Friday, March 30, 2012

That's Show Biz, Baby

So many film and TV productions have been turning up around town lately, it really feels like living on a set. Here, Bistro de la Gare serves as a location for something that looked pretty fancy. (Expensive suits! Fancy dresses!)

I actually was living on a set yesterday. My delightful little street got yet another 15 minutes of fame as the location of a TV commercial. Well, make that about 15 hours of fame -- that's about how long it took to finish the shoot.

Note to new South Pas residents who might not know the drill: make sure to find out all specifics when a production company tells you they're using your street for a location. If they are going to feature your house, you definitely want to get paid appropriately, and find out in advance how long you will be required to find alternative parking and how long a crew will have cameras trained on your front door. (Also, for heaven's sake, make sure not to run around in front of an open upstairs window in your underwear while filming is going on, either. Not that I've done that or anything...)

For more on movie and TV production in South Pasadena, check out my tag below and look at the column and slideshow I did last year for Patch.

15 comments:

Green Guy said...

They hardly ever shoot on my street.

Michelle said...

I saw them shooting this too!

South Pas Guy said...

Definitely negotiate a fee. I used to live in one of the high production value areas of town and I learned the hard way. It is disruptive to be unable to come and go or even open your door without clearance from a crew member. Sometimes it goes well into the night, too.

Anonymous said...

That is wild that Hollywood uses your city so much you have to learn to negotiate location fees!

Anonymous said...

That is so fun!

Laurie said...

Thanks, everybody.

It is wild that we live in a place that is a literal backlot for the film and tv production companies. I'm so used to it, I forget how unusual it is for most of the rest of the world!

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to live on a movie set I would have moved to a set on the West side. As I have communicated to the person in charge of filming in the City, the filming is disruptive and the amount of money the City earns is not worth the disruption. The City does a poor job of directing traffic at the site, parking should not be allowed on both sides of the street. There are many similar problems.

Anonymous said...

The first few years of it was fun but after 15 years I'm done. The production companies and their crews are now entitled and behave poorly. The lazy city does ZERO to help it's residents around the traffic film sites but that's typical.

Soccer Dad said...

Mostly it has been nice to get supplemental income for productions that use my property but occasionally a small time bunch pulls a fast one and get more than I agreed to. Happened on my street last week and I am still irritated. The director treated the street like a set and made demands not discussed in advance. Usually I have had a nice experience with adequate compensation but not this time. I do agree the traffic should be better handled but I assume the shooting makes money for the city and I am for that.

Anonymous said...

It's completely worth the incovenience. I'm not even IN the industry, and I am happy knowing that production on our streets means JOBS, and a working town means a working economy - not just for South Pasadena - but for the State. As for disruptive crews, non-permitted parking, or trash being left afterwards - A Monitor program (similar to the ones utilized in other cities)is necessary. Someone to ensure that productions arrive and leave when the permit stipulates, watches the parking overflow, and generally ensures that the companies are compliant and pleasant while visiting our neighborhoods. I'm all for the South Pasadena Police Department being on set to ensure safety - but they're not really assisting with the often needed communication between residents and production. Let's see some permit office liasons on our streets!

Anonymous said...

A permit office liaison is a great idea but it will never happen unfortunately. Two issue that bug me are speeding production vans running lights and stop signs and drive 45mph in 25mph zones.They could care less about the neighborhoods they are filming in. And request excessive parking restrictions for the residents in order for the crew to park their personal vehicles. Carpooling should be enforced.

Anonymous said...

There is a well paid film liaison person in the City.

Anonymous said...

Here's another tip. Decide to mow/edge/leaf blow when a company is shooting nearby. (make sure they're actually rolling, not setting up or wrapping out) If it is a legit production, the locations guy will hand you anywhere from fifty to a couple hundred bucks to decide to do your yard tasks another time depending on how compelling you are. This is absolutely nothing for them and is actually budgeted for on real productions. Note - don't do this to broke little indie film projects - only the big corporate operations. They're messing with your neighborhood - excise your piece of the pie!

Anonymous said...

The city of South Pasadena has an amazing film liaison! I don't know how much she is paid, but for the time that she puts into her job I am not sure I would say she is "well paid". Her job is hardly the typical 8-5 office job. She works very hard to be sure that filming runs smoothly and that the neighbors and production crews are all happy.
My experience has been that most film companies recognize they are "guests" in our neighborhoods and will do their best to "take care" of the neighbors that are most impacted. I think the homeowner should also do their best to make sure that their neighbors are treated fairly and respectfully. I agree with the comment about "JOBS" . There are a lot of South Pasadena residents that make their living in the film industry. So many film companies are leaving California for other states that are more welcoming. These production companies provide jobs to not only the people in the film industry, but to the caterers, security guards,cleaning crews etc. If you are unhappy with the way a film shoot is going on your street, talk to the location manager - they are reasonable people and if you're reasonable as well I think they will work with you. Film shoots don't happen on the same street everyday - it may be inconvenient for that day, but the next day you'll have your street back. If you are really unhappy, the film liaison will do everything she can to help remedy the situation.

Laurie said...

Thanks for all the thoughts about this, guys. I was not happy with last week's production on my street, but all the others i have personally dealt with have been courteous and professional, doing what they say and compensating fairly.

I love Joan Aguado our film liason. She works hard for the city and to make sure residents are happy. If you ever have a complaint about a production let her know.

Thanks again, gang.