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Neighbors Want Bigger Role in Film Shoots

May 13, 2003|Jessica Garrison | Times Staff Writer

A City Council committee took initial steps Monday toward giving neighborhood groups more say in how film shoots are conducted on city streets.

Residents and merchants said they need a voice in the process because their lives are turned upside-down, their sleep is disrupted and their businesses are hurt when film productions and premieres sweep into their neighborhoods, often with little or no notice.

But film industry workers pleaded with council members not to make it too difficult to shoot on the streets of Los Angeles, testifying that they have had to sell their houses or endure months of unemployment because film productions have decamped to other states or Canada.

After hours of testimony, the council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee stopped short of endorsing a motion that would create a citywide committee of representatives from neighborhood councils and community organizations to address concerns about shoots.

Instead, the committee told the consultant who is revamping the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. to get neighborhood groups involved the process. Since 1995, the EIDC has handled film permits for shooting in the city, but the agency is being restructured after charges that it misused public funds.

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