Airbnb and short-term rental property owners have felt the devastating effects of travelling coming to a standstill due to Covid-19.
In Singapore, many have been choosing to limit travel, and the government too has put restrictions on short-term rentals.
Founded in 2019, Filmplace aims to give Airbnb spaces a new lease of life.
It is the first marketplace platform that allows homeowners in Singapore to monetise their homes by renting it out as filming locations.
Resolving Pain Points Of The Global Media Industry
Founder Lincoln Lin is an award-winning filmmaker who has won multiple awards in Mumbai International Film Festival 2014 and the Singapore World International Film Festival 2016 for his directing and cinematography.
The 27-year-old directed Our Time (a Korean short film) and was responsible for the cinematography of the official music video of Long Long Time Ago 2 by famed Singaporean director Jack Neo.
He has also directed, produced, and edited for over six different YouTube channels, as well as worked with big brands and events such as Sony, National Day Parade 2016 and Google Inc.
With close to 10 years of experience in the film industry and as the owner of a production company, he has personally experienced the problem of sourcing for locations.
According to Lincoln, this is a common problem faced by the global media industry.
Everyone’s trying to secure a filming location at the lowest cost with minimal resources within the shortest timeframe, but the industry is still using a very archaic way of sourcing for locations to shoot.
Currently, production companies need to hire a location manager who costs US$300 to US$500 per day to nail down a couple of locations.
The companies will then need to recce the locations, so it is very labour-intensive and manual.
– Lincoln Lin, founder and CEO of Filmplace
Traditionally, the location manager takes four to seven days to scout a location. There is no fixed price, the catalogues are outdated, and multiple risks such as unsecured payment transactions are involved.
This is what inspired Lincoln to develop an efficient and secured platform to help production companies better source for locations.
Airbnb For The Media Industry
Instead of booking a space for accommodation, Filmplace allows users — mainly brands, film companies, and influencers — to source for film locations globally within minutes instead of spending days with a fixer or location manager.
Lincoln explained that it’s really easy to list your space or home at Filmplace.
Interested hosts can sign up and provide as much information of the location as possible, such as uploading photos and pricing.
The team will then verify the details that have been submitted. Once verification is done, the listing will go live on the site.
With so many idle Airbnb homes and short-term rental spaces, owners can now find an alternative use for their spaces.
Essentially, the platform helps venue owners earn an additional source of passive income by monetising their existing space.
A quick search for a location in Singapore this weekend shows prices from as low as US$15 (S$20) an hour for a meeting room at MOX, Katong Point to as high as US$7,500 an hour for a Royal Albatross luxury ship.
Meanwhile, a five-room HDB flat in Singapore is available for rent from as US$18.75 (S$25) an hour, and the rental rate for a living room of a well-furnished condo is priced at US$290 (S$380) an hour.
They can earn much more through Filmplace by hosting their venue, home or rooms that can earn US$500 to US$2,000 for a month.
In general, Airbnb rental typically costs about US$50 to US$80 per night, whereas in Filmplace, you can typically earn US$800 per 10 hours.
– Lincoln Lin, founder and CEO of Filmplace
Service fees range from nine to 12 per cent, depending on whether you are a Regular Host or Pro Host.
Lincoln added that they receive tens to hundreds of booking enquiries on a daily basis, and have helped locals earn thousands of dollars a month.
Rapidly Expanding Despite The COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to Covid-19, large-scale film productions have been put on hold around the world.
Singapore too has implemented a limit in personnel count. As a result, smaller productions are still able to continue, provided that safe distancing measures are observed.
This is one of the reasons why Filmplace expanded to four markets during the pandemic. It also started listing locations on the platform that is suitable for smaller-scale productions.
Although Filmplace is still on the beta launch phase, they have already attracted more than 1,600 users onto their platform over the past year, with more than 400 locations listed globally on their marketplace.
They have also raised close to S$300,000 in a pre-seed funding round to further grow their business.
According to Filmplace, these funds will go towards facilitating their entry into the United Kingdom and United States markets, growing their current market portfolio of Malaysia, Taiwan, India, and South Korea.
They are planning to officially launch their public beta version soon, updated with features that cater to the Covid-19 situation such as having disinfectant services before and after filming.
They are also planning to roll out a mobile app soon to better serve their clients, affirmed Lincoln.
Featured Image Credit: Filmplace