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Two Years After First Go At RFP, Filming Contract Still a No-Go

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at 09:59AM
Downtown Filming Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Filming at 7th & Hope in August of 2007 for an AXE commercial.

More than two years after the City began a process intended to revamp its film permitting contract, the effort sits stalled. Next week, the city will likely vote to renew its contract with permitter FilmL.A. for another six months, pushing that deal's finish date to the end of 2009.

Years ago now, Council directed two city departments to prepare a Request for Proposals to see who might be interested in handling permitting and notification services. The first draft of that document was presented in November of 2007, but didn't make it out of committee. A revised draft was presented in September of 2008, but again failed to win the support needed for approval.

In the process, the city's contract with FilmL.A. has gotten several short-term bumps. A six-month extension was approved by Council in May of 2008, with two additional 90-day options. That deal's up in June, and the city doesn't expect an RFP to get responses before September. Given the document's history, even that may be optimistic. The extension would push the deal until the end of the year, with again the 90-day options to provide potential coverage until mid-2010.

Downtowners have often criticized FilmL.A.'s handling of notification and permitting. While production in Los Angeles is down overall, Downtown still sees a a highly concentrated level of activity with multiple shoots each day.

The contract extension will be heard by council's Public Works committee on Wednesday, February 18.

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