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Los Angeles County Supervisors reduce fees for filming in Grand Park

Michael Juliano/KPCC

It will cost less now to shoot a movie, television show or commercial in downtown L.A.'s Grand Park.  But compared with other L.A. County parks, the place is hardly a cheap shoot. 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to lower the fees for filming in the park .  The fees will be as low as  $2,000 dollars a day to use a section of the park, and as high as $12,000 to use the whole space during off peak hours.      

That's a lot a lower than the current rate: $20,000 per section. But it still may be too much.

"At these filming rates, we're pretty sure we won't be issuing film permits for Grand Park," said Paul Audley, president of FilmL.A., which coordinates location film permits in Los Angeles County.  He says there's a disconnect between the filming fees at Grand Park and the rest of the county's parks.

"All other parks are $400 dollars, and even the premiere parks like Descanso Gardens range from $1500 to a maximum of $6400 for the whole park," said Audley. 

Ed Duffy, a business agent and vice president for Teamsters Local 399, agreed that the new rates are  higher than most production crews are willing to pay.

"We're losing jobs," said Duffy, a former location manager, after the vote. "Our jobs are fleeing to other states and countries that are offering more incentives than we can in California right now."  

The 12-acre Grand Park connects City Hall to Bunker Hill.  It opened last summer, and the Music Center begin managing its rental rates, rather than the county.   Last month, Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Don Knabe suggested waiving the filming fees for six months to gauge demand and establish the park as a county icon.  But County Supervisor Gloria Molina worried it’s too early to let film crews in for cheap...or for nothing.  

"I would like to have the park only be available to the public at this time," Molina said before the vote.  But in the end Molina and three of her board colleagues supported the lower rates, and the board directed the county CEO to report back in six months on how they’re working.