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BURBANK GIVES NEW MEANING TO `FILM SCHOOL'.

Byline: JASON KANDEL Staff Writer

BURBANK -- The city's schools are ready for their close-up.

The Burbank Unified school board last week approved a tentative contract with FilmL.A. Inc. to coordinate location film permitting for its 20 campuses. The nonprofit group also will market Burbank as a location for motion pictures, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

``I see it as a win-win,'' said Gregory Bowman, superintendent of the 15,000-student district. ``It supports the industry that, in fact, supports so much of what we do in this community.''

Terms of the contract were not immediately available as details are being finalized over the next two weeks. But officials said 75 percent of the profits generated from film shoots will go to campuses where the filming occurs.

The remaining 25 percent will go toward the district's ``Arts For All'' program, a blueprint for dance, drama, music and visual arts for grades kindergarten through 12.

Campus principals will be responsible for approving any filming, which would be restricted to non-school hours, officials said. And officials would bar filming that was considered disruptive to the students or residents living nearby.

Steven Bradley, assistant superintendent for business services, said this program is a good way to improve the district's relationship with the film industry.

``We haven't really been a good partner here in Burbank with the film industry,'' he said. ``While it's the home of the film industry in the United States, we don't do a lot of renting our facilities out to the film industry.''

Steve MacDonald, president of FilmL.A., said the project is good for the city, the schools, the students and the business community.

``It's great that this program generates revenue that the schools can put directly into educational programs,'' he said. ``But in this highly competitive environment for hosting film production, providing new location options in Burbank is also a plus for our clients in the production community.''

FilmL.A., formerly the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., has helped coordinate over 1,500 film shoots at 250 Los Angeles Unified School District sites since 2002, generating several million dollars in revenues, officials said.

The LAUSD charges $2,500 for a 15-hour shoot. FilmL.A. gets 16 percent of the gross proceeds, officials said.

Lisa Rawlins, senior vice president of Studio & Production Affairs at Warner Bros., said she has been talking with Burbank school officials for about 18 months about using FilmL.A.

``FilmL.A. is a great guardian of the schools,'' said Rawlins, who also sits on the board of directors for FilmL.A. ``They look after the needs of the schools. It seems like a good opportunity. It seems like a good fit.''

jason.kandel(at)dailynews.com

(818) 546-3306
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 10, 2006
Words:452
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