Finding Housing for Your Atlanta Film Cast & Crew

Atlanta skylineIf you’ve ever worked on a major film production, you know that it’s a huge undertaking. A film production is part creative tribe and part business — and when you bring a cast and crew to shoot on location, it’s like setting up a small city. All of those people need comfortable housing, sometimes for months at a time. Atlanta is known for its hospitality for film projects, but even so, finding affordable lodging for so many people can be a real challenge. Here are some options to explore to find housing for your Atlanta cast and crew.

Corporate Housing

The first option is to work with a corporate lodging partner to arrange for your cast and crew to stay in temporary housing in Atlanta. This option works very well for productions because the lodging company handles the housing details and provides fully furnished apartments to house everyone on your team — at a fraction of the cost of booking hotels for everyone. Your cast and crew will feel more at home, which means they can stay comfortably for months at a time, if need be. In addition, quality standards remain consistent across the board because you are working with a single agent to provide housing for everyone.

The Hotel Route

Historically speaking, the “easiest” pathway to procuring temporary housing is to book hotel rooms for everyone — possibly saving money when possible by booking several crew members to a room. However, you’ll find three inherent challenges with this route:

  • Hotels are very expensive for what they offer. Few things can deplete a film budget faster than film crew housing.
  • Hotels aren’t comfortable for extended stays. Living in a hotel room isn’t like living at home — and after several weeks, this can affect the team’s overall morale.
  • Hotel availability can be unpredictable. Atlanta is a busy city with hundreds of events going on at any time. If your production is fairly large, there’s a chance you won’t find enough rooms to accommodate everyone for a long period of time.

Housing Platforms (e.g. Airbnb)

Another popular trend these days is to use Airbnb and similar platforms to find extended stay housing. This is a viable option because many people and companies use the platform to rent fully furnished homes and apartments, so it’s more likely you’ll find comfortable housing, sometimes for less than a hotel. That said, you’ll still have a few potential problems to overcome, including the following:

  • Using Airbnb can be more labor-intensive. Finding individual units for everyone on your team can be quite time-consuming — and housing everyone close together may be impossible.
  • Quality standards are inconsistent. Many users report less-than-stellar facilities and experiences with landlords.
  • The cost savings versus labor isn’t always efficient. Even if you save a few dollars over the hotels, the time involvement procuring the housing may not be worth it.

If you’re trying to find housing for your Atlanta film cast and crew, TP Corporate Lodging can help meet the need without draining your budget. To learn more, call us at 800.428.9997.


How to Find Temporary Housing for Film Production Teams

duffel bag on an extended business tripThere are a million logistics to consider when bringing a film production to film on location, but finding temporary housing for film production teams can be one of the greatest headaches you’ll face. Depending on the city, housing availability and the size of your team, you’re facing the possible prospects of premium rates to procure limited rooms, sometimes in locations that are nowhere near your set. By the time you’re done, your nerves could be fried, your bank accounts empty and your credit cards full.

But never fear; with a bit of planning, it is possible to find comfortable temporary housing for everyone on your team with a minimal amount of effort and drama. Here’s how to go about it.

Determine Your Housing Needs and Budget

Much of the stress involved with finding housing for large groups is actually self-imposed — because people didn’t plan ahead. They didn’t know exactly how many rooms they needed for the people they have, nor had they settled on a budget. Get this step done first; figure out ahead of time how many people will stay in each room or apartment — go ahead and assign roommates, if you can. Talk with your financial team to find out how much you can afford to spend on housing. Having this information on paper goes a long way toward smoothing the process.

Research the Area

Next, do a little online or in-person reconnaissance of the area near your filming location. Where are the available hotels and apartment communities in proximity to your set? Identify a few potential neighborhoods to look at. Bear in mind that your short list doesn’t have to include only areas that are geographically close to your set; you can also look along major commute arteries. As long as your crew can get to the set fairly easily, you’re in good shape.

Work with a Corporate Housing Agent, Rather than Booking Hotels Yourself

Not only are hotels extremely expensive — they may have limited availability during your stay, and they aren’t comfortable for extended stays. Save yourself a huge amount of time and stress by working with a corporate housing company who specializes in providing temporary housing. This way, you may be able to work with one agent to procure fully furnished apartments for your entire film production team, all at a fraction of the cost of booking hotels for each of them. In addition, the burden of finding the rooms is off your shoulders!

If you’re bringing a film production team to Atlanta, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange for your team to stay in fully-furnished luxury apartments convenient to your shooting site, all at affordable rates. Call us at 800.428.9997 to speak to an agent who can help with citywide locations and share their expertise of various areas.


5 Tips for Choosing Film Crew Housing

ParksideWhen you bring in a film crew on location to shoot a film, you’ve asked them to stay on for an extended length of time — for weeks or even months while production goes on. Finding comfortable film crew housing is one of the biggest challenges facing location productions, especially for low-to mid-budget projects. How do you keep your film crew comfortable without breaking your budget? Here are 5 important tips to consider when choosing film crew housing.

1. Avoid expensive hotels if possible.

Booking hotel rooms for your gaffers, grips, PAs, production designers and other crew members might be the “easiest” choice, but expensive hotels can eat up your budget quicker than you realize — plus, extended hotel stays often cause traveler fatigue over time because it can be difficult to relax. (You may also need to allocate luxury lodgings to your actors if they’ve contracted for it.) Look for less expensive and more comfortable solutions, rather than just doing the thing that seems most convenient.

2. Look for the “home away from home.”

The more of a home-like situation you can provide for your film crew, the better off they will be. They will rest better at night because at the end of a long shoot, they have all the conveniences of home. Having a stocked kitchen can help your crew do their own cooking so they can hold to their dietary requirements and stay within their budgets, and you can even house multiple people in a roommate format more easily.

3. Take amenities into account.

A little pampering never hurt anyone. Hotels often offer amenities your crew members won’t even use, but an on-site fitness center, pool or picnic areas can also help your crew blow off steam and stay healthy. One option is to find furnished apartments in luxury communities that are available for the short term. These complexes often include amenities your crew will actually appreciate.

4. Look for convenient commutes.

When it’s easy for your film crew to get to and from the set, that’s one less headache to worry about. It may or may not be possible to house them especially close to the set, but if they are housed near main arteries of the city in which you’re shooting, that’s the next best thing. Always take location into account when securing film crew housing.

5. Consider working with a corporate housing partner.

Corporate lodging companies specialize in providing comfortable, furnished luxury apartments for extended stays — all at reasonable rates. Working with this kind of partner also helps take the legwork out of finding enough quality housing for your entire crew, shaving potentially thousands off your budget and saving you many hours of time.

Here in Atlanta, which has become one of the world’s most popular hotspots for film, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange quality housing for you and your crew. To learn more, call us at 800.428.9997.


Film Production Housing: Corporate Lodging vs Hotels

Boulevard Bedroom SetProcuring affordable film production housing can be the bane of the producer’s existence. When you need to bring in film crew members in large numbers for a location shoot, the default option is to book them all in hotel rooms, but that can be exceptionally challenging on tight budgets. The good news is that hotels aren’t the only housing option available; you can also satisfy your crew’s housing needs with quality corporate lodging. Let’s look at some of the major differences between corporate lodging vs. hotels to see how they stack up.

Hotels are costly for what they offer.

Corporate lodging gives you more for the money.

With most hotels, the nightly rates are quite high compared to the space. The average hotel room is essentially a room with one or more beds, offered for nightly rates that are multiple times the cost of a rental apartment. In a word, hotels are sharply overpriced. By contrast, a corporate housing partner provides a fully furnished luxury apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, living space and room to relax. The cost: Typically less than a standard hotel room.

Hotels feel like traveling.

Corporate lodging feels like home.

After a few weeks in a stuffy hotel room, your film crew is likely to start showing signs of fatigue. They can be more irritable, less attentive and less productive. With extended stay corporate housing, your crew members have a comfortable place to live during film production — not just a place to sleep. They’ll be better rested, more productive and in better spirits on the set.

Hotels offer luxuries.

Corporate lodging offers convenience.

Many of the amenities offered at hotels are things your crew members don’t really need. They can get their meals on the set; they don’t need a shoe shine because they’re wearing work boots; etc. You pay for all those amenities regardless of whether they are used. Corporate apartments offer conveniences your crew will actually use — like swimming pools, fitness facilities and outdoor grills. Many corporate apartments are also situated near prime shopping and dining areas, so in the rare event of a day off, your crewmates are steps away from all the conveniences they need.

Here in Atlanta, TP Corporate Lodging can arrange for your film production crew to stay in comfortable, fully furnished apartments at surprisingly affordable rates. Give us a call at 800.428.9997 so we can discuss your film production housing needs.


The Employer Tax Benefits of Booking Corporate Housing

Cappuccino Living RoomIf you are an employer who needs to send employees to another city for an assignment, working with a corporate lodging company for temporary housing can create a significant tax benefit for you. In fact, by working directly with the company, your business is better able to track the accounting without having to deal with employee reimbursements, etc. Let’s take a quick look at how the tax laws affect employers who cover their employee’s living expenses for extended stays.

What Qualifies as Tax Deductible?

The government allows businesses to write off temporary employee housing as non-taxable business expenses. To qualify for this write-off, the situation basically must meet three criteria:

  1. The housing must be outside of the employee’s “tax home” — in other words, outside the city where he/she lives.
  2. The housing must be for business-related purposes. (In other words, you can’t send an employee to corporate housing on vacation and count it as a business expense. Also, it must be necessary to have the employee in close proximity to the business location for the work to be done.)
  3. The intended time frame for the temporary stay must be one year or less.

What Business Expenses May Be Deducted?

Any expenses you pay on behalf of the employee as necessary to doing business may be considered a valid deduction, the same as if you were a sole proprietor deducting those expenses for your own business travel. These may include:

  • The full cost of living expenses, including lodging and cost of utilities. (In the case of a corporate lodging agency, the utilities are frequently included with the cost of the unit.)
  • Transportation expenses — the cost of getting the employee to and from the work site.
  • One-half the cost of meals while the employee is away from home.

An Important Note

How and where you report these expenses on your company tax returns depends on how you cover the employee’s costs. If you pay for the cost of temporary housing directly on behalf your employees, you deduct it as a business expense. If the employee pays out-of-pocket and you reimburse him/her, you must include that amount as income on the employee’s W-2 form (which means he/she will also pay taxes on it).

To learn more about how working with TP Corporate Lodging can provide safe, temporary housing for your employees and significant tax benefits for your company, give us a call at 800.428.9997.


Film Industry Raises Atlanta’s Demand for Short-Term Production Housing

The film industry’s growing interest in Atlanta as a hub for production has had a profound effect on the local economy in recent years — including raising Atlanta’s demand for short-term production housing.

A recent study from Film L.A. revealed that Georgia was the number-one location for feature films in 2016, outpacing even Hollywood. (California as a state came in fourth.) As the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, Atlanta’s fiscal year 2017 saw a fiscal impact of $9.7 billion from film and TV production. Of that amount, direct spending accounted for $2.7 billion — a nearly four-fold increase in production spending compared to fiscal year 2007.

Why is Georgia’s film sector growing?

Aside from factors like mild weather and a diverse number of urban and rural backdrops, one of the biggest driving factors in this trend is the passing of generous incentives and other support legislation. The Georgia legislature and Governor Nathan Deal have expressed a strong commitment to make Georgia a production-friendly state, and the payoff is quite evident. Atlanta Business Chronicle quotes EUE/Screen Gems Studios Executive Vice President Kris Bagwell:

“Georgia is the new leader in TV and film production on the East Coast. There are jobs in the production business in almost every occupation, from cook to security guard to driver to construction. This job creates tens of thousands of well paying Georgia jobs. And it’s here to stay thanks to the pro-jobs agenda of Gov. Deal.”

Atlanta Skyline

The need for Atlanta production housing

One area that is seeing a direct impact in this increased production activity is the short-term housing market. Here are some of the reasons why the demand for short-term production housing is on the rise:

An increase in project-based production personnel.

While Atlanta’s permanent film production employee sector is indeed growing, thousands of other industry workers come into Atlanta for specific film and television projects every year, sometime staying on for months at a time.

Production staff in transition.

Given the increase in available work, many film professionals are coming to Atlanta to live and work full-time. Some of these employees work at one or more of Atlanta’s growing number of soundstage complexes like Atlanta Metro Studios, Tyler Perry Studios or EUE/Screen Gems Studios. Some are hired on for specific TV series productions (e.g., Stranger Things or The Walking Dead). Many times, these people are called in last-minute and must often relocate quickly, leaving little time to figure out a permanent situation. Thus, many of these workers seek short-term production housing in the interim.

Limited budgets.

Despite all the money seemingly flowing in from major film and TV studios, many indie projects still come to Georgia to shoot. These projects may hire industry professionals, but they don’t always have the budget to house them in expensive hotels. For these film productions, short-term corporate housing provides an excellent and cost-effective alternative.

The benefits of living at home.

Some transitional industry pros choose short-term housing simply because it makes them feel more at home than in a hotel. A fully furnished luxury apartment may offer a full range of amenities, including fitness facilities, security, close proximity to restaurants, etc. These apartments also offer fully equipped kitchens and well-appointed living spaces, so they can come back at the end of a long shoot and relax, just like they would at home.

As Atlanta continues to gain prominence as a major player in the film industry, we can expect the need for short-term production housing only to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

If you are a film professional coming into Atlanta for an extended stay, you have other options besides an expensive hotel with no place to spread out and relax. As an alternative, consider renting a fully-furnished corporate apartment while you’re in town, offering a full array of benefits at a fraction of the cost. To see what we have available for your needs, give TP Corporate Lodging a call at 800.428.9997.


U.S. and Allied Militaries Turn to TP Corporate Lodging During Training

U.S. sailors in Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida.

When men and women in the military service are in the midst of physically demanding training or a high-pressure assignment, dealing with the stress and details of a temporary move should be the last thing on their mind. And because military personnel and other government employees face certain rules and regulations regarding their accommodations, it’s important to choose a trustworthy housing partner that knows the ins and outs of these requirements. That’s where TP Corporate Lodging comes in.

Our expert housing team is proud to support the U.S. and Allied military forces with top-notch temporary housing for personnel who are undergoing training in Jacksonville, Florida.

As a major deep-water port, the city of Jacksonville contains multiple military facilities and bases. For military personnel that need to be located close to one of these facilities, TP Corporate Lodging offers many options that are just minutes away. Read about just a few of the premier Jacksonville housing complexes with which we partner. Best of all, every single one of our housing units is fully furnished and customized to meet the unique needs of governmental and military clients.

Why settle for a hotel room when you can have a home?

TP Corporate Lodging doesn’t only serve U.S. and Allied military personnel — our team also provides solutions for businesses and individuals looking for comfortable furnished corporate housing options in both Jacksonville and Atlanta.

Why is corporate lodging a better choice for business travelers than traditional hotels or an Airbnb? In addition to being an overall more affordable choice, the home-like feel of corporate housing will make tenants happier and more productive. Happy employees mean happy companies!

To learn more about our corporate lodging options for U.S. and Allied military personnel, don’t hesitate to reach out to TP Corporate Lodging by calling 800.428.9997.


10 Questions to Ask When Renting a Furnished Apartment

Renting furnished apartmentWhen you travel for an extended stay, whether for business or pleasure, renting a corporate furnished apartment can be more convenient and far less expensive than booking an extended stay hotel. However, every landlord is different and every corporate housing company is different, and you may have to ask a few questions to make sure the lodging will meet your needs. Here are 10 important questions to ask when you rent a furnished apartment.

1. Is furniture included in the rent?

Just because the ad says it’s “furnished,” that doesn’t mean the quoted rent includes the furnishings. Some companies “bait” their customers by leading with the price of an unfurnished apartment, then including the furnishings as add-on expenses. You can get past this tactic by making this your very first question. You need a furnished place, so find out what it costs with the furniture in it.

2. What furniture is included?

The word “furnished” is not a universal term. To some agencies, “furnished” means a table and chairs, bed, lamps, TV, couch and not much else. Other companies create a fully furnished apartment experience with all necessities included, even down to the decorations. Make sure the advertised price includes at least enough furnishings to make your place comfortable, pleasant and usable. Corporate Housing providers often have the ability to change out bed types to fit your need.

3. Are accessories included as part of the furnishings?

For a truly comfortable living experience, you need more than a place to sit and a place to sleep. You need plates, cooking utensils, silverware, a mop, a vacuum cleaner, bath towels, etc. If the agency doesn’t make clear that these and other accessories are included, ask. Otherwise, you may be making a run to the store to get these things yourself.

4. May I have a list of included furnishings and accessories?

Even when a company provides full furnishings and accessories, there may be still something you need that isn’t included. You’re asking this question for two reasons: a) to find out if there’s anything else you need to bring with you; and b) as an inventory so you can make sure you don’t inadvertently take something with you when you leave.

5. Is there an extra security deposit for furniture?

Again, some companies separate their rent charges and their furnishing charges; same with the security deposit. Find out the true number so there are no surprises.

6. What utilities are already included?

Most furnished apartments include utilities like phone, cable and wifi as part of the rental cost; others do not. Find out from the agency or landlord which utilities come with the apartment and which ones (if any) you’ll have to set up for yourself. Also find out what level of cable is included and if the Internet speed matches your need.

7. Is there an additional charge for utilities?

This might sound like a repetitive question for number 6, but the fact that the utilities exist in the apartment doesn’t mean they are included in the rent! Make sure before you pick up the phone that they’re not charging you for phone calls, for example.

8. Can I choose furnishings?

Most furnished apartments come pre-furnished, like a hotel suite, where what you see is what you get. In other cases, you will be given a choice of furnishings. In still other cases, the agency may be able to get you a piece of furniture you need that isn’t already included. Ask how the company handles these details.

9. Will there be pickup/delivery of furniture, and how does that work?

If your apartment is strictly pre-furnished, this question is a non-issue. If, however, you’re choosing furnishings and/or mixing and matching, it’s important to know if drivers will install and assemble pieces, or if you’ll have to do some assembly yourself.

10. Any other costs I should know about?

You’d be surprised at how many hidden fees some companies hide in their agreements. Don’t be surprised. Ask up front for all costs to be disclosed before you sign.

If you’re looking for a high quality, comfortable furnished apartment in Atlanta, Georgia or Jacksonville, Florida, TP Corporate Lodging works with some of the finest apartment communities in both cities to provide fully furnished 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments for business travelers and extended stay guests. And furnished apartments are all we do, so you know it’s included in the price! To learn more and have all your questions answered, please give us a call today at 800.428.9997.


Why Metro Atlanta relocation experts recommend corporate housing

Atlanta skylineThe TP Corporate Lodging team is thrilled to be featured in KNOWAtlanta, the premier Atlanta relocation guide for corporate executives, families, and individuals making a move to the area.

In the article, “When Hotel and Short-Term Rental Options Abound, Why Choose Corporate Housing?” Tim Miller, president and owner of TP Corporate Lodging, walks through just a few of the benefits of choosing a corporate housing provider over traditional hotel accommodations:

With the rise in popularity of short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and the range of extended-stay hotel options in a city as big as Atlanta, choosing a corporate housing provider may not be on the top of your list when considering your temporary housing options. But while you may be able to score a deal through a private rental provider, there can be drawbacks to not working with an accredited and certified housing provider. And while extended-stay accommodations may fit all your needs in the short term, the prices can quickly skyrocket.

How much do those prices skyrocket, you ask? Take a look at our cost comparison charts to see just how much money your or your corporate sponsor could save by choosing TP Corporate Lodging.

Why settle for a hotel room, when you can have a home?

Furnished temporary housing is convenient not only for relocation, but also for extended project work, medical visits, and insurance-covered displacement.

When you’re ready to start your search for furnished temporary housing in Atlanta or Jacksonville, TP Corporate Lodging can assist you in finding the perfect 1, 2 or 3-bedroom furnished apartment for your unique needs. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 800-428-9997.


Welcome Billy Cochran, TP Corporate Lodging, to the CHPA Board of Directors

Billy CochranEach year, CHPA profiles the newest members to join the Board of Directors in order to highlight their path to leadership and help members get to know them a little better. Read more about Billy Cochran of TP Corporate Lodging below. You can also contact him at the information below. In addition to now serving on the CHPA Board of Directors, Billy has dedicated many hours to several CHPA committees and task forces. He was also awarded the Individual of the Year Tower of Excellence Award in 2011.

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