Saturday, August 25, 2007

over-filming downtown: the four day outlook

I got an email from fellow downtown resident Benjamin Pezzillo re over-filming downtown and thought it was important enough to post here. Ben makes some really good points about filming and the different ways it impacts our neighborhood. Please read on, forward the link to others, comment - just don't be passive and accept the status quo. Just remember that FilmLA got a six-month extension and a check for $800,000 from the City of Los Angeles. That would not be possible without your tax dollars, and I am not going to just lie down and accept their lies, deceit and shoddy work ethics. I refuse to finance their malfeasance with my tax dollars, how about you?

It looks like FilmLA has set an all time record -- 25 eNotifications for filming Downtown issued in one day. The forecast calls for shoots starting as early as 5a Saturday morning and will continue steadily through Tuesday. Keep an eye out for that helicopter over the Four-Level on Sunday.

Tomorrow's impact could also be amplified with a planned immigration march up the middle of Broadway from 10a-4p. If the CAO is correct, all of this is with the approval of the LAPD's Special Operations Bureau/Emergency Operations Division/Special Events Permit Unit whose staff is minute compared to FilmLA's.

I can just hear the conversation tomorrow in those upscale European cars, "Wow, it would have been great to drive Downtown to check out the real estate market, but between the filming and everything else going on there was no where to park so we could get out and walk around to check it out."

Folks, it's not always as much about the people who live and/or work/business Downtown -- it's also about the people who are getting their first impressions of an area they have heard more and more about all over the country. For Downtown to prosper, in my opinion, it must always remain accessible to the unacquainted. People are coming Downtown just to come Downtown again.

How long before the media articulates the economic value of that against the negative impacts of over-filming and obnoxious behavior by The Industry?

It's nearly midnight, and right now the shoot parked across the street among the residential buildings across the alley from The Palace seems to think it's a good time to use their power tools.

I'd call FilmLA, but what would be the point? Geoff Smith insists the production would never have gotten its permit without the permission of the building at the end of the block which insists it got neither a notice nor a request for a signature survey.

Benjamin Pezzillo


Something else that Ben pointed out to me - the contact person for oversight of FilmLA's contract with the City of Los Angeles is David Hirano in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Mr. Hirano can accept complaints regarding FilmLA and make certain they are passed along. He can be reached on (213) 978.7621 or via email at david.hirano[at]lacity[dot]org.

Speak your mind or risk losing your voice.

10 comments:

Happy said...

I was in and out of Downtown LA yesterday, from 9a to 9pm, and it looked like a Universal Studios film lot. It was a bit of a hassle that a certain section would close down in one part of the day, then when I returned, another area would be closed down. (Flower was blocked into downtown, then both Flower and the 2nd St tunnel was closed off into downtown.) Does the city realize that while they're efforts in promoting Downtown LA hotels are diminished by the cumbersome road blocks and noisy late-night filming its visitors experience? 100% of the visitors I was with yesterday said they wouldn't stay in a downtown LA hotel again because of these conditions and felt they were bamboozled. If visitors can't stand it for a few nights, what about the residents who have to live with this on a more regular basis? Good luck.

tracinamarie said...

I wish everyone would quit complaining, there are a lot of downtown residents that work in the television and film industry that would prefer to shoot near home than in Palmdale or New Mexico or Louisiana or Canada. Boo hoo, you live in a city, what about when it becomes a 24 hour city like New York, is there going to be crying and complaining everytime someone yells outside your building after leaving a bar? If you want quiet, live in the suburbs. I don't sympathize, I would prefer that downtown LA be my backlot, I enjoy taking the subway to work. Hey, I have a great idea, lets get the film industry to shoot elsewhere, then we get all the people that work for the largest industry to move elsewhere, and you can have your big empty city to yourself! Great idea! I'm just tired of the "rebel city dwellers" pulling a yuppied "not in my backyard" mantra. Get Over It. if you don't like it, move. We love downtown and lived there for 2 years, but were tired of the stench of feces. We live by Griffith Park, yet still come downtown at least 3-4 times a week to eat, hang out, and yes, work on those horrific productions you hate.

tracinamarie said...

oh yeah, and earplugs work wonders.

Happy said...

Effective detour signs to let people know how to get around you guys work wonders.

bgfa said...

Obeying the law and following the permit works wonders also.

What is it with film people who think that there are no other legitimate businesses? We have to follow the law, what makes you so special?

When the city becomes a true 24 hour place, like NYC, you won't be able to shoot here. Why do you think it's so expensive to shoot in NYC? As long as downtown is depressed, the film industry can profit. Thanks for that. More urine and feces to scare people like you away.

celia said...

hey tracinamarie, thanks for visiting and showing your ignorance of the issue and your inability to process complex thoughts. i am one of those downtown residents (sixteen year resident) who work in the film industry. try to generate enough brain power to absorb the fact that i'm not just complaining about the noise and while you're at it, try to keep up with the rest of us. it's a complex issue, don't try to simplify it by demonizing someone who has a legitimate complaint.

i don't want filming to go away, i just want the industry to behave in my neighborhood, just like they do in every other neighborhood in los angeles. and when i do shoot my next feature downtown, you can bet your ass that my co-producer and i will be hiring crew who respect my neighborhood and don't have your shitty attitude.

Harried said...

Celia-I just want to go on record and state categorically that FilmLA did not receive $800,000.00 from the city. A six month extension while the RFI was started, yes, but $800,000.00, no.
Geoffrey Smith
FilmLA

celia said...

so how much did you receive then?

and do you want to address any of the points that ben brings up? maybe answer any of the questions that we've brought up on this blog and all the other downtown and real estate blogs?

Benjamin Pezzillo said...

From the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles:

4) When did the City begin to pay EIDC directly for services and under what actions was this done?

It began paying for services effective July 1, 2005 under the action of the Third Amendment to contract 92010.


Benjamin Pezzillo

shannon said...

i love you celia...brilliant rely to T-lady.