There is currently a large helicopter flying almost directly above my loft. It has been circling for nearly 2 hours. The helicopter is part of a film crew that is filming a block north of my loft. The crew is parked both in the parking lot next to my loft, and the lot across the street where I park.
We were not notified. My wife has to wake up at 4:30 AM tomorrow for nursing school. It is almost midnight. I do not know where to turn in this situation.
I started out by calling 311, they forwarded me to the non-emergency LAPD dispatch who forwarded me to the LAPD’s Air Support Watch Commander. The Sergeant on watch was a nice fellow, and I could tell he felt bad that he couldn’t do anything about the disturbance. The deal is that if there is a permit, they have every right to be in the air, no matter who they are. He said that if I had a complaint I would need to jot down the tail letters and call the company in charge of the bird.
My issue isn’t with the helicopter pilot or the film crew. They are both doing their jobs. My problem is with FilmLA. FilmLA granted them the permits to film aerial shots late on a Sunday night. FilmLA continues to treat Downtown Los Angeles like their own private sound stage.
I actually have a friend at FilmLA who told me a few nights ago that everyone films in Downtown LA because it is cheaper than filming elsewhere in the city. Why is it so cheap to film in Downtown as opposed to other places where people live? I can tell you first hand that it isn’t cheap to live down here.
FilmLA and the production companies that film in Downtown have been getting a free ride for too long and that is all going to change soon. Nobody wants to see the motion picture industry disappear from Los Angeles. People live in Downtown and those people need to be treated fairly and with respect. In a few months, FilmLA’s contract with the City of Los Angeles expires. If things don’t change, and soon, renewing that contract renewal process will be an uphill battle.
UPDATE The timestamp for this post says 10:49, but due to some DST madness, it is incorrect. I posted this at 11:49pm. I currently don’t see or hear the helicopter, so hopefully the crew has wrapped for the night. Either way my wife is wearing ear protection and seems to be fast asleep.
UPDATE Part 2 Oh joy the helicopter is back. So far I’ve been contacted by 4 other Downtown residents. Eric Richardson blogged about it. The adhoc DLACN Film Issues meeting
tomorrow today should be quite interesting. I won’t be able to make it, but my wife will be there to voice our opinions.
UPDATE Part 3It is now 5am, my wife is getting up for nursing school, normally I would be asleep, but the crew is banging poles on the ground as they disassemble the circus tents in the parking lot across the street from my loft. Time for me to don the ear protection. Nice.