A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oh, poor Malibu!

Yahoo News: Malibu attempts to tame excessive filming":

For the 12,575 residents who live in this tiny enclave along the picturesque coastline the onslaught of reality TV crews filming everything from "The Bachelor" to "The Osbournes" has become too much. Enough complaints have reached city hall, which issues 500 permits a year, from residents like Mr. Flannery that the city is considering tougher permit rules.

Malibu city council last week gave initial approval to a provision that would allow filming after 10 p.m. only if the producers received unanimous approval from those living within a 500 ft. radius of the filming. Also under review this week is a proposal that keeps the current cap at 20 days for filming in one location but introduces a new requirement that producers must re-petition and solicit 100 percent neighborhood approval to continue past 16 days.

Malibu is not the only place in southern California's so-called "studio zone" - a 30-mile radius starting at the corner of Beverly Blvd. and La Cienega in Los Angeles - which has remained a favorite of film studios for decades. Beverly Hills issues about 500 film permits a year and nearby Santa Monica issues about 300. All report a rise in complaints. As networks pressure production companies to keep up with the steady stream of reality TV programs some say it has brought a more discourteous crowd of younger producers more intent on keeping to a ramped up schedule than paying attention to longstanding rules.

Yet some say the complaints are being generated by only a handful of unhappy residents and far outweigh a few isolated incidences of disturbance.

But the current debate is a case study in what some communities have been putting up with for years - and how the increased production shooting schedules have pushed more residents to the brink. Officials say they are caught in the middle between families who feel increasingly encroached upon and local businesses that rely on immediate and ancillary income from moviemaking.

Among neighbors there exists a wide range of reactions to film crews working late into the night and closing off roads. Some residents welcome the opportunity to make up to $10,000 a day by renting their property. But this can create rifts with neighbors who have no choice but to endure the glare of lights and the swarm of traffic surrounding next door.

"It really is a problem when trucks and film crews block Pacific Coast Highway and cause traffic jams that cost drivers a full 30 minutes to an hour," says Mayor Andy Stern. "I've been stuck there myself and ask myself, 'Why am I stopped dead in my tracks for a film crew?' Some of the crews have been throwing bottles and leaving trash and refuse to move their big rigs when a neighbor needs [to reach] their driveway. Who needs it?"
Kind of funny. How many of the movie stars who are in these films and shows live in Malibu?