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City Officials Urged to Streamline Regulations in Effort to Lure Hollywood Movie Makers : Tourism: An occasional film is shot in Orange County, but location scouts more often go to San Diego or Tucson.

August 04, 1994|CHRIS WOODYARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH — More than 100 officials of local governments and tourism-related businesses gathered Wednesday to find out why Orange County has lights, camera but little action when it comes to luring movie film crews here.

"When they produce here, they spend money here," said County Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez, the opening speaker at a workshop on film production at the Waterfront Hilton Hotel in Huntington Beach.

To attract them, he urged that the cities step up their efforts to entice film crews by cutting red tape. The result could create a higher visibility for the county, which would increase tourism.

The meeting was held to recruit city officials and others to examine their film permit and fee process to determine whether they can do more to encourage Hollywood producers to shoot their films in Orange County, perhaps by simplifying procedures and devising uniform fee schedules.

A few of this summer's movies have scenes filmed in Orange County. Among them are "Clear and Present Danger," the film adaptation of a Tom Clancy novel starring Harrison Ford that opened Wednesday. Parts of it were shot at John Wayne Airport and in Los Alamitos, among other places. Parts of the Rob Reiner movie, "North" were shot in the county as well.

But many more movie crews have passed over Orange County. Even though baseball's California Angels are based in Anaheim, most of "Angels in the Outfield," the Disney fantasy starring Danny Glover about angels intervening to help the hapless team, was shot largely at the Oakland Coliseum.

Vasquez and others say that location scouts are simply not thinking of sites in Orange County, and that has to be changed. The county recently provided a budget of $242,502 over three years for salaries for a film office through the Orange County Chamber of Commerce to generate more film production in the county.

County officials estimate that film crews spent $250,000 on location in Orange County last year, compared to $27 million in San Diego and $20 million in Tucson.

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