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March 13, 2017

Altadena Filming Committee met with Local Film Production Professionals

The Altadena Filming Committee has recently release meeting notes from a session they held with a group of local film production professionals. The meeting notes are available on the Altadena Town Council web site.

The meeting was held it this past December. It is one in a series of consultative meetings the Committee is holding to get a better understanding of how the County manages the film permitting process as well as capture the questions and concerns that Altadeneans have about filming in the community.

The Committee posed the following questions to our local production pros:
  • In your view, what makes Altadena an attractive location for film shoots? In a related
    question: why is Altadena considered “film-friendly?”
  • What, if anything, might you suggest that would make Altadena a more popular filming location?
  • What, if anything, might you suggest to production companies to that might encourage neighbors to welcome a film shoot?
  • What, if anything, might you suggest, that would encourage film companies to patronize local businesses?
  • How might the film industry avoid overuse of some locations?
  • What, if anything, might you suggest to a community member who hosts film shoots?
  • If there happens to be a legitimate problem like a violation of a permit condition, what actions would you suggest for a concerned community member?
  • What are the most common problems caused by uncooperative neighbors? What remedies have you used in these cases?

The responses of our local film professionas, as captured in the minutes, were quite candid.

They explained why Altadena is a great place to work. They discussed a strong desire to make filming a positive experience. There was a genuine desire to be responsive to neighbor concerns in order to leave a welcoming neighborhood for the next shoot. They discussed the benefits and drawbacks for distributing payments as a means of obtaining neighborhood support. They expressed frustration at the negative impressions created by a crew that violates permit conditions like parking on area streets instead of at a base camp. The expressed concerns about the negative effects of overuse. They expressed frustration with the services provided by on-site law officers and pointed out how LA County enforcement compared unfavorably with LA City enforcement. They also offered constructive suggestions for addressing the concerns felt by some Altadeneans .

On balance the views expressed by our local film pros were balanced and expressed a strong desire for creating a positive and fair filming environment in our community. Click here to see the full meeting notes.

March 3, 2017

Altadena Town Hall: Filming in Altadena

The Altadena Filming Committee convened a Town Hall Meeting this past week at the Altadena Community Center. Over hundred Altadeneans turned out to ask questions and express concerns to expert panel about filming in the community.

The panel included a location manager and an experienced filming host as well as spokespersons from LA County services including FilmLA, LA County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and the Department of the Public works. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Supervisor Barger's office.

The Altadena Filming Committee Chairwoman, Anne Chomyn, convened the meeting. Each panelist then made a brief presentation describing their role in on-location film shoots. The panel presentations were followed by audience questions and an open-floor discussion. Some attendees expressed supportive views about the benefits of filming. Others raised concerns, some very challenging, about a number of topics including permit enforcement, parking, traffic control and overuse. The panelists did their best to field these questions and concerns. On occasion the panel's answers did not satisfy some in the audience and the exchange of ideas became heated. As a result, the better part of the meeting was devoted to concerns. It's likely that a number of views supportive of filming were not expressed.

On balance the meeting was constructive.  Several panelist made it clear that they had a better idea of concerns that Altadeneans have about filming in the community. The also encouraged anyone with a question or issue to contact them. The method for providing that contact information was not discussed.

At the close of the meeting Chairwoman Chomyn, said the Altadena Filming Committee had obtained new information and that the committee will be discussing next steps.

You can reach the Altadena Filming Committee at