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Location pros earn kudos

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Need to shut down Pacific Coast Highway for Mel Brooks’ latest feature? Want longer chain links on neighborhood park swings to appease a commercial director? Are neighbors demanding “do not go beyond this point” signs be posted for your tentpole production?

The locations professionals who answer those calls and more to complete a director’s vision were honored Sunday night as the Film Liaisons in California, Statewide (FLICS) held its 10th annual California on Location Awards.

The event was hosted by “Six Feet Under” thesp James Cromwell and TV-radio host Bill Rogers at the Marina del Rey Ritz-Carlton.

Sheri Davis, Inland Empire film commissioner and creator of the COLA awards, received an honorary kudos. “Locations appear so low in the film credits, but they’re the director’s eyes,” Davis said.

Additionally, the COLAs recognize government employees who make location production in California a little less complicated.

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And the winners are…

PRODUCTION COMPANY — FEATURES

Fox Searchlight, Alexander Payne’s “Sideways”

LOCATION MANAGER — FEATURES

Janice Polley, Michael Mann’s “Collateral”

PRODUCTION COMPANY — TELEVISION

20th Century Fox Television, “24”

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL — TELEVISION

John Johnston and Tony Salome, “24”

STILL PHOTOGRAPHY PRODUCTION CO.

Damon Prods.

STILL-PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION PROFESSIONAL

Eric Hedayat

PRODUCTION COMPANY — COMMERCIALS

RSA

LOCATION PROFESSIONAL — COMMERCIALS

Chris White

CITY EMPLOYEE

Marina Chang, Los Angeles

COUNTY EMPLOYEE

Sharon Lofgran, San Bernadino County

STATE EMPLOYEE

Royal McCarthy, CalTrans

FEDERAL EMPLOYEE

Gina Robison, Bureau of Land Management,

* * *

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom unveiled a seven-point plan to revitalize and promote the city’s film industry. Recommendations include the appointment of eight film commissioners and the nomination of executive director Stefanie Pleet Coyote, fulfilling a campaign pledge to fully staff the city’s film office.

“The film and entertainment industry in San Francisco generates upward of $365 million annually for the local economy — it creates jobs and fuels our tourism industry,” Newsom said. “That’s why I’ve drafted this seven-point plan to create investments and incentives that encourage filmmakers to come to San Francisco and invest in our city.”

Newsom’s plan:

  • Allocate $350,000 in additional funds to the city’s Film Commission to create incentives and upgrade local movie facilities.

  • Capital improvements for the Treasure Island film facility, as well as upgrading soundstages to state of the art. Providing rent give-backs to filmmakers in return for facility improvements.

  • Issuance of an executive order by Newsom to streamline bureaucracy, including the appointment of film liaisons for key government departments; cooperation with the Film Commission; recalibrating use fees.

  • Holding a San Francisco Film Industry Conference with industry, community and government officials to solve the problems confronting productions and filmmakers working on location in the city.

  • Newsom also supports Senate Bill 1637, which addresses runaway production and grants tax write-offs for the first $15 million in film expenditures for U.S. companies’ productions. The approved legislation, while still providing a tax incentive for films produced in the U.S., did not meet the overall hoped for product line tax calculation benefits (Daily Variety, Oct. 7).

Recent feature pics lensed in San Francisco include “Hulk,” “Twisted,” “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” and “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

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