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AROUND THE VALLEYS

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area The latest entry in the high stakes pre-paid coupon industry is starting out in the San Fernando Valley. Local Deals Now touts itself as being different from Groupon, Living Social and other sites with coupon offers in that it has multiple offers that are active up to seven days and are meant to bring in repeat customers rather than a one-time visit. Those differences in turn are making local business owners more interested in participating, said the trio of entrepreneurs that created the website. “These are small businesses and if they get a dozen new clients that is big for them,” said Jamie Bertisch. Bertisch and his business partners Robert Hess and Marc Cohen all have backgrounds in the entertainment industry. Cohen, for instance, worked for Warner Bros. and The Walt Disney Company while Hess’s executive producer credits include “Entertainment Tonight” and “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.” The Local Deals Now website is open for registration with the first deals to be made available in early December. Cohen, Hess and Bertisch began work on the site in January and didn’t want it to be just another coupon site like those that have become popular during the recession as consumers look for deals and businesses try new ways to bring in customers. Local Deals Now puts an emphasis on the local, with Studio City, Encino and Sherman Oaks being the first area neighborhoods. The site will also offer coupons for the communities of Norwalk, Weston, Westport and Wilton in Connecticut. One of the problems with the other “deal of the day” sites is that the deals are only redeemable outside of where people live, Bertisch said. “What we are doing is breaking it down,” he added. “These are places you visit on a regular basis. When you are seeing up to 14 deals the capture rate is going to be higher.” Offering a coupon through the site is a no-risk investment as a marketing tool, Bertisch continued. There is no money upfront from the business and the owners get a portion of the coupons that are sold through the site. Business people the trio have spoken to are excited about Local Deals Now and a number have given verbal commitments to participate, Cohen said. – Mark R Madler SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Sherman Oaks View: The 10th annual Valley Film Festival takes place Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 at the Complete Actors Place Theatre. The festival lineup includes independent feature films, shorts and documentaries. The annual gathering was started as a way to give exposure to filmmakers working in the Valley area. In recent years there has been the addition of non-screening events such as panel discussions and other events that bring the film community together. The festival is funded through Community Partners, a not-for-profit organization, donations and out of pocket money of its organizers. The CAP Theatre is located at 13752 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Van Nuys Filming: Geo Film Group now has available the Kernercam KC7000 3D camera rig for the production community. The camera comes in a variety of sizes and can be used for broadcast and cinematic applications. Geo has supplied cameras for some recent 3D productions but was looking for a smaller, lighter and less labor intensive camera system, said founder and President George Nolan. “The timing could not have been better when we were approached by The Kerner Group to see if we would be interested in distributing their new 3D rig,” Nolan said. Burbank Screen: Technicolor showed off its new Blu-ray 3D Java interactive tools at the Blu-Con 2010 conference in Beverly Hills. The interactive technology was developed in-house by Technicolor’s Research and Innovation team with the disc produced by the production team in Burbank. The interactive features include 3D menus and the first 3D stereoscopic game for Blu-ray 3D. “We remain diligent in inventing new technologies that will continue to support our studio client by making the Blu-ray 3D experience even more immersive and compelling for consumers at home,” said Chuck Parker, president of Technicolor’s Digital Content Delivery division. Canoga Park Take Off: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne was awarded a $1 million contract to design an engine for a vertical take-off and landing, road worthy concept study vehicle. The TX, or Transformer, vehicle will help troops carry out missions without being constrained by existing roadways and conventional landing zones. The vehicle will be able to carry four people and travel up to 250 nautical miles without refueling. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will work with two Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contractors to develop a conceptual design for the engine. The TX could be available as early as 2015. Woodland Hills Relocate: Calig World Travel and Cruises has moved its office to Woodland Hills from Encino. Started by Marsha Calig in 1983, the agency is affiliated with Altour, one of the world’s largest travel agencies. Through the affiliation, Calig World Travel can offer the best prices on cruises, tours, and hotels, Calig said. Calig World Travel bas been named among the top women-owned companies and Calig sits on the board of the executives for the Jewish Home for the Aging and has contributed to the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley. Share: Online marketer ReachLocal has launched a new version of its subsidiary Bizzy with a personalized local business recommendation engine. The Bizzy site has a quick question and answer game to find favorite local businesses of its visitors. Once enough people have shared their favorite places, Bizzy’s algorithm will begin offering personalized recommendations based on the places users consider their favorites. “With Bizzy, there are no reviews to sift through, no conflicting reports or ratings and no wondering what kind of person wrote the review or even whether or not they are even real,” said founder, President and General Manager Gadi Shamia. “Life is too short to read irrelevant reviews or eat at bad restaurants over and over again.” Chatsworth Sports: Prolab Nutrition Inc. re-launched its website for consumers to learn about its nutrition supplements for bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts. The website has several unique and user-friendly features for consumers including an online forum for submitting training and nutrition questions to the Team Prolab professional athletes; Prolab social media platforms; detailed product information and online shopping; and, featured products, discounts, and promotions. Glendale Food: The Target store at the Glendale Galleria now offers fresh produce and groceries. The expanded selection of grocery comes in response to consumer demands, which are increasingly seeking convenience. The expansion now offers basic essentials such as fresh produce and fresh meat, comprehensive dry, dairy and frozen food assortments, and a wide selection of convenience foods in snacks, beverages and candy. Encino Marketing: AvatarLabs has expanded it Television Group by adding broadcast and cable channel clients. The digital marketing firm has done campaigns for shows on CBS (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Undercover Boss”), NBC (“Parenthood”), A&E, and Starz. While well known for its work on marketing campaigns for feature films, AvatarLabs founder and Executive Creative Director Rex Cook wanted the industry to know about its television work as well. “We are a full service entertainment marketing agency, and our clients are comprised of both the major movie studios as well as many prominent TV networks,” Cook said. SANTA CLARITA VALLEY Santa Clarita Move: Independent business bank Community Bank has relocated its Santa Clarita Business Banking Center. The move marks a commitment to the valley to continue to provide the utmost in customer service, as the new office affords a larger footprint and will allow for future growth, bank officials said. “We are delighted to be in a position to require more space and plan for future growth. We believe the Santa Clarita area is a tremendous location and look forward to being a part of the community for many years to come,” said President and CEO Dave Malone. The new address is at 28470 Avenue Stanford, Suite 110. SIMI VALLEY Simi Valley Entrepreneurs: Marilyn Look, owner of Look Stairchairs, participated in the Make Mine a Million Business event. In a competition with other women business owners, Look gave a 2-minute pitch on why she should receive business growth resources. Audience members and a panel of judges selected the 10 winners. Make Mine a Million is a program of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and American Express OPEN. CONEJO VALLEY Westlake Village Show: GlobalWide Media Inc. had a booth at Ad:Tech New York this month. Executive management and the digital media team from the performance-based agency and affiliate marketing company discussed their online marketing expertise, reach, and solutions to media, marketing and technology professionals. “We look forward to showcasing our performance-based media solutions to advertisers and publishers as well as solidifying existing relationships with our partners,” said GlobalWide CEO Farshad Fardad.

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