Gearing Up with Data Driven Community Relations

FilmLAFor Communities, ResearchLeave a Comment

A meteor temporarily parks curbside.  No actual parking spaces were harmed!Most people familiar with FilmL.A. know of our efforts to track on-location production, but did you know that we also track community filming issues with similar enthusiasm and detail?

Relative to the amount of filming that takes place, FilmL.A. receives surprisingly few calls, emails or letters of complaint about filming. In fact, last year we received only one individual comment for every 16 days of permitted production (PPD).  Considering the potential impact that comes with any individual shoot,that result says a lot about the professionalism of area crews!

For our part, we maintain 24/7 availability to assist community members with their filming-related concerns.  We solicit comments via our Notices of Filming and log and categorize incoming comments about filming as they are received.  Here is a breakdown of the most-mentioned community concerns with filming and the steps FilmL.A. is taking to respond:

Concern #1:  Parking (1 mention per 57 PPD). To reduce parking impacts, FilmL.A. regularly assists production companies to set up base camps away from their physical filming location, to keep their footprint at the location as small and unobtrusive as possible.  Nearer the location, we may prohibit cast and crew parking on area streets and limit the amount of curbside space allowed for parking of production equipment.

Concern #2:  Loss of Business (1 mention per 170 PPD). Out of respect for local businesses and their customers, FilmL.A. requires production companies working in commercial areas to set up remote base camps to reduce their location footprints.  When warranted, Neighborhood Filming Surveys are also used to avoid conflicts with planned special events, and FilmL.A. encourages production company representatives to conduct their own outreach to local businesses. FilmL.A. has also partnered with local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in select areas to offer their members advance Notice of Filming by email.

Concern #3:  Notification Concerns (1 mention per 174 PPD). We take seriously our responsibility to provide advance Notice of Filming to area communities, and our field services department works in three daily shifts to ensure timely delivery of this service.  Internal controls strictly dictate Notice printing and delivery timeframes, and we allocate work among delivery drivers to reduce total vehicle drive time.  In addition, our supplementary eNotification service covers ten different hard-to-canvass neighborhoods, including all parts of downtown Los Angeles.

Concern #4:  Filming Frequency (1 mention per 218 PPD). Opinions regarding overuse are usually subjective — and necessarily so — as local film policies are flexible, and neighborhoods differ in their ability to accommodate film production.  As part of the permit process, we conduct random frequency checks to gauge potential overuse of area locations. If our records show that an area has received more filming than is consistent with similar neighborhoods, we analyze the types of recent filming activity, the physical configuration of area streets and the neighboring properties most affected.  We then consult with our client jurisdictions to seek ways to mitigate the impact of future production.

Concern #5:  Excessive Noise (1 mention per 266 PPD). Noise complaints are usually related to vendor set-up and breakdown, generator positioning, special effects use and crew conversation or filming activity performed outside of standard filming hours. During the permit coordination process, FilmL.A. uses Google Earth, Neighborhood Filming Survey results and other tools to evaluate the proposed placement of equipment, extras holding and catering areas. FilmL.A. staff are also on-call 24/7 to respond to filming issues, so if residents express concerns with noise, we can aid them by asking production companies to quiet their activities.

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