Keeping Filming in L.A.: Community Relations Sets the Scene

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FilmL.A. staffers out on location.Each year, thousands of visitors to Los Angeles take tours of studio back-lots to see where their favorite movies and TV shows are filmed. Many of those visitors, and possibly many local residents, may not realize that much of the region’s film production takes place not on a sound-stage, but rather in one of L.A.’s many diverse neighborhoods.

FilmL.A. helps ensure film production and its economic benefits remain in the region by striking a delicate balance between the competing needs of production companies and local communities.

“Our job is to facilitate the industry, but not at the expense of neighborhoods,” said FilmL.A. Vice President Todd Lindgren. “If we can’t protect neighborhoods, we won’t be able to ensure the long-term viability of location filming in Los Angeles.”

Community relations is a key component of film permit coordination. FilmL.A. staff members frequently meet with residents and business owners inconvenienced by filming and serve as intermediaries between them and the production company in an effort to find a solution that works for everyone. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as having a production company move a light, generator or production vehicle. Other times, FilmL.A. may need to work with city and county departments to address issues such as unoccupied homes being rented out solely as film studios.

A shoot requiring multiple days at a home or business increases the potential for inconvenience. Murray Miller, a location manager currently working on Crazy on the Outside, found our community relations function invaluable. “We could not have pulled off a particularly challenging eight-day shoot without the fine folks at FilmL.A. Their counsel came at just the right time to help us communicate our intentions and enlist community support,” he said.

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