Los Angeles Lowers Permit Costs for Digital Filmmakers

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

The Digital Makers Initiative, announced Friday by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, will cut permit costs by two-thirds.

In order to encourage digital productions in Los Angeles, FilmL.A., the official film office for the city and county of Los Angeles, is launching a new pilot program called the Digital Makers Initiative, which will reduce the costs of film permits for small and digital-first productions. The new initiative was announced Friday by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The program will cut the costs of film permitting for such productions by two-thirds. FilmL.A., which issues permits for filming in the region, currently charges an application fee of $660 for motion picture permits, among a variety of other charges.

The Digital Makers Initiative is designed for productions that have a low impact on the communities in which they shoot. Pilot participants will pay a $250 fee and will be required to take part in a FilmL.A. training program. Cast and crew will be limited to up to 15 people on set for interior filming and up to six people for exterior filming. Productions will have specific equipment requirements and filming of exceptional activity will be prohibited. There will be no special parking provisions or street closures for productions.

Digital filmmaking has been a growing force in the region. In the last year, location filming for digital-first media productions generated 2,113 production days in Los Angeles, up 46% over 2015, according to FilmL.A. Overall, on-location production in this category has increased by more than 350% since tracking began in 2010, accounting for as many production days in L.A. as sitcoms.

In announcing the initiative, Garcetti said, “Los Angeles has always been home to pioneers of the entertainment industry, and we should take down barriers to the kind of creative, future-minded innovation that small digital filmmakers represent. The Digital Makers Initiative will help us make sure that L.A. — with all of our beautiful scenery, iconic landmarks, and unmatched production resources — remains accessible to them.”

FilmL.A. will issue the first Digital Makers Initiative permits in October to the pilot participants, which include Buzzfeed, Fullscreen, Tastemade, mitú, Funny or Die, College Humor and 72andSunny.



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