City Crafts Policy to Ease Food Filming Restrictions
It won’t likely revolutionize Hollywood, nor will it heavily impact filming in Southern California. But a piece of legislation the Los Angeles City Council approved Wednesday does aim to lift an important hurdle to ease on-location filming throughout the city.
The motion – included in a tripartite package of film industry reforms the council will eventually consider – is another step in the right direction to ensure the continued growth of a business that fuels the Southern Californian economy, said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who pushed for, wrote and is aiming to pass the motions.
The first of the three – approved unanimously Wednesday – calls for a review of existing food service contracts to determine how food service costs for film productions can be lowered at city facilities.
“On-location food service is an important sector of the film industry,” Krekorian said. “But the costs for these food services can rise dramatically when a city contractor is involved, spiking a production companies’ bottom line from hundreds of dollars a day to thousands.
“We need to evaluate our contractual policies to determine how we can best ensure that a simple thing like providing soda and fruit doesn’t drive film and television production jobs out of our city, state or country.”
In his motion, Krekorian calls for new policies and contractual guidelines of future food service contracts when productions film at city facilities, like parks, such as the Griffith Observatory, the zoo and other locations.
Krekorian worked with FilmL.A., which coordinates the permitting process for productions shot in the city of Los Angeles, to craft the policy. The motion was also born of complaints received from location managers across the city who have long decried the cost of using city contractors for food services, as opposed to using their own vendors, essentially depriving them of the cheapest option.
“Oftentimes costs trump creative decisions, so scripts are changed to take advantage of the lowest-cost location,” said Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A. “Councilman Krekorian’s motion gives film companies the flexibility to hire local Craft Services companies when filming at City properties.
“While not likely to be the determinant factor for a producer deciding where to film, it can help save thousands of dollars and help make L.A. as attractive on paper as it is scenic.”
The other motions Krekorian introduced last year – and set to be considered in the coming months – include more tools to curb runaway production and other instruments to reduce bureaucratic hurdles within the industry.
In his work as a state assembly member, Krekorian launched California’s first successful tax incentive program, which was passed and signed by the governor as more than 40 states implemented their own programs to fleece the state’s heritage industry.
Recently, FilmL.A. reported that on-location filming shot up nearly 15 percent in 2010. Factors attributed to the surge included an improved economy, more advertising and Krekorian’s incentive package.
Read the motion: