Increased TV and film location shooting in Los Angeles is a good thing, but can it cross a line?
Some residents in a very quiet neighborhood Valley Village think so….and they have good reason. They support local filming, but a certain production has turned their block into a studio backlot extension for too many days.
Five times in two years, to be exact, for multiple days per event – all at the same residence. The permits cover 3-5 days each, although there is usually an added day at the front or back end for prep and breakdown. The hours run from 6AM to 10PM. However, the crews start arriving at 5AM. Overall, this quiet residential street has been a commercial zone for approximately 25 days within the last two years (with more to come), with 10-ton trucks, trailers, canteen vehicles and porta-johns lining both sides of the street. There are no ex-LAPD officers on hand.
Aside from noise, difficulties backing out of driveways, lack of parking or inadequate access for emergency vehicles – concerns which can be mostly overlooked if they occurred a couple of times per year – the conversion of a residential street for commercial use on a semi-regular frequency is contrary to the right to enjoy one’s property.
There are no restrictions as to how often a specific block or residence can be used as a shooting location.
There are restrictions on yard sales, however.
The owners of the residence who allowed their home to be used are gone during the filming and do not have to put up with the inconvenience. There must certainly be some form of compensation involved. If so, I hope they report it on their tax returns. According to the residents I spoke with, they have not been responsive to appeals from the neighbors.
It would seem there should be a reasonable restriction on location filming in residential neighborhoods, including limits on the number and size of vehicles, the frontage occupied, the hours and days per shoot and minimum requirements for a permit approvals from the affected residents in accordance with the nature and scope of the shoot.
The zoning laws of our city are increasingly being ignored at the expense of the residents.
In this instance, the production company may be enjoying a tax credit for filming locally, but the residents receive little or nothing, only congestion, the aroma of the honey wagons, and noise late into the night.
Not a good deal.