85.7 F
San Fernando
Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Ventura Government Goes Hollywood With Hire

Ah2: Williams, left, and Lippencott. Ventura County now has a full-time film liaison who will work with production companies to generate interest in feature film, television and commercial production in the cities and unincorporated areas. To fill the position, the county turned to Karen Kelley, who had been working for the City of Ventura for more than two years bringing in film and television productions. Kelley, a Burbank native and UCLA graduate., said what she likes about the job is helping producers tell their story, even if it is just a short one found in a commercial. “There is something about seeing it come to completion that is satisfying,” she said. Now that she is representing the entire county it will eliminate competition among individual cities trying to attract production companies, said Bruce Stenslie, president and chief executive of the Economic Development Collaborative – Ventura County. “Trying to do this city-by-city did not make sense,” Stenslie said. The collaborative oversees the county’s film commission and contracted with Kelley to be the point of contact for the entertainment industry to identify and secure film locations. Ventura County makes for an advantageous filming site because it has a lot of open space making it easy for crews to set up, Kelley said. “There are beaches, agricultural, and architecture with a lot of history,” she added. “Those make for good settings for filming as well.” In the month and a half since Kelley started as liaison, the county has hosted a commercial for a South Korean company featuring performer Psy, and the independent film “Dawn Patrol.” Because the nature of filing is that the unexpected will happen, having a tempered personality and being well-organized are good traits for a film liaison to have, Kelley said. “You want to solve things on the spot,” she added. “You want to be calm and don’t want to get rattled.” Documentary Confab If it’s September, it’s time for the fourth annual Westdoc documentary unscripted television and digital content conference helped put together by Richard Propper, an Encino documentary programming distributor. This year’s conference features 140 speakers, 23 panel discussions, the pitchfest contest and the West Coast premiere of “Unclaimed,” a documentary about a man living in Vietnam for 40 years who claims to be abandoned by the U.S. military. The conference takes place Sept. 15-17 at the Landmark Theater, 10850 West Pico Blvd. Propper said he and co-organizer Chuck Braverman, a film producer who lives in Topanga, have hit on a winning formula that has resonated with attendees. Part of the formula is to have the panel members give something of substance rather than just canned talking points. “If someone gives the PR points it gets boring fast,” Propper said. Some of the topics to be covered at this year’s conference include crowd funding, pitching projects in the digital age and online film promotion. The biggest challenge for organizers of the conference has been outreach to the wide and diverse entertainment industry in Los Angeles. “We do not have deep pockets,” Propper said. “We are entrepreneurs building something and we want to get people talking about us.” Tunes to Go Getting clearances to use music in films and television series is a complicated process that the duo behind Ah2 Music wants to make easier. So Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams, co-founders of the Valencia composing firm, have made available online a catalogue of 30,000 tracks for producers, directors and music supervisors to choose from. “We are self-sustaining and create the music we are selling,” Lippencott said. The catalogue, dubbed Filtered Music, is a collection of the music that Lippencott and Williams have collaborated on over the past 10 years between the two of them and with other musicians. Williams estimates the pair has scored some 10,000 episodes of 150 television series. As owners of their catalogue, Williams and Lippencott can give the rights to use the music from a single location and not put their clients through an arduous licensing process. “The producers know they have a resource that is quality, they know everything is original and can be easily used,” Williams said. Overseeing the online catalogue is Scott James, who worked for both Universal Music Publishing Group and MCA Music Publishing. Ah2 Music credits include “Biggest Loser,” “The Apprentice,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and the new Fox show “Junior MasterChef.” 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.

Featured Articles

Related Articles