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updated 8/16/2006 2:23:17 PM ET 2006-08-16T18:23:17

As the love scene heated up and sparks began to fly, Richard Pettler turned to his wife and whispered, "The nerve of these people, [being intimate] in our living room without our permission!"

Pettler's ire was as fictional as the romance. The Berkeley, Calif., resident had turned over his home to the cast and crew of a film—"Bee Season," starring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche—for three days. And like other owners who let their homes be used for movie and television shoots, Pettler was being compensated handsomely for allowing actors to intrude.

As is often the case, Pettler had been approached by a location manager—Rory Enke, in this instance—eager to use his house. Of the nearly 100 locations being considered for "Bee Season," Pettler's home meshed best with the director's detailed vision.

"The environment is very often as defining to the characters in a story as what they're wearing and what they look like," Enke explains.

For this reason, production companies are willing to pay fees of $1,000 to $15,000 per day, depending on a film's budget, the length of a shoot and the type of home being used—not to mention the homeowner's negotiating skills.

But for Matt Leffers, a San Francisco resident who opened his home up to the crew of Reese Witherspoon's "Just Like Heaven," quibbling felt foolish.

"When Rory [the film's location manager] came over, I was all ready to negotiate," he recalls. "But then he made me an offer—$2,500 a day—and I nearly fell off my chair. For that much, I said I'll bring doughnuts every morning and give backrubs to anyone who wants one."

Though neither his catering nor his massage skills were necessary, Leffers was forced to give over something else: his privacy. No matter how large the location fee may be, turning over your home to a film's cast and crew can—or rather, will—be intrusive.

"Having 100 people in your house and everything you own there to be knocked down by lighting and what have you is something that you have to think about," explains Kohle Yohannan, whose home played a role in the 2003 Julia Roberts flick "Mona Lisa Smile." "With 100-plus people, you have to be ready to make it their house."

Debbie Regan, president of New York-based Debbie Regan Locations, adds, "If you're the type of person who is driven crazy by a plumber coming in to fix a leak, you should forget about a film shoot!"

But with the invasion comes perks that extend beyond the giant paycheck.

Among them, a necessary cleaning, and sometimes a fix-up as well. Film companies try to leave a home in the same condition as they found it—or better, depending on the needs of the production. The latter, which will occur only with the homeowner's permission, may entail anything from a fresh coat of paint to a landscaping overhaul.

"We had done substantial renovations to the whole house, but the one thing we hadn't done yet was the interior—the painting, floors and all that," explains Pettler, whose home was featured in Bee Season. "So, we figured, What better timing?"

And while the flood of cars, cast and crew that come along with a shoot can be a temporary inconvenience to the neighborhood, a film can also be a financial boon for an entire community, as well as the state at large. Local businesses such as caterers, restaurants and hardware stores benefit from the influx of clientele and service needs—not to mention the number of residents employed by the entertainment industry who suddenly have work.

"It's almost like a civic responsibility to do it," says Bill Rauch, who opened up his Beaufort, S.C., mansion to the cast and crew of "Forces of Nature," starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock.

One good experience can (and often does) lead to another for homeowners. Through word-of-mouth, a popular channel in the scouting business, a property can quickly find itself in demand. Since Leffers’ San Francisco Victorian debuted in "Just Like Heaven," he has been approached by several other scouts. The home has been used for a variety of shoots, including advertisements for Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Victoria Secret's Pink line.

"Just by renting out our house for little things here and there, we've basically made the mortgage payments for a couple of years," he says.

Want to get a leg up on your competition? List your home with your local film commission as well as with location agencies. These agencies will aggressively promote your property, in exchange for a cut of 10 to 30 percent of the shooting fee.

"It's also just the fun and allure of participating in the process of Hollywood," says Pete Brosnan, senior vice president of Los Angeles-based Hollywood Locations. "And having some nice stories to share at the block party, of course."

© 2012 Forbes.com

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