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Quinn Brabender

Shooting in a hotel/motel

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Hey all,


New to the forums but I've found a lot of great stuff here.


Next week I'm shooting an extremely low budget music video (we're working with like $100). The main part of the video involves the musicians sitting in an old hotel/motel room. There's a plethora of places around town to shoot at for relatively cheap, but I'm curious if anyone else has done this before and if it caused any issues.


The main issue I'm worried about is noise and light. The setting takes place early morning, so I want to shoot a 1k through the outside window of the motel room to simulate an early morning look. Firstly, will a motel room circuit be able to handle powering a 1k? And secondly, do you think it's better for me to try and clear this with the motel management or just start shooting and hope no one cares. It'll probably take 3-4 hours of shooting, and I'm looking to shoot from about 9pm-1am. Also, we will be as quiet as possible, but we still have to have song playback...


I'm just newly out of college so I dont own my own business or have insurance...



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If it's a normal, modern hotel, then a 1K should be fine to plug in. Rather than pay for a room and try to shoot stealth, I'd simply ask permission to shoot something quickly and offer to cover a full nights stay even though no one will be there past 1. Then at least they feel they're being compensated for what you're doing. Might work.

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Like Adrian said, I would stick with the small locally owned places, I've had luck shooting at those and just paying for a day. I think the large franchises would probably want insurance and stuff, and would most likely have to run it through their whole corporate chain. I would definitely run it past the owners. Even if you didn't have a 1K out the window, you'd probably raise an eyebrow when 5 or 6 people shuffle into one room with a bunch of gear. Also, you don't want to get an hour in and then get kicked out and you'd still have to find another place. It's kind of funny, the last time I shot at one of these, my biggest concern was reassuring the owner, "no, really, we're not doing porn."

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