Film production goes to the head of the class in the Los Angeles Unified School District, thanks to a partnership with the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. The EIDC wants to expand and simplify filming opportu-nities at the 900 campuses and properties in the L.A. area. Its mantra: Call EIDC first.

“This is a big step in helping keep filming and production-related jobs at home,” said Cody G. Cluff, EIDC president. “The production community is always saying, ‘Make it easier.’ This partnership will mean one-stop permits, one-stop coordination, less paperwork and one place to pay for it all.”

Partnership was inspired by school board president Caprice Young, who has pledged to work hand-in-hand with EIDC to streamline approvals, reduce red tape and delays and facilitate access to LAUSD properties by the production community.

Pumping coin into schools

“At a time when we’re dealing with districtwide budget issues, filming and filming-related revenue helps our local schools address their specific needs,” Young said. “This partnership with EIDC will decentralize the filming process and allow our school principals and local superintendents to have greater input into marketing their campuses and developing site-specific filming programs.”

Last year, LAUSD hosted about 350 days of production. The most popular locations for filming were Burroughs Middle School, Doris Place Elementary, Grant High School, Marshall High School and Verdugo Hills High School. EIDC is developing a location library of LAUSD proper-ties.

For information on filming oppor-tunities at LAUSD, contact EIDC’s Facilities & Production Services unit at (323) 957-3000.

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Craig Rice, new executive director of the Minnesota Film & Television Board, hopes to wrestle Gov. Jesse Ventura’s approval for maintaining the state’s Snowbate film rebate program. Rebate, originally 5% of the production costs for features shot in the state, was upped to 10% and now includes TV production as well.

More than 30 projects have bene-fited from Snowbate, with more than $1.2 million returned to film and TV producers. Films shot in the state include “Fargo,” “Grumpy Old Men,” “Mighty Ducks,” “A Simple Plan” and, most recently, 20th Century Fox’s “Joe Somebody.”

Amid Minnesota’s economic woes, the wisdom of production rebates is being questioned.

Working on database

Rice said he plans to focus on the state’s strength in unique locations, crew base and state-of-the-art produc-tion facilities. An interactive produc-tion/locations database is in the works.

Rice, a director with Minnesota roots, helmed the Emmy-nominated HBO doc “Half Past Autumn,” about filmmaker/photographer Gordon Parks, and ABC’s “We Teach Our Children,” about desegregation in the Los Angeles school system, in addition to commercials and musicvideos including Prince’s “Graffiti Bridge.”

“Craig has a depth of experience in television and in film, as well as the respect of the local and national crea-tive community,” said Film & Television Board prexy Chan Phillips. “His leadership skills will help the board to continue its work and expand its mission.”

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