Film production in Coachella Valley in full force after revised film ordinance takes effect

Film production in Coachella Valley in full force thanks to revised film ordinance

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Film and TV production roll out in the Coachella Valley.  It's partly thanks to a revised film ordinance, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved in September.

"We've began an effort to try and incentivize the film industry from Los Angeles to stay here instead of going to Canada or going to Europe," said Supervisor John Benoit.  

"Really the reason I'm out here is because the city of Palm Springs has made it very easy for us to shoot out here," said Jim Valdez, a director and producer who will be shooting a series of movies in the Coachella Valley over the next three years. 

One of them is Little Loopers, and we were invited on the set to get a look at the production.  

Set in Palm Springs, it's the first project completed since the ordinance took effect, and the first of many to experience some of its benefits.

"Everything they need is right here, 100 miles from home: reasonably-priced hotel rooms and they don't have to pay transient occupancy tax," Benoit said.

"We're offering concierge class service for those that want to film here," said Lisa Brandl, managing director of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency.

The revised ordinance eliminates the film permit fee and waives charges for the use of county facilities like the courtroom used in Little Loopers. 

"They'll waive whatever they can to help us keep going here. But in addition to the incentives it's just the pledge by the film community to make it easy for us," Valdez said.

"We want to know what is it that we can do to make thing better for them to come here," Brandl said. 

Bringing production here means big business for the valley economy.

"I don't have crews here, I have to bring them in from LA so I have to house and feed everybody. We're spending a lot of money at the hotels, dry cleaners, gyms," Valdez said. 

And there are some additional, inherent perks to shooting in the desert.

"The backdrop, the mountain, the beautiful golf courses, the weather. It's hard to beat," said Boyd Kestner, the lead actor and writer of Little Loopers. 

Little Loopers is the story of a down and out former golf pro who turns his life around when he's forced to coach a youth golf team.

For more information on these productions visit: http://www.filminlandempire.com and http://www.palmspringsfilm.com

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