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Byline: Greg Hernandez Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which makes about $1 million each year by allowing production companies to film on its campuses, has entered into a new three-year contract with the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. to administer film permits.

The 20th Century Fox comedy ``Fat Albert'' and the Paramount Pictures basketball drama ``Coach Carter'' were among recent feature films that used LAUSD locations. On the television side, participating series have included Fox's ``Malcolm in the Middle'' and CBS' ``Joan of Arcadia'' and ``Cold Case.''

``At a time when schools face many funding challenges, the revenue generated by location shooting helps fill the gap,'' said Ruben Rojas, the district's director of revenue enhancement, who announced the new contract Monday.

Rojas said the district also solicited bids from other vendors but decided to stick with EIDC, which began working with the LAUSD three years ago, because of ``its proven track record and ability to deal with complex film-permitting issues.''

The EIDC provides staff members assigned to work on behalf of the district to perform license coordination, accounting, reporting, community-relations services and marketing for more than 800 LAUSD properties.

LAUSD officials recently revised the district's fee structure for the first time since 1992, including the extension of a full day of shooting from 14 to 15 hours. The daily rate is increasing from $1,700 to $2,500, which district officials said is comparable to or still below the rates charged by neighboring school districts.

``We have worked hard to earn the district's confidence over the past three years and look forward to continuing to build its film-location program,'' said EIDC President Steve McDonald.

McDonald said the EIDC is also currently in talks with the Burbank Unified School District to handle its film permitting.

Among schools most frequently used by production companies are University High School in West Los Angeles, Grant High School in Van Nuys, Burroughs High School in Hancock Park, Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, LeConte Middle School in Hollywood, Dorris Place Elementary School in Elysian Park and Melrose Elementary School in Hollywood.

Individual schools that host on-location shooting receive 75 percent of the fee revenue. The remaining 25 percent goes into a fund to benefit schools that do not directly generate film revenues.

Birmingham, with its 76-acre campus and superior athletic facilities, is one of the campuses used most often. Scenes from ``Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle'' and ``Stuck on You'' were filmed there, as were several television series, music videos and commercials.

``For a Missy Elliot video, they used a lot of the kids as extras,'' said Rick Prizant, the school's athletic director and math teacher, who acts as liaison between Birmingham and the EIDC. ``We try and accommodate companies because we realize how important filming is to the local economy.''

Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005

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