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After Lengthy Delay, Filming Contract Headed to Council

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, March 26, 2009, at 03:33PM
Downtown Filming Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Filming takes place on 7th street in a 2007 file photo.

Nearly a year and a half after first getting introduced, a call to solicit firms interested in the city's filming coordination contract is finally headed to Council. While the terms are substantially weakened from those initially proposed in the 2007 first draft, the new contract would formalize requirements such as notification performance and how far in advance permits must be issued.

The entertainment industry has long objected to any new rules that would limit last-minute filming requests. At an October hearing of the Public Works committee, Sarah Walsh of the Motion Picture Association of America objected to a requirement that permits be issued at least 24 hours before activity takes place. "At present, the majority of permits are issued with less than 24 hours, for example 4pm on Wednesday for a 7am call on Thursday," she said. "While we recognize that the city has made a reduction from 48 hours to 24 hours, this still places an undue burden on the city and production companies."

The document's second draft had been in stasis since that hearing, and a promised second meeting never took place. It now moves forward after the Public Works committee waived its right to consider the item.

Permit processing and notification services are currently handled by Film L.A., and the firm's contract has received several extensions in the time the open bid has been in limbo.

The RFP is scheduled to be considered at Council on Tuesday, March 31. In September, a timeline was presented that showed five months from RFP release to contract execution. The city's current contract with Film L.A. runs through the end of 2009.

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