for the moment I'm thinking of just booking a suite, like I would any hotel room when traveling, and not mentioning anything about the shoot. Then, on the day of the shoot, I would have a skeleton cast and crew totaling eight people and not too many lights and instruct everyone to be as quiet as possible at all times. It seems to me that, if I'm renting the room I should be able to do anything within its confines as long as it does not a interfere with other guests, damage property, violate the law, etc.

What's the best approach to take re: informing the hotel or not? I would especially like responses from those who have shot within such locations/situations.
 
They have the right to kick you out even if you've done nothing wrong. But I would still recommend using a tiny crew and doing it under the radar. You could even do it in an inherently loud city like Las Vegas, then even if you guys are not quiet, there's dozens of louder patries going on in rooms all around you.

Just be respectful and keep everything on the downlow and you'll be fine. Also, keep in mind that you won't have the rights to use any of the artwork that comes with the room.
 
i am guessing you dont have a location manager.

you need to approach the management in a professional manner.

a face to face meeting with a copy of the script and all relevant documents including insurance
coverage. ( damage and public liability). previous work etc.

they need to see and be confident you are legit and responsible and not just making a porno.

i would not try doing it without telling them. it will be obvious what you are doing and if they
object and kick you out (which is their right) halfway through a scene it will all be wasted.

cheers
 
I just completed a shoot in a motel room and we just rented a room. I just told them we will be making a movie inside. Porno or no porno - I don't think they wouldn't care, as long as you're not destroying their crap.

I even asked to borrow their towel basket for the shoot and they were cool with it. No permits, no insurance, no hassle. We had a small team of 5 people, shooting inside the motel and outside for 3 hours.
 
They have the right to kick you out even if you've done nothing wrong. But I would still recommend using a tiny crew and doing it under the radar. You could even do it in an inherently loud city like Las Vegas, then even if you guys are not quiet, there's dozens of louder patries going on in rooms all around you.

Just be respectful and keep everything on the downlow and you'll be fine. Also, keep in mind that you won't have the rights to use any of the artwork that comes with the room.

Thanks for the tip about the artwork. We may need to remove or cover those temporarily. And of course, we'll be careful to not show anything that identifies the hotel or any other intellectual property, branding, etc.

The environment can't be too loud, since we have to record important dialogue.
 
i am guessing you dont have a location manager.

you need to approach the management in a professional manner.

a face to face meeting with a copy of the script and all relevant documents including insurance
coverage. ( damage and public liability). previous work etc.

they need to see and be confident you are legit and responsible and not just making a porno.

i would not try doing it without telling them. it will be obvious what you are doing and if they
object and kick you out (which is their right) halfway through a scene it will all be wasted.

cheers

Our crew is tiny and there's no one who is a dedicated location manager. As I wrote, I did call to try to speak with public affairs directors and hotel managers.

In any case, I did make a reservation for a suite. I think, now that I've done that, I'll speak, in person, with the manager or other appropriate administrator of the hotel and tell them my intent to film in the room, just to make sure they have no objection. The shoot date is still about three weeks away so, in the worst case scenario — they are against the idea — there's still time to find somewhere else.
 
So, I spoke with the director of guest services, who also spoke with his superiors about the issue and they've approved for us to shoot in the hotel. We just can't use any items that would identify the hotel (stationery or other material with logos, etc.). Also, the same contact I spoke with today is scheduled to work in the hotel on the day of our shoot. So, there should be no problem.
 
I'm curious about how this went.

I have a short film that I've written about a pop star who confronts a stalker by luring him to her hotel room. I'm either going to have to find an agreeable hotel or find a friend who has a place that really closely resembles a hotel. Neither sounds easy.

Until then I'll pursue writing some scripts for locations I can get a little more easily. ;)
 
You can check with the film bureau for assistance. I haven't checked for a while, but in Ma. there were companies that listed different items for filmmakers and there might be locations. You can also check with fellow filmmakers in your area to see if they know of any.
 
You can check with the film bureau for assistance. I haven't checked for a while, but in Ma. there were companies that listed different items for filmmakers and there might be locations. You can also check with fellow filmmakers in your area to see if they know of any.

Thanks! I'm not sure what kind of $$ that will run me, but it certainly can't hurt to look in to it.
 
I don't know where you are located, but Endicott College in Beverly has a hotel. They teach video production. They might be able to be approached about something like this.
 
So, I spoke with the director of guest services, who also spoke with his superiors about the issue and they've approved for us to shoot in the hotel. We just can't use any items that would identify the hotel (stationery or other material with logos, etc.). Also, the same contact I spoke with today is scheduled to work in the hotel on the day of our shoot. So, there should be no problem.

Excellent! I'm glad to know you got it worked out. You got your question answered in exactly the way I was going to respond -- for me the biggest concern (besides not being disruptive to other hotel guests) is that you'd want to make sure that nothing is identifiable (with or without their explicit permission).

One thing I might add -- I think you should expect for the shoot to take longer than normal, seeing as how you won't be able to control the noises around you.

Hope it goes well!
 
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