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Showing posts with label Meetings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meetings. Show all posts

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.

March 13, 2017

Altadena Filming Committee met with Local Film Production Professionals

The Altadena Filming Committee has recently released 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

December 26, 2016

LA County Department of Public clarifies parking and traffic policy for filming permits

This past September, the Altadena Filming Committee met with representatives from the LA County Department of Public Works (DPW).   During that meeting, DPW representatives described the Department's policies used for setting the conditions for the filming permits issued by FilmLA.  They also discussed efforts to improve enforcement of permitted filming conditions.

Meeting minutes from that meeting have now been published to the Altadena Town Council Website. Click here to view the minutes .

Here's a few highlights from that meeting:
  • DPW is developing a standard set traffic management conditions for filming permits in Altadena and the rest of the LA County.
  • DPW uses the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as the basis for it traffic and parking policies.
  • DPW is aware of special traffic concerns on busy thoroughfares like New York Drive and Altadena Drive.  DPW is looking to establish policies that will alleviate future problems.
  • DPW is initiating a policy of routinely posting 'no parking signs' on both sides of a neighborhood street for permits issues in Altadena.
  • DPW is actively concerned about enforcement of permit conditions. DPW inspectors are visiting filming sites to ensure compliance with permitted filming condition. DPW is also working closely with the Altadena Sheriff.
  • DPW is very concerned and actively interest in filming permit enforcement. DPW now provides a direct contact number to a senior DPW manager who will address permit enforcement issues.
On a related note: The filming committee has started compiling a list of filming resources for Altadeneans looking for information about filming. The list is also available on the Town Council website. Here's a link.

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

January 29, 2016

Meeting notes for 1/21/16 meeting on Altadena Film shoots with LACO representative and FilmLA

Last week I had an opportunity to meet with representatives from the LA County and FilmLA to discuss filming concerns in our neighborhood. If you’re interested in what happened, I’ve typed up notes of the discussion. 
Here’s a link to those meeting notes: 

Note: Some of you may recall that I asked if any of you had any recommendations, comments or concerns about film production in Altadena. I collected those responses and distributed them at the meeting. 
Here's a link to the collected list:

January 15, 2016

Altadena Chamber of Commerce representatives discuss film production concerns with FilmLA

This past Tuesday, (Jan 12, '16) I was invited to attend a discussion between representatives of the Altadena Chamber of Commerce and FilmLA. They met to discuss constructive ways to solve issues that film shoots have caused for businesses in the Altadena Commercial Business District (specifically the Lake/Mariposa area). 

Attendees included: 
FilmLA: Arturo Pina, Jennifer Morales 
LACO Public Works: Greg Graham 
Altadena Sheriff: Sgt. Brian Mann, Deptuy Laura Avelar (my appologies for not catching her name) 
Altadena Chamber Commerce: Meredith Miller, Billy Malone, Dan Harlow, Ed Meyers 
Fly-on-the-wall: me (Ed, Thanks for including me!) 

Chair: by Ed Meyers (the very same from our Nextdoor Blog) 

The meeting was a positive exchange of information and ideas. All of the following topics were discussed at length: timely notification, business access problems, consumption of available parking and impact on businesses during key periods like between the holidays. FilmLA agreed to suggest remedies to these issues. Ed suggested there may be follow up meetings.

January 13, 2016

Upcoming meeting with FilmLA and LA County Regional Planning

I have been invited to a meeting with LA County Regional Planning and FilmLA. The meeting is a week from Thursday. 

I was asked to suggest topics for discussion. Here's what I suggested: 
"While continuing to actively promote film production in the region, introduce an overall goal of fairness that might be met by the following objectives: 
  • Greater transparency in the permitting process 
  • Clearer guidelines and standards for compliance with filming conditions 
  • Introduction of objective criteria for assessing "frequency of overuse” 
  • Introduction of open community meetings to communicate with neighbors about filming 
  • Establishment of tangible benefits to the local neighborhood or community that are the tangible benefit of local filming." 

As of yet, I don't know what will be on the agenda. 

However, this is an excellent chance to advance any recommendations, comments or concerns you might have about film production in Altadena. If you would like to make a comment or raise an issue, post it here, or send me a 'NextDoor message.' I will collect all the inputs and deliver them to FilmLA and LA County Regional Planning at the meeting.

September 30, 2015

Report on a 'Neighborhood Film Shoot Meeting' on Homewood

Last the neighbors of 15-1600 Homewood met to discuss concerns about an upcoming shoot. I felt it was very constructive. There was great support from FilmLA, the Sheriff’s Department and the Altadena Town Council.

HEADLINE: The Sheriff’s department will enforce the FilmLA permit conditions and the Homewood special conditions.

HEADLINE: Great support from FilmLA, LA County Sheriff, Altadena Town Council

Participants: Dan Cooley. Location Manager; Guy Langman,Film LA; Sgt. Wayne Waterman, Altadena Sheriff’s Department; Sgt. Brian Mann, Altadena Sheriff’s Department; Anne Chomyn, Altadena Town Council, Homewood neighbors.

The Details:
The name of the production is 20th Century Women. The production company is Modern People. It has great cast. On-location dates: Prep: 10/1-1, Shoot: 10/5-6; Strike: 10/7.

Dan Cooley, the location manager for Modern People, described the plan for the shoot. This company (unlike many) has made a special effort to reduce the impact on the neighborhood. If you have concern feel free to contact him.

FilmLA and the Altadena Sheriff’s Department met for the first time prior to the meeting. They agreed on the following approach for the enforcement of FilmLA permit and Homewood Special Filming Conditions:

If the any conditions are not enforced please contact Sgt. Wayne Waterman. Here’s his contact info:
Office phone: 626-296-2104 (6a – 5p)

When questioned about neglect of the permit conditions and the Homewood special conditions, Sgt Waterman was emphatic. Call him and he will see that the conditions are met.

Here’s a link to the Homewood special conditions.

Note: There are a few instances where the filming conditions may be waived. These cases require the approval of the Sheriff and FilmLA. If you’d like details about these exceptions, please FilmLA or the Altadena Sheriff’s Department.

After the shoot, we will be circulating a SurveyMonkey survey to obtain feedback on how the shoot went. When the survey is complete, the results will be forwarded to both FilmLA and the Sheriff’s Department. Hopefully the feedback will help FilmLA and the Sheriff's Department promote respectful and safe filming in our community.

Any errors here are strictly mine. Additions, corrections or suggestion to this summary are appreciated. Also please feel free to send along any questions.