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The agenda for the next L.A. City Council meeting on March 31st “could shut down television production in Los Angeles” by creating permit timelines that would make it even more difficult for episodic TV and commercial production that typically work in a much tighter time frame. So claims Hollywood location managers for TV shows and feature films who have joined with Jodi Strong, director of production planning for Film LA, in protesting an RFP (Request For Proposal) that will make “our lives, frankly, miserable”. Some of the problematic rules require:

— FilmLA to submit permit to LAPD 5 days in advance of film date
— FilmLA to submit permit to LAPD 10 days for exceptional activity (gunfire, explosions, car chases, helicopter etc)
— FilmLA to submit request for posting, lane closures and street closures 7 days in advance of the film date
— FilmLA to receive community surveys 10 days in advance of a film date

Today a message went out to the LA City Council complaining “not one word of this RFP was written or approved by the committee of film industry officials, community filming representatives and others representing the full range of concerns about filming in LA. That committee [appointed by the Public Works Committee] … suspended its deliberations some months ago when it became clear that core issues (enforcement of film permit parameters, processing time requirements for permits, etc) could not be addressed until the LAPD and City Council determined the role of active, off duty LAPD officers vs. retired LAPD officers. Now, having failed to clarify what will happen with that, council is asked to approve an RFP that has not been developed through the process it proposed and containing all the elements requested by LAPD. I hope you will not vote on the RFP as concocted in a vacuum by the CAO and instead return to a process of consultation with representatives of all interest groups (not just LAPD) at a time when we should all be working together to encourage more filming, based on rational rules, throughout Los Angeles.”

The LA City Council is once again contemplating letting the LAPD make a grab to take back jurisdiction over TV and movie location sets by replacing movie cops with off-duty active police. As one location manager advocating the status quo system that’s worked well for decades told me, the LAPD wants this added responsibility “regardless of their ability to adequately man or administer the volume of work that the retired officers provide”. Now the location managers have started a “Hollywood In Crisis” website, and on-line petition, to point out how this will drastically increase production costs as well as liability issues.

Why Is LAPD Trying To Fix A Hollywood System On TV/Film Sets That Ain’t Broke?