Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, director of engineering: crowdrise, photojournalist, hacker, nerd, geek, human

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Problems with FilmLA

Filming and the Entertainment Industry in general are both huge sources of revenue for both Angelenos and the City of Los Angeles. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies and I think it is cool that they are commonly filmed in my neighborhood. In no way do I want to see the industry move out of Los Angeles, or even Downtown, not that it would even if it could. Those points aside, there are some serious problems with they way shoots are planned and executed, especially in Downtown.

A bit over a month ago I wrote an emotionally charged piece about my run-in with an especially rude film crew member. The response that I received from fellow downtown dwellers was amazing. Last week, one of the people who first contacted me about the post, Bert Green, started a thread on a Downtown mailing list and posted the responses.

Over the weekend the DLANC powers that be added an addendum to the meeting that was to take place the following Monday, and were able to get a representative from FilmLA to come down and talk to the community and the council. I missed most of the meeting, but I came in time to hear the FilmLA guy talk about how there would be "too much information" if they were to post all the notifications on their website. He also said that trying to send "those union people" to courtesy training would be impossible.

One thing I found especially funny was that he said there were good Location Managers and bad ones, and the bad ones spoil it for everyone, he then went on to name the Location Manager for the recent Tranformers shoot as one of the good ones. The Transformers shoot where they blew up a truck at 7am on a Saturday after only giving notification to residents on the same block. The explosion could be heard for miles.

As I see it there are some issues with FilmLA, which I am sure we will be addressed in the near future, mostly because their contract is up in June:

  • FilmLA's funding comes from the permit fees the collect, that right there is a huge conflict of interest.
  • FilmLA has failed and continues to fail to properly notify residents of pending shoots.
  • FilmLA has little or no government or citizen oversight of the approval process
  • Production companies that continually break the rules are still issued permits and there are no consequences for their actions

The meeting was attended by nearly ever Downtown LA blogger, including: Ed (who wrote about the meeting), Jim, Celia, Don, Ben, and Ginny. If you are interested in being a part of the solution, DLANC has created a task force to deal with the problems and the first meeting is this coming Monday in the P.E. Lofts. More details along with Ginny-Marie's notes from the meeting after the jump.

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Canon Powershot SD550 Flash Problems

For xmas I bought both my fiance and myself a new point and shoot compact camera. I had previously owned a Sony DSC-T1 and I really liked it, but I really love my Canon EOS 20D so I picked up a pair of the SD550s. The camera takes wonderful photos, but when I take pictures of anything close and the flash fires the photo is totally overexposed. This shouldn't be a problem with a $500 digital camera, it certainly wasn't with the DSC-T1. I hope that Canon will come out with a firmware update to regulate the flash properly.

UPDATE Ok so after talking to a salesperson at Samy's Camera where I bought the camera and some experimentation I got the exposure working ok. I turned on Macro mode (even though I'm shooting from a couple feet away) and that helped and then I tried Manual mode with the metering set to center weighted and that fixed the problem. Also using the redeye reduction flash helps too.