August 5, 2016

Altadena's new Filming Committee

Altadena now has an Altadena Filming Committee.

The committee was formed last spring when Town Council Chairwoman, Diane Marcussen invited Anne Chomyn (chair), Pat Sutherlan, Janet Lee and Kenny Meyer to participate. Anne Chomyn (CT 4601), Pat Sutherlan (4611) and Jennifer Lee (CT 4612) are members of the Town Council. The committee plans to recruit members of the community on an ad hoc basis to help out on specific items.

The committee held its first meeting on June 15 at the Altadena Community Center. The meeting was attended by representatives of Supervisor Antonovich's Office, Department of Public Works, The Sheriff's Department, The California Highway Patrol and FilmLA.

Altadena Filming Committee welcomes representatives from state, county, community, and  FilmLA.
From Center Top, clockwise around the table: Daniel Harlow, Sussy Nemer, Barbara Childers, Edel Vizcarra, Jennifer Lee, Greg Graham, Officer Rich Vega, Anne Chomyn, Sgt. Earnie Amaya, Officer Michael Ulloa, Sgt. Waterman, Officer Kristi Cardoza, Jennifer Morelos, Arturo PiƱa, Patricia Sutherlen
After a round of introductions, Anne Chomyn opened the discussion by describing the committee's initial goals as follows:
  1. Work with LACO agencies to help resolve filming-related problems
  2. Work with FilmLA and Altadena neighbors to help promote fairness in frequently used areas
The main topic of the meeting was FilmLA's filming permitting process. Jennifer Morales, FilmLA's Manager of Permit Operations provided a detailed description of FilmLA's overall organization and the part each division plays in the permitting process. FilmLA's Arturo Pina (our local representative) filled in valuable fine points.

The last portion of the meeting was devoted to questions about the enforcement of permit conditions. Sgt Waterman of the Altadena Sheriff and Officer Kristi Cardoza of the CHP provided an overview of the role of the on-site officer and how he or she is selected for a specific assignment.

Anne Chomyn closed the meeting with an announcement of the plans for future meetings. The committee will convene monthly to address any issues that arise. In addition, the committee will conduct quarterly consultative meetings and public meetings. The consultative meetings will be focused on topic and will include representatives of the various county services as well as community members. The public meetings will provide an information exchange forum for the discussion and resolution of filming topics of interest to the community.

The topic of the next meeting: traffic and parking. The committee plans to meet with representatives of LACO Public Works.

As a final note, Anne Chomyn said she would invite inputs for items of interest from any member of the entire Altadena community. You can reach Anne Chomyn or any member of the Altadena Filming Committee at committee's email address:

The meeting minutes are available online at the Altadena Town Council Website

August 4, 2016

Q2 Report: The Business is good in LA

Today's posting has been salvaged from the neglected pile of things that once-seemed-interesting to dredge up this tidbit of YESTERDAY'S NEWS TODAY.

According to a once recent report from FilmLA, the film BIZ is really hopping in LA County. The credit for the boom in business goes to Governor Brown's generous $1.55B Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0.
The smattering of readers who follow along here might recall an earlier post where it was suggested that a more descriptive name for the Governor's Program might be "Film/Television Tax Credit and Accountant Full-Employment Program." Back to yesterday's news..)
from the FilmLA Report (7/12/2016):
"Feature Film Production on the Increase in Los Angeles"
Way back on July 12th, FilmLA reported that there were nearly 10,000 on-location shooting days between April Fool's Day and July 4th--otherwise know as Q2. That's up about 6% from Q2 2015. Not quite up to the Q1 2016 bonanza when production was up 10% from 2015, but still impressive. Overall for 2016, FilmLA reports there have been nearly 20,000 shoot days in Los Angeles County during 2016.

If you're like me, the temptation to extrapolate from these figures is irresistible.

Consider this: the FilmLA data only includes data for LA City, LA County and a handful of other municipalities in the county. Let's say if we included on-location shoots for places like South Pasadena, Pasadena, La Canada, Glendale, Burbank and Monrovia, and added a very modest 10% to the total. In that case, we could estimate about 44,000 on-location shoot days in LA County for 2016. And, if you knock off a couple weeks for the Christmas holidays, that's nearly 900 shooting days per week or roughly 180 on-location shoots happening in LA County on a typical day.

While that's a sizable number, your chances of encountering a film shoot while running errands remains small. According to the infallible Wikipedia, there's about 4,000 square miles of land in LA County. All things being equal (which they never are) that suggests one shoot per every 22 square miles. You probably have a better chance of seeing a Delorean.

Apparently, the biggest growth in on-location shoot days was in feature production and TV pilots. Although the LA Times reports that LA's overall share of TV pilots is shrinking, that is not really worrisome since the production pie is getting bigger and the number of jobs is increasing.

However, if you happen to be a reality TV fan, the news isn't so good. Reality TV on-location shoot days is down over 8%. (That probably means that we aren't going to see "The Real Neighbors of Altadena" produced any time soon.)

According to the FilmLA press release, the main reason for this overall growth is the Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0. They claim it's only the start. Paul Audley, President of FilmLA, touts that “We expect these production increases to continue until the state’s incentive reaches full utilization.” In other words there still plenty of credits left in the kitty.

So who's getting in on the State's largess? Easy enough to find out. The California Film Commission has published the list of 28 winners who successfully competed for $109 million jackpot in tax credits. If the proceeds were split evenly, that would be about $4 million a piece.

Interestingly, nearly two-thirds are "non-independent" productions — meaning the budgets are greater than $10M and more than 25% of the production company is owned by a publicly traded company, like Disney. The Biggies are are winning out over the Indies.

Speaking of Disney: "A Wrinkle in Time" (a Disney production listed as Tesseract) was a tax-credit winner. "Wrinkle" is supposed to generate 400 jobs and $44 million in wages. Not a bad return for a $4 million dollar tax gimme.

From California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0 Gains First $100 Million-Plus Feature
California Film Commission Press Release (8/2/16)