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Temecula Wine Country Among Reasons Hollywood Should Look Southward, Supes Say

"I believe that with all the attributes of our county -- deserts, mountains, wine country, beautiful lakes -- we have all the sites that a production company would be looking for."

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized the formation of a committee to research ways of bringing more film and television business to Riverside County.

"There are things we can do," said Supervisor John Benoit, who joined Supervisor Jeff Stone in proposing the establishment of a committee. "We can take steps toward becoming the most friendly place in California to shoot a TV show or movie."

Stone said the county's diverse topography makes it an ideal place for entertainment industry projects.

"I believe that with all the attributes of our county -- deserts, mountains, wine country, beautiful lakes -- we have all the sites that a production company would be looking for to stage a production ... Our message should be: 'We'll make it easy on you.' Let's throw out the red carpet, offer a non-bureaucratic process and let them do their business."

According to the supervisors, a "model" ordinance is needed to eliminate fees and ensure expedited handling of film and TV companies' requests to set up shoots locally.

The Blue Ribbon Committee will seek input from industry players on what can be done to attract Hollywood projects and compete for business bound for other locations, particularly Canada, according to county Foreign Trade Commissioner Tom Freeman.

"The goal is to make Riverside County 'the most film- and television- friendly county in the nation' and bring back production crews to the county and its 28 cities," he said.

So-called "runaway production" has led to billions in lost revenue to California, as well as tens of thousands of lost jobs, according to FilmLA.com and other sources.

By one estimate, the number of studio-backed feature films shot in California dropped from 66 percent in 2003 to less than 40 percent last year.

According to Freeman, because of its hefty tax breaks for labor and other incentives, Canada remains a big draw for many projects that originate in the U.S. He used the city of Toronto as an example, noting that the $1.13 billion in location film and television spending there last year represented a 25 percent increase from the year before.

Freeman said American film and TV production companies have spent an estimated $2.2 billion in Toronto over the past seven years.

In 2009, the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program went into effect. However, there's a backlog of companies applying for the 20-25 percent credits for labor. The program is limited to $100 million in credits annually.

According to the OFT, a single 5-day TV episode creates 165 jobs and generates about $2 million in revenue to the community where it's shot.

Members of the Blue Ribbon Committee will include representatives from area convention and visitors' bureaus, the Inland Empire Film Commission, the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and the 28 cities.

Benoit's said there are already plans for a county Web page dedicated exclusively to advertising the plethora of possible filming locations within the county.

Tumblingdie December 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Great idea! Anytime you can bring commerce and revenue to your neighborhood, city, county or state, you're doing good in most cases. Inviting the film industry into our county is an excellent example of good commerce, whereas bringing in Granite Construction to tear up our hills for a handful of jobs was not. Maybe there is hope for this BOS after all...
Galactic Cannibal December 19, 2012 at 04:45 PM
A fantastic idea. but if you want it to happen you must grease some palms in Hollywood. A place known for its closed door dealings. And a lot of talented but very weird people. Best way to approach is to make offers they cannot refuse. Riverside Co has all the necessary scenery and space. Sadly it also has an perceived image of low glamour and high crime. Both in my opinion are untrue.
Lash LaRue December 19, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Sound good until you will have to pay each crew member their $150 per deim everyday because the shoot is more than 30 miles from Hollywood. It is a 30 mile radius used by union film projects to determine per diem rates and driving distances for crew members. The center of the studio zone is located at the southeast corner of Beverly and La Cienega in Los Angeles California. More than 90 cities and parts of three counties including Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties fall within the 30-mile studio zone.
Candi Oliver December 19, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Be careful of Benoit what does he want; not to long ago he wanted to sell us to Granite, not careing about the mess that Granite would make.. Be careful Jeff, you never know what he might try to do to our Temecula Valley. Never know about his intentions. I would love to see the movie Industry look at our Valley
SA December 19, 2012 at 07:37 PM
“Beautiful Lakes” I wonder what lakes he is referring to…
Brenda December 19, 2012 at 07:46 PM
That is great info Lash. Probably very true as I lived in Whittier most of my life until about 14 years ago and they were always filming in the City or somewhere around it. Captain America? Not sure if that is the one where he flies down an older city street, but that was Uptown Whittier, then all the Back to the Futures used one older town Uptown Whittier for his home, then filmed at our Whittier High School, at the Mall in La Puente, Uptown Whittier at the Guitar shop, well all over. There were so many other movies I cant remember and only those two cause they were popular at my age, LOL. Even San Diego, while living there I think I only heard of one film being shot down there. Had a few friends in the set building area of the industry and they never went far from Hollywood, and I think it would be cheaper to build something on a studio lot then go too far. Nice info Lash, now who the hell are you?? :)
Brenda December 19, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Beautiful lakes? Where the pontoon boat is constantly hitting the silty bottom and getting stuck cause there is no water in our lakes? So it always looks muddy and dirty? All I saw was ahh.....yep, and then alot of......yep........and alot of loud "music" blaring from the shore and the ahh boats......yep and decided it was time to stop going to the Lakes :/
Galactic Cannibal December 19, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Dude 95% of all top movies are made and directed in foreign lands .. Spain, ..New Zealand,.... England etc Africa....Russia Sounds like you are living in the 50.s through 70's dude.
SA December 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Brenda that was spot on... I rented my Canyon Lake front house out and moved back to Murrieta...
TVOR December 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM
They already film alot of adult films here, why not regular movies?
Brenda December 19, 2012 at 11:53 PM
But Dude Gal Cann, In foreign countries they make more movies then we do, LOL. If we film parts of a movie over there we rent all of their companies and people, and then in the USA back to ours. If you watch the credits of a movie at the end it will list who they worked with say in Europe, and then who they worked with in Ireland, and then who they worked with in Hollywood. ALOT of movies work in different countries and use their crews and they only have to fly the cast members who have parts in that scene or whatever. Even down to say Stuntman for Mr. Cruise in England, Stuntman for Mr. Cruise in USA. Its actually cheaper for us to make a movie over there because there are so many competitors out there to fill the jobs.
Brenda December 19, 2012 at 11:56 PM
DAng SA, and I wasn't even thinking about Canyon Lake. Its a wonder people do not get killed out there in the summer. Went once last summer with friends who still live there, and have for over 18 years now, and I couldnt believe the partying, in the houses and in the boats. I wonder if its worse now because so many homes are rented out now for the summers? Used to be so beautiful SA, I feel for you.
Brenda December 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM
WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TVOR they do? Interesting.
TVOR December 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM
How do you think many of these folks with the mansions around town pay their huge morgages?
Brenda December 20, 2012 at 12:02 AM
They rent them out to the porno movie producers? I ask these questions for a reason and no not because I want to rent my house out, LOL
keepn it real December 20, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Sounds good to me more revenue for us ...win win :-)
R Cousins December 20, 2012 at 07:41 AM
Great idea! It would bring so much to this valley besides make-up.
keepn it real December 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Lol @ R Cousins :-)

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