Location Shooting Process Would Be Standardized Under Plan

Cities, counties urged to adopt California Film Commission guidelines under plan endorsed by L.A. Economic Development Corp., FilmL.A.

Southern California cities and counties would streamline and make uniform guidelines for on-location shoots, under a new plan put forward Wednesday by state and regional agencies.

The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC), non-profit permitting agency FilmL.A. and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) said the program's intent is to help stem the region's production losses.

Also read: L.A. Pilot Permit Fee Waiver Proposal Comes at Tough Time

SCAG is urging its 191 member cities and six counties to adopt a version of the California Film Commission's Model Film Ordinance and Best Practices, so that they can be more film-friendly for feature, TV and commercials producers.

The groups hope to "send a clear and loud message that filming is welcome and will always have a home in Southern California,” said LAEDC CEO and President Bill Allen.

The entertainment industry accounts for 176,700 jobs and $30 billion in spending in the Southern California region, according to the organization.

California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch said "this region has more experience and know-how than anywhere in the world when it comes to managing film and TV production, and it's simply good policy for local governments to follow established best practices."

Also read: Movies, Commercials Offset Continued Slide in TV Filming in L.A.

The guidelines, revised by the California Film Commission in May, include:

>>Eliminating business license requirement for film productions;
>>Adjusting the film permit structure to a weekly rate of $650 for the first week and $500 thereafter;
>>Reducing the advanced notice requirements from two weeks to five days;
>>Requiring law enforcement on an as-needed basis only;
>>Reducing the radius required to notify businesses and residents of filming from 500 feet to 300 feet;
>>Reducing the radius required to survey businesses and residents of filming for extended hours from 500 feet to 300 feet.

Several cities, including Carson, Simi Valley and Duarte have already taken steps to revise their ordinances in accordance with the commission's guidelines.

“One of the constant refrains I hear from filmmakers is the need for predictability and uniformity in the film permit process, said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley. The adoption of the plan "will help urge local communities and county governments to work within a framework of policies that can create a region that is attractive to the Industry. The much-needed economic benefits from increased film spending and getting more cast and crew back to work will be substantial as a result.”