California's New Motion Picture Development Council

Article excerpt

The "cobbler's children" finally get shoes, as the state which is the site of the world's greatest film industry belatedly establishes an office to provide every aid for film-makers shooting in California

Eighteen long months, dogged determination on the part of motion picture industry leaders, tenacity and perseverance on the part of a State Senator and a State Assemblyman, the pressures of growing competition from other states, recognition by a farsighted young Governor of the industry's "felt need", and some good, oldfashioned creative thinking all around have paid off for the Golden State.

How? With the opening on April 5, 1976 of the State of California government-operated Motion Picture Development Council coordinating office at 107 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. (Zip code: 90012. Telephone number: (213) 620-5170.)

This is the newest industry liaison office in the country and certainly the only one set up to deal with the California film industry on its own turf, with an insider's view of the problems and benefits of "shooting in your own back yard."

The Los Angeles office Is the operating arm of a twelve-person advisory council chaired by State Senator Alan Robbins (D.-North Hollywood). This group has been around since 1974 when the legislature passed a bill which created the Motion Picture Development Council, but did not provide any funding to put Council plans into operation. That had to wait, to come from Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in February of this year.

In addition to Senator Robbins, the appointed council members include: Assemblyman Herschel Rosenthal, (D.Los Angeles), Vice-chairman; Albert A. Dorskind, Corporate Vice President, MCA, Inc.; Howard D. Fabrick, Esq., Loeb & Loeb; George J. Flaherty, First Vice President, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; Robert K. Hagel, General Manager and Chief Executive, The Burbank Studios; John J. Hennessy, President, Hennessy Productions; President, International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers; Chester L. Migden, National Executive secretary, Screen Actors Guild; Robert C. Peters, Vice President, Paramount Pictures Corporation.

A group of production consultants and advisors has been added to that nucleus to expand the knowledgebase:

Roger M. Anderson, Motion Picture Coordinator, Sonoma County, California; Martin Gang, Legal Counsel to the CMPDC, Gang, Tyre & Brown; Kenneth L. Grossman, formerly with Universal Studios; E. Gregory Hookstratten, Hookstratten & Byrne; Richard M. Kerns, President, West Coast Division, EUE/Screen Gems; Marshall Manley, Manatt, Phelps and Rothenberg; Lindsley Parsons, Jr., Executive Production Manager, Paramount Pictures Corporation; John T. Reynolds, President, Television Division, Golden West Broadcasters, and General Manager, KTLA; David Salven, Executive Producer, Universal City Studios; John M. Pavlik, Director of Public Relations, Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, Inc.; Kenneth ViIs of Councilman Ferraro's office; Jacques Barzaghi, Special Advisor to the Governor for the Arts, serves as gubernatorial liaison with the Council.

Administration of the office is in the hands of Liz Brady, a twelve-year veteran of State civil service whose background in and out of State service includes industrial/informational/educational and PR film production, direct mail advertising, and public information officer assignments with a wide variety of State departments. Rhoda Sims is office secretary. Research assistants and other staff members will come on board soon.

An ambitious set of goals and objectives has been developed by the Council. According to Senator Robbins, the primary objective, however, is to do "everything possible within reason to cut red tape for the industry when dealing with State government, local jurisdictions, and other governmental bodies . . . ."

He added, "The parade of filmmakers to out-of-State location sites takes with it almost a hundred million dollars a year, according to conservative estimates. …