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Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023

Glendale Cuts Red Tape to Attract More Filming

The Glendale City Clerk’s office wants to send a message to the entertainment industry: film in the city and there will be someone on your side to make the process smooth. This month the office will fill a newly created position to handle film permits and be a liaison with production companies using city neighborhoods as backdrops for films and TV series. City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian said the idea is to make the experience such a good one that more and more productions will be filmed in the city. “Entertainment is one of these few things we manufacture here that we export to other places they want to buy a lot of,” he said. Glendale had issued about 270 film permits as of mid-December, up from 199 a decade ago in 2004 – but still less than what city officials feel it can get. Among projects now being filmed in the city are network show “The Neighbors” for ABC and “Criminal Minds” for CBS, and cable series “Justified” and “True Blood.” The city has traditionally had city clerk staffers handle film permitting as part of their other duties, which meant that problems related to various shoots could get lost in the shuffle, causing delays in production. One of the main duties of the liaison will be to coordinate shoots with city departments such as power and water, and police and fire. “This is related to my staff coming to me the day before a permit is to be issued and being told there was a hiccup,” Kassakhian said. “It could have something to do with not getting hold of a person in a certain department.” The pay for the new position will range from $34,752 to $53,328. Once the permit liaison position is filled and functioning, Kassakhian said he next wants to add a new position for a staffer who can market and promote the city for filming. With its diverse neighborhoods, vibrant downtown and schools dating back to the 1920s, the city can stand in as an “Anytown USA,” Kassakhian maintained. “We are taking this one step at a time,” he added. Valley Get The staff at Kaufmann Media Group is settled in to its new post-production facility in Sherman Oaks. The four-year old company started by entertainment industry professional Sam Kaufmann relocated from the Cahuenga Pass where there was no room for expansion. “The building I was in has a long history of post companies there,” Kaufman said. “It was nice but I could not get any more space in the building.” Kaufmann provides audio post-production services for television, feature films and commercials such as recording voiceovers and sound effects. The Sherman Oaks facility is a 2,500-square-foot location at 15125 Ventura Blvd. The firm also has a 10,000-square-foot facility in Wilmington, N.C. located across the street from EUE/Screen Gems, one of the largest studios on the East Coast. While the company has not added any new services, having more space will allow staff to work on more projects simultaneously, Kaufmann said. Recent projects Kaufmann has done work on include independent feature film “Iron Clad 2,” cable series “Deadly Wives,” “Unusual Suspects” for Investigation Discovery and “Little Couple” for TLC. LEDs Onstage Warner Bros. Studios will expand the use of cutting edge LED lights on soundstages this year. The lights not only use less electricity than traditional tungsten bulbs but last longer and do not generate as much heat. That in turn reduces the need of running air conditioners on a soundstage during filming. Lily LaRocco, director of set lighting at the studio, noted the lights also produce a different look than tungsten. “Directors of photography say it enhances the image and the depth of field. There is something in the color and vibrancy of it,” she said. One LED space light – which uses nine pods of individual bulbs – has an output equivalent to 6,000 watts from a tungsten light but uses a fraction of the electricity. The lights have a 50,000 hour life expectancy and need to be replaced less often. Warner Bros. took possession of the first 100 lights last February and will add more in the next few months. At the Burbank studio, the lights were used recently on the set of “The Fosters,” a teen family drama on the ABC Family network. The studio’s U.K. facility in suburban London has requested some of the lights for a television show that may be filmed there. “They believe that will make or break them getting the show,” LaRocco said. 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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