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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Hollywood Sets Up in Antelope Valley Locales

The Antelope Valley is coming off a strong fiscal year in television, feature film and commercial production. The region that includes Palmdale and Lancaster reported 332 separate projects for the fiscal year from July 2012 through July 2013. That is a 7 percent increase over the 289 projects in the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to the Antelope Valley Film Office. Production companies that pay for location rental fees, hotel stays, food and beverage purchases, gas, equipment rentals, construction supplies and production-related expenses brought in about $10 million during the 2012-13 fiscal year. Missing from the equation, however, is the lucrative monies generated when a Hollywood blockbuster comes to film. Instead, the Antelope Valley brings in small projects, such as reality television, independent films, commercials and music videos, said Pauline East, the liaison with the film office who works with location scouts. “I am relying on volume to keep up with that $10 million a year,” East said. East contracts with both Lancaster and Palmdale to coordinate their film permitting process. In the 2012-13 fiscal year Lancaster issued 4 percent more permits than it had in the prior fiscal year. Commercials, television and feature films produced 82 percent of the film business in Lancaster in 2012-13, the city said. “We must continue our mission to always be a film-ready and business-friendly location,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a prepared statement. Palmdale by comparison had 22 filming projects during the 2012-13 fiscal year, one more than the previous fiscal year. The lower number, however, results from East not representing the city to location managers for about a period of five months. East’s salary was paid from Palmdale’s redevelopment fund, but the money disappeared when the state abolished development agencies. “That (five months) doesn’t sound like much but every phone call happens so fast because (productions) are planning ahead,” East said. Location directors pick the Antelope Valley for its vast acres of flat vacant land. Straight roads and clear, unobstructed light sources make it popular for car commercials, East said. Other popular filming locations are the minor league baseball stadium, William J. Fox Airfield, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds and a stretch of 1950s and 1960s-era motels along Sierra Highway. Both Palmdale and Lancaster welcome the filming and have staffs to facilitate the process. “If you want to use the water park or the softball fields, everyone is like ‘Let’s make this happen,’” East added. Free Expansion FremantleMedia North America in Burbank has made additions to its executive ranks. Christine Shaw has been named senior vice president, communications and marketing. Gayle Gilman was appointed to fill the new position of executive vice president, digital content. Prior to joining Fremantle, Shaw had been with BBC Worldwide, where she served as the vice president of communications. Her expertise will help FremantleMedia enhance its consumer and industry outreach strategies, said Chief Operating Officer Lee Rierson. In her position Gilman oversees the creation of all original digital content and supporting distribution strategies. She previously worked for Original Productions, a FremantleMedia subsidiary with offices in Burbank, handling digital strategy. FremantleMedia will use its global reach and existing media partners to launch new digital content, Gilman said. “There is a big opportunity in the original digital area and platform providers are now looking for the kind of premium content we can deliver,” Gilman said in a prepared statement. FremantleMedia North America is the U.S. production division of global media firm FremantleMedia. It creates programming for broadcast, cable and online distribution including “American Idol,” “The X Factor,” and “America’s Got Talent.” Wheel ‘Bound’ The ancient Greek play “Prometheus Bound” ends with the title character tied to a mountain top, punishment by the gods for having brought fire to humankind. In a recent production at the Getty Villa, the mountain was represented by a 23-foot wheel constructed by LA ProPoint, a Sun Valley manufacturer of stage and show systems. The company collaborated with DAS Design Works in Santa Fe Springs on the engineering of the wheel, which was envisioned by show director Travis Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo Jr. Designing and fabricating the wheel was complex, said Mark Riddlesperger, president of LA ProPoint. “We used our skills and resources to create a breathtaking wheel,” Riddlesperger said in a prepared statement. “Prometheus Bound” was staged by the Getty Museum and California Institute of the Arts Center for New Performance in association with Trans Arts. Other projects that LA ProPoint has contributed to include two effects for the Goretorium, a year-round horror attraction in Las Vegas and five 43-foot tall towers with integrated lighting at Universal Studios City Walk. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or mmadler@sfvbj.com.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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