Task force aims to better L.A.’s image

Los Angeles city officials will shortly announce a new task force comprised mainly of entertainment people who will tackle the city’s post-riot image.

“We are now working with executives and with the creative world to deal with addressing the city’s image as a whole,” said Alfred Villalobos, L.A. deputy mayor of economic development.

The plan is to gather industryites together to brainstorm a public campaign that will counterattack the city’s poor image.

“We want to work on the perception of this city. Obviously a lot of it has to do with safety,” he said.

“We’re going to ask the entertainment industry to address that perception,” he said. “We frankly don’t believe that the perception truthfully reflects what L.A. is all about.”

Villalobos’ office also is in the midst of choosing a new film permit office director.

“We know that other states are acting very aggressively to get film production to their territory, and we will be countering that pretty quickly,” he said.

He noted that while the city issued more than 5,000 permits last year, “There’s no question we could do a lot more. There’s no reason ‘The Fugitive’ could not have been shot entirely in L.A.”

A director is due to be named. Villalobos said the next step will be to take a “more businesslike approach” to the permit system.

“We certainly want to see more uniformity in attitudes from the city, county and state,” he said. “Short of doing anything irresponsible, we want to do everything we can to help the industry and have them take a leadership role in helping L.A.”

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