Two City of Lancaster employees were among the nominees for this year’s COLA Awards that honor the work of location managers for film, television and still photography shoots. Michelle Cantrell and Ray Hunt were nominated in the Public Employee of the Year category for their assistance with creating the “musical road” featured in a Honda Civic commercial. Cantrell, a traffic engineer, and Hunt, a civil engineer, went beyond their everyday duties for the city to tear up a stretch of road in the city to be redesigned to play musical notes when a car drove over it, said Pauline East, director of the Antelope Valley Film Office and a co-chair of the California On Location Awards. Creating a musical road had never been done before so there was no one for Cantrell and Hunt to consult with and had to make decisions based on “what ifs,” East said. “It was a fun task for them but they really had to work hard,” she added. Complaints from nearby residents resulted in Lancaster tearing up the road built for the commercial and constructing a second one on Avenue G away from any homes. Lancaster was chosen for the filming site because it met the criteria set out, notably the willingness to tear up one of its roads. The stretch that was chosen also fit because it combined the emptiness of the desert in one direction yet lights from the city in other directions. Each year the COLAs honor municipal, county, state and federal employees who work with location scouts and managers, and production companies on filming and still shoots. The best public employees are those who want to work with the scouts to close roads or bridges or whatever else the shoot calls for even if it means extra paperwork, reports and meetings. An uncooperative public employee who doesn’t want to be bothered can have a production shut down, East said. “It is really nice when you have a road inspector who understands,” East said. The COLAs were presented on Oct. 11 at the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown. Among the presenters were Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, whose district includes Burbank and adjacent areas of the Valley. Musical Chairs Stereo Vision Entertainment Inc. played a game of musical chairs with investors for its low-budget 3D films. The Van Nuys production company canceled one financing deal worth $33 million and then turned around and brought in Wakabayashi Fund LLC as a principal partner. The deal with Wakabayashi will give Stereo Vision access to capital from “Wall Street to the Pacific Rim” the company boasted in a press release. The failed deal, meanwhile, had been with XA Worldwide, a Florida technology company. The money was to have gone toward two films: “Three Dimensions Of Jerusalem” and pirate adventure “Booty in 3D.” Current economic conditions prevented XA and StereoVision from completing a satisfactory deal, StereoVision CEO Jack Honour said in a released statement. Wherever the money comes from it is welcome by StereoVision. According to documents filed earlier this year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision as of March 31, the company had assets of $443,621 and liabilities of $1.5 million. OnLive Funding Warner Bros. was among the investors contributing to a third round of funding to OnLive, an on-demand gaming company. The exact amount contributed by the Burbank-based entertainment company, AT&T Media Holdings, Inc., Lauder Partners, Autodesk, and Maverick Capital was not disclosed. The funding will go toward launching OnLive’s service and protecting the Silicon Valley-based gaming firm’s intellectual property. Warner Bros. had been an investor in previous rounds of funding for OnLive, which will provide games to television sets through an inexpensive adapter or to a computer through a plug-in. Having secured both major funding and key partnerships, OnLive is moving closer to deployment of its game service, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujiahra said in a released statement. Production Summit The Visual Effects Society will host Production Summit 09 on Oct. 24 to bring together leading creatives, executives and visionaries. The one-day event will bring together an international group of directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, technologists and visual effects leaders. Eric Haseltine, a technology futurist, will be the keynote speaker at the summit. He is a former head of Walt Disney Imagineering and former director of research at the National Security Agency. He is known for applying neuroscience to new technologies, using how the human brain naturally wants to interact with technology to improve performance. “Because the entertainment industry is changing so rapidly – on the creative, technological and business fronts – we’re bringing together all industry stakeholders to discuss the challenges we all face in looking at our entertainment future, said VES Executive Director Eric Roth. “The Production Summit will be a central meeting place of common concerns and challenges that will create new dialogue and solutions across all guilds and studios.” Staff Reporter Mark Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.