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DTLA Filming Up 20%, Local Business and Residents Suffer

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Photo by ricardodiaz11 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by ricardodiaz11 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Downtown residents and visitors know the tell-tale signs: motorcycle cops standing next to their bikes at key locations, cones blocking streets, fake police cars for a city we don't live in whizzing by, star wagons clustered a parking lot away, detours a-plenty and no parking for blocks means there's yet another film shoot taking place. Filming in DTLA is up 20% and old frustrations are cropping up right along with it, according to Downtown News.

A recent GMC commercial shoot shut down the area in front of the Nickel Diner and owner Monica May says the shoot cost her a 20% drop in sales. Other merchants and many downtown residents are singing the same - and oh so familiar - tune. With more than 8,000 production days projected to take place downtown this year, how can film shoots (and the much-needed revenue they bring) peacefully co-exist with businesses and residents when the shoots make basic travel (even on foot) and access to services a frustrating challenge at best?

FilmL.A. CEO Paul Audley believes that the tighter restrictions adopted last March on hours, lighting, rush-hour shoots and equipment placement have been an effective compromise so far and notes that complaints about filming are slightly down from previous years. Though some downtown building owners see there has been an improvement, others like Monica May feel it's not enough. May doesn't even contact FilmL.A. any longer because they are so slow to respond. "I feel like, I can sit out here and stamp my feet and have a hissy fit about this, but ultimately the money is going to go where the money is going to go," May said. "Money is what always talks. It always has."

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If you believe FilmL.A. has your back and there's a film shoot to complain about, you can call them to report it (only while the production is in progress) at 213-977-8600.

What has your downtown filming experience been like? No big deal or a big hassle?

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