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Showing posts with label Annoucements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Annoucements. Show all posts

November 11, 2018

Altadena Filming Committee submits report on filming permit accountability

The Altadena Filming Committee has prepared a report addressing accountability in Los Angeles County’s filming permit approval and enforcement processes. The report was prepared in response to the issue raised most often to the Committee: the lack of accountability by County departments.

The report is the result of an 18-month committee effort reviewing the County’s official documents and interviewing the County officials and contractors responsible for filming permits. The report identifies gaps between the required duties and current practice. It concludes with findings intended to explain how accountability problems arise from those gaps and provides a set of recommendations intended to address them.

The Committee report lists the following findings:
  • The agency responsible for approving filming permit applications and assessing filming impact lacks enforcement authority and the agency with enforcement authority does not assess nor mitigate any disruptive impacts of filming.

  • The authority to regulate filming frequency is vested in a County ordinance, but no County department appears to take responsibility for enforcing the ordinance.

  • The Terms and Conditions of a filming permit provide County officials with limited options for enforcement of filming permit conditions. The choices are suspend, revoke, cancel, or amend the permit. Given the draconian nature of each option, these options are seldom applied.

  • None of the County departments was able to provide written documentation of its filming permit approval and enforcement policies. The information about permits comes from informal verbal responses that are often inconsistent.

Based on the Committee’s findings, the Committee made the following recommendations:
  • Unify the permit application evaluation and approval process into a single office.

  • Provide additional enforcement mechanisms that can be reasonably applied to enforce of filming permit conditions.

  • Require that the Permit Authority specify an on-set County representative who has been delegated the authority to enforce permit conditions.

  • Institute a program of documenting the County’s permit approval and enforcement policies.

The Filming Committee's report may be timely. According to the County's Film Liaison, Gary Smith, the County is preparing a revision to the County's filming-related ordinances. The Town Council has sent the report to Supervisor Barger with an appeal to help improve accountability on the part of the County departments.

The letter to Supervisor Barger and the Committee report are available on the Altadena Town Council Website

September 5, 2018

Altadena Filming Committee raises concerns about County CEO inputs to new filming ordinance

LA County is in the process of revising its filming ordinance. The revision was requested by the Board of Supervisors in in May 2017.

According to the County's Film Liaison, Gary Smith, "The goal of the revisions is to clarify language as it relates to enforcement of permit conditions, criteria used to approve permits, and other areas of the Code that will strengthen the County’s role in facilitating responsible filming." This could be the first major revision to the principal filming ordinance1 in nearly 30 years.

The revisions to the County code could be of special interest to Altadeneans since District 5 is the busiest filming district in the County and Altadena is the busiest filming township in District 5. (see First look: permit data for unincorporated communities in LA County)

The Town Council has recently posted correspondence between the Filming Committee and the LA County CEO about the new ordinance. In that exchange, the Committee raised issues about a letter signed by Jim Jones, the CEO's Chief Operation Officer. The Committee was concerned that this letter from the CEO might mislead the County officials who are drafting the new ordinance.

The Committee's response called out the following areas of concern:
  • The CEO's letter stated that law enforcement was required for any filming in Altadena. The committee was concerned that the authors of the new ordinance might misunderstand the CEO and conclude that the presence of a law officer was a sufficient to enforce permit conditions.

  • The CEO's letter listed criteria used for evaluating and enforcing a filming permit. Those evaluation criteria included considerations of duration, proximity, frequency and "any other criteria relevant." The Committee noted that the criteria and methods used for permit approval and enforcement were not documented and subject to being inconsistent and unfair. Consequently, the committee was concerned that these listed criteria might be mistakenly perceived to be sufficient to address known permit violations.

  • The CEO's letter stated that Community filming surveys are required when filming is requested beyond normal hours. 2 The Committee noted that Community members have raised numerous complaints that the surveys are perfunctory and unresponsive. The committee was concerned that these surveys may be mistakenly perceived as effective methods for assessing the concerns of nearby residents and businesses.
The Committee's letter concluded with a request to meet with the CEO for the purpose of drafting a follow-on memo that would prevent possible misunderstandings from influencing the draft of the new ordinance.

Gary Smith, the County's Film Liaison, responded to the Filming Committee. He pointed out that the CEO inputs were only intended to clarify current procedures. They were not recommendations. He went on to say that FilmL.A. responds to complaints in a "timely and constructive manner." He also clarified that law enforcement is not required for all filming and that Community surveys are always required when normal hours are exceeded or "the filming conditions might have detrimental impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods."

The entire correspondence between the CEO and the Altadena Filming Committee is available at

A final note of special interest: According to Mr. Smith, the draft revision of the filming ordinance will be ready fpr public comment early next month. There are supposed to be public meetings. Perhaps there will be a meeting in Altadena.

Stay tuned.

1 Chapter 2.118 - Filming Permit Coordination Office, Ord. 90-0093 § 3, 1990.)
2 Board policy 3.125 states the hours are 7a-10p.

July 28, 2018

Filming history for Altadena locations now available on the Altadena Filming Map

We have added a new feature to our Altadena filming map. Users who click on a map marker may now see a 10-year history of filming activity for the location at that marker.

Click here to expand the map
The map was generated from LA County filming permit data

Here are the steps to view the filming activity for a location
  1. Click on the marker for that location (orange or reddish color.) A legend will appear on the left with summary information about that location. A link now appears at the bottom of the legend under the title "all filming."
  2. Click on the "all filming" link. A new tab will open with a table showing the 10-year filming history for that location.
Example listing of film history at an Altadena Location

Please note: The listing capability only applies to locations with street addresses like private residences, parks and businesses. Locations are designated by orange or reddish colored markers. Currently the map does not provide the detailed listing of activity on streets and grid. Streets and grids are designated by blueish markers.

Please send along any comments, questions or suggestion for improving the map.

July 6, 2018

10 years of filming data for the LA Region now available on this site

AltadenaFilming has posted 10 years of filming data for the LA Region. The data is derived from public records and is freely available on this site.

The data was compiled from publicly available filming permits downloaded from FilmL.A.'s Online Permit System (OPS). We believe this a unique compilation of filming data for the LA Region.

The data was extracted from filming permits issued during the period from the 2nd quarter of 2008 through the 1st quarter of 2018. Over 180,000 permits were collected and analyzed. During the 10-year period, there are more that 300,000 times a Los Angeles-area location was permitted for filming.

Each record of location filming includes the following information:
  • Production company
  • Production title
  • Location manager
  • Permit number (for looking up the actual permit in OPS
  • Permit type (e.g. feature, sitcom, commercial, etc)
  • Year
  • All production dates including prep, filming and strike
  • Total production days for each production activity
  • Location address including street address, city and zip code
  • Type of location (e.g. private residence, school, park, etc.)
  • Jurisdiction (e.g. LA City or LA County)
Here's a link to a directory with filming data for the LA Region:

The data is available as either a zipped tab-delimited text file or an Excel spreadsheet.  If you download the data, please take note of the "readme", "release-information" and "errata" documents.

The data could be used for a variety of studies. For example: the history of filming at a location, the history of filming at private residence or the year-to-year variations in filming frequency for an area zip code. AltadenaFilming used the data to create a filming frequency map of Altadena.

The data was collected as part of project to estimate the amount of untaxed, film-rental income in the Los Angeles region. For an account of how the data was acquired see

AltadenaFilming provides other data sets as well.  To see the complete collection check our our "Filming data" page.

June 25, 2018

Altadena filming frequency map

AltadenaFilming has posted a new map that charts a 10-year history of filming frequency in Altadena and the unincorporated neighborhoods in adjacent zip codes. The data for the map was derived from filming permits issued by LA County's filming permit service, FilmL.A.

The map illustrates two types of filming activity: filming at individual locations and filming on area streets and grids. Scaled location markers are used to show varying levels of filming activity.

For more information about the map see Altadena Filming Frequency Map in the "AF Resources" menu.

Click here to expand the map.

Coming this Fall: The Altadena Filming Frequency Map will be upgraded. Each location will include a clickable link that displays the history of permitted productions that occurred at each location.

For an account of how the data was acquired see

The source data for the map is available at

February 26, 2018

Altadena Filming Committee posts a filming FAQ

The Altadena Town Council's Filming Committee has posted a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) document about filming in Altadena.

The FAQ provides Altadena Council members, neighbors and businesses a reference for how LA County runs its filming permit policies and processes. The FAQ also provides advice for those who may have concerns about a filming in their area.

The Altadena filming FAQ is the first document of its kind in the LA County. Until now there has not been a publicly available document that details how LA County manages and enforces filming permits.

Click here to accesses the FAQ.

The FAQ was prepared with information gathered from a year-long series of meetings with Los Angeles County officials. According to Anne Chomyn, Filming Committee Chair, the committee is continuing its work. "We will be updating the FAQ periodically as more information about location filming comes in."

The FAQ includes information on the following topics:
  • Who approves permits?
  • Are there any limits on filming?
  • What are permitted conditions and how are they enforced?
  • Who has access to the filming permit?
  • Are there Special Filming Conditions for Altadena?
  • Who gets notified about a film shoot?
  • What's the role of onsite law enforcement?
There's also a contact list for County officials who play a role in the film permitting and enforcement process.

It is recommended that anyone with questions should check the website for the latest version of the document.

July 28, 2017

Altadena Heritage partners with

We are very pleased to announce a new partnership between Altadena Heritage and

Current Household and Patron members of Altadena Heritage who wish to list their property as a prospective location for a film shoot are eligible for a complimentary listing on the listing page: "Neighbors who would like to host a film shoot."

One of Altadena Heritage’s missions is to support the cultural and architectural preservation in Altadena. A goal of AltadenaFilming is to encourage contributions and participation in local non-profits while supporting the film industry's potential contribution to our local economy. Working together we can provide a mutually beneficial outcome of boosting Altadena’s economic viability while preserving its small-town environment.

There is only one qualification for listing your property: make a contribution to Altadena Heritage. Every request for a listing from a contributor to Altadena Heritage will be accepted. Each listing is covered by annual dues and will appear on the AlatadenaFilming for a year.

If you wish to have a year's listing, but not join Altadena Heritage, click on the GREEN BUTTON below. Be sure to include "I want a listing on" when you make your donation.

For the record, is independent and non-commercial. It receives no financial benefit from donations made to an Altadena nonprofiits. It has no affiliation with any organizations connected with the film industry. does not actively promote its listings to commercial interests.

Whether or not you have an interest in hosting a film shoot, AltadenaFilming hopes you will become a member Altadena Heritage and contribute to their efforts to preserve Altadena's friendly, small town character.

Altadena Heritage is a nonprofit, volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and raising awareness of the rich architectural, environmental, and cultural heritage of our foothills community.  Your contribution will help preserve Altadena's heritage.

Make a donation to
Each listing lasts 1 year and
can be renewed with additional donations.
Click this button to make a donation
Please add "" in
the "note to the seller" and include
contact information so that we may contact you  
to complete the listing.

June 26, 2017

Altadena Filming Committee releases End of Year Report

The Altadena Filming Committee completed its End of Year Report. Following the release of the report, the Town Council approved a motion to send it to County Supervisor Barger.

The report is now available on the Altadena Town Council website.  Click here to view or download.

The report includes a summary of the committee's accomplishments, a listing of the undocumented policies and procedures that govern the approval and enforcement of filming permits, a summary of the inputs received from the community, an analysis of root causes for filming-related issues and set of recommendations for addressing these same issues.

In summary, the committee reported there is general community support for location filming in Altadena. However, film shoots have become problematic when "permit conditions are violated [or] when neighbors are not respected." Both a lack of accountability and a lack of transparency were highlighted as root causes. The recommendations in the report were formulated to address these issues, "so as to improve the experience of location filming for the neighbors of location hosts and to maintain a film-friendly environment."

It's worth remembering that, on May 2nd, the County Supervisors requested that LA County Counsel develop "recommended amendments to the County Code, as necessary, to ensure that County departments have the necessary enforcement authority to address violations of film permitting..."

It might just be the Altadena Filming Committee's End of Year Report arrived in time to provide inputs into LA County Counsel's recommended improvements to the County code.

May 13, 2017

Altadena Film Committee posts notes from the Town Meeting

Did you attend the Altadena Town Meeting on Filming?
Are you interested in seeing how the Film Committee documented the proceedings?

If so...  There's a couple bits of good news.
  • You officially have too much time on your hands.
  • The Filming Committee has posted meeting notes which are detailed enough to consume a respectable portion of your spare time.
The Committee's meeting notes are now on the Town Website.  Here'a link.

February 18, 2017

Altadena Filming Town Hall meeting: February 28th

Do you have any suggestions, opinions, questions, or concerns about filming in Altadena? Here’s a chance to talk to the people who can answer your questions, address your concerns, and listen to your suggestions.

The Altadena Filming Committee will be holding a TOWN HALL on Location Filming at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28, at the Altadena Community Center. The panel will include representatives from FilmLA, the Department of Public Works, the Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol. Also on the panel will be a Location Manager and a Location Host. There will be short talks and a Question and Answer period. Light refreshments will be served at 6:45 p.m.

All Altadenans are invited!

December 22, 2016

Filming organizations give back to Altadena for Christmas

Photo from FilmLA news release

It's the charitable season and it seems like a good time to recognize a couple of organizations who are connected with the film industry and have been giving back to our community.

We would like to tip our hat to FilmLA and Altadena Community Chest for their charitable efforts in our community.

FilmLA is LA County's contractor responsible for issuing filming permits in Altadena. This year, the staff at FilmLA organized a toy drive for the Altadena's Five Acres Orphanage and Foster Home. The staffers purchased toys as well as toothbrushes, underwear, socks and bedding for the kids in the foster home.

The Altadena Community Chest is a 501c(3) charity connected with a local film location service called Home Shoot Home. Both are run by Altadenean Russ Fega. Mr. Fega's has worked with film companies (like ABC/Disney) and with local filming hosts to promote a give-back philosophy. Since 2011 Altadena Community Chest had obtained over $32,000 and donated the proceeds to several local charities. (2011:$4,810, 2012:10,195, 2013:8,300, 2014:$3,600, 2015:$5,822). In our view this is a most impressive effort by Mr. Fega to give back. We hope others in the filming organizations, who operate in Altadena, will follow his generous example.

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

July 16, 2016

The new Altadenafilming listing service

Would you like to meet film location managers who are looking for filming locations in Altadena? If so perhaps you'll be interested to learn of a new service we're providing here AltadenaFilming.

We just started two new listing services:
(click on the following links for more information)
The "Community Members" list is intended for those Altadeneans who are interested in meeting film location managers who looking for new locations. The "Location Manager" list is intended for location managers interested in meeting members of the Altadena community who would like to host a film shoot.

Why are we doing this?

It's part of an effort to broaden the benefit the wider Altadena community enjoys from film shoots by supporting Altadena nonprofit organizations.   In other words, if you make a donation to an Altadena nonprofit, we would like to add your name to our list.

To date, Altadena Filming has made an arrangement for an information exchange with Altadena Heritage. If a Altadena community member makes a donation to Altadena Heritage, we can add your information to the list.

Caveat emptor!
The Altadenafilming listing service is just getting underway. Both lists are presently empty. In time we hope the lists will grow and this service will stimulate donations to Altadena non-profits.

Note: Altadenafilming does not receive any benefit from your donation aside from the satisfaction of helping local non-profits.

Altadena Community Chest
It shouldn't go unsaid that the Altadena Community Chest also provides an excellent method for making filming-related contributions to our community non-profits. The Altadena Community Chest is associated with Home Shoot Home which provides location services for production companies wanting to shoot in our community.

The Altadena Community Chest has an impressive record of giving to our local non-profits. Both the Altadena Community Chest and Home Shoot Home are run by our fellow Altadenean, Russ Fega.

February 29, 2016 launches

Welcome to! A new website dedicated to filming in Altadena.

This site was developed with the intent of providing accurate information about film productions in Altadena and to encourage a sense of fairness that balances the compensation Altadeneans receive against the disruption that filming introduces into the neighborhood.

Check out the resources listed on the left side of the page. Start a discussion about filming or check out the FAQ. (Have we missed something? Let us know!) Check out the map; you see where filming permits have been issued since 2012. Find out about the county regulations or read one of the reports about filming in our area.

And let us know what you think. We appreciate your feedback.