The March 2008 debut of FilmL.A.’s web-based Online Permit System (OPS), and its subsequent introduction to filmmakers last September, is helping us improve our service to industry customers and area communities.
Specifically, the streamlined OPS permit process has enabled us to increase the number of film site visits conducted by FilmL.A. staff.
Every week, one of our eight production coordinators is taken out of permit rotation and assigned to head out into the field. There, he or she will spend at least four hours visiting three to five film sites to study on-location production as it occurs.
Site visit locations are selected to afford each coordinator a broad array of experiences with different kinds of production, in neighborhoods of differing and distinct layouts and character, and with companies holding permits coordinated by themselves and by others.
While on-location, coordinators meet with location managers and FilmL.A. Monitors, interface with set security and help address community concerns. But, perhaps most importantly, their visits help them get an on-the-ground perspective of film production as it is conducted in a given neighborhood. “The biggest benefit is being able to visualize the neighborhoods where filming occurs,” notes Josh Mingo, FilmL.A.’s Manager of Permit Operations.
“Nothing better helps a coordinator see what’s at stake than actually walking the block, seeing how much traffic an area receives, how closely the homes are set to the street or where the customers of local businesses park. You get a perspective about how filming works in an area that can’t be had from staring at a photograph or an aerial map,” Mingo added.