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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY | VENTURA COUNTY REVIEW /
LEO SMITH

Agency Hopes CD Will Be a Hit With Filmmakers

April 28, 1998|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A film production manager contacted the Greater Oxnard Economic Development Corp. recently looking for a local bar in which to shoot a scene.

Unfortunately, though there are any number of scenic bars in the area, the business development group had none on its list of approved filming locations. But EDC officials expect to resolve the problem soon.

The organization, which last November took over from city planners the role of approving film permits for Oxnard, has created a compact disc that provides pictures and information on hundreds of possible filming locations throughout Ventura County. The CD-ROMs are being offered free to members of the film industry.

The group also plans to establish an Internet site promoting the location options.

"The basis is to showcase various locations around Ventura County--we've received photos and information on houses, businesses, cars, boats, planes," said Elizabeth Callahan, the EDC's business services coordinator. "Production companies can at least get a sense of what the community looks like."

The EDC is inviting residents and business owners throughout the county to submit entries to be included on the compact disc. Although certain areas are in greater demand than others within the film industry, just about anything is eligible.

"The beach is utilized one of the most; the agricultural fields are utilized quite a bit; a lot of the ranches in the mountain areas and Ojai; we get a lot of requests for Victorian homes; Camarillo is great for Spanish architecture," Callahan said.

"But we want whatever is out there, because you don't know what type of request you'll get," she said. "It's a great moneymaker for homeowners and business owners."

Pamphlets advertising the list of locations are being distributed to about 600 site managers registered with the California State Film Commission.

Beyond attracting movie makers to the area, Callahan said the economic development group wants to persuade more production companies to establish headquarters in Ventura County. A Los Angeles investment group earlier this month unveiled plans to develop a $90-million film-production complex at Oxnard's Ormond Beach.

"It's a very clean business, a high-wage business," she said. "To [attract] them, one of the things we want to do is first attract filming up here, get Ventura County on the map."

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