LOCUS FOCUS OF SHOW

Reps from 30+ nations set for Locations '97

The Assn. of Film Commissioners Intl. will stage its 12th annual Locations trade show Feb. 7-9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

More than 295 film offices, location production reps and production services exhibitors are expected to attend from more than 30 countries.

“Every aspect of the show, from free admission to an improved layout, is designed to provide easy access to a world of location filming opportunities,” noted Linda Taylor Hutchison, AFCI prexy. “As the world’s largest market for locations and location services, it is a must for any film, TV, commercial or video production professional interested in finding the ideal location for any project and getting the most out of every production dollar.”

Seminars presented this year will be co-sponsored by the Directors Guild of America, the Defense Dept. and Sprint’s network technology division. All seminars run 2-3 p.m.

The first seminar, “The Virtual Studio: Post-Production Online and On Location,” will take place Feb. 7, and will introduce and demonstrate DRUMS, Sprint’s new networking technology, which links directors, editors and special effects designers for real-time post-production sessions from distant locations without requiring them to leave the set.

The second seminar, “Partners in Production: Creating Value With the Film Commission,” is co-sponsored by the DGA and is set for Feb. 8. This sesh will explore how film commissions and production teams can work to help bring projects in on time, on budget and with the greatest production value.

The final seminar, “Working With the Military: Opening Doors to Closed Bases,” skedded for Feb. 9, will examine the transformation of closed military bases into film and TV production centers, and how their use can benefit the production industry and local economies. Reps from the U.S. Dept. of Defense will outline the process by which these facilities can be accessed; and entertainment industry mavens will discuss the practical uses of the bases.

Show hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 9. For further information, call (213) 852-4747.

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Attending the Locations expo for the first time will be reps from the Northern Mariana Islands, which recently opened a film office in the United States’ most distant possession.

Kurt Burkhart, special assistant to Northern Marianas Gov. Froilan Tenorio, will head up the film office and be on hand for Locations ’97. Tenorio will also host a press conference during the annual event to drum up support in the film industry for his islands.

The Northern Marianas, home to 29,000 U.S. citizens, were first introduced to the film industry last year when the Walt Disney Co. approached the governor to possibly buy or lease one of the chain’s 14 islands for a TV series it was planning.

“It makes good sense to explore this area further, and the decision to create a film office was made,” Burkhart said. “We are also entertaining incentives to build soundstage and film lab facilities on Saipan, the largest island.”

The 14-island chain stretches across 400 miles in the western Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Japan.

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