Lights! Camera! And, a renewed scenario of action for the makers of movies, television shows and other projects that regularly roll film in the Inland Empire.
Sheri Davis and Dan Taylor, who have almost four decades of combined experience facilitating the production of film projects in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, are striking out on their own. Formerly the force behind the Inland Empire Film Commission, Davis and Taylor, after working under the auspices of another agency for many years, will again be the go-to people for film crews who want to focus their cameras on the region. They will provide a multitude of services that include film permits, traffic control, compliance and other logistical services.
Their new agency, Inland Empire Film Services, launched recently and is currently lining up a series of agreements to assist the many of the area’s 50-plus cities and towns and its special land-use districts when film crews want to come to town.
Inland Empire Film Services will handle many of the problems movie-goers and television-watchers do not see on the screen. Film crews, in populated areas and in open spaces, must have permits to operate and also have to make sure the public is not inconvenienced during shooting. That means keeping local law enforcement and other agencies in the loop, among other tasks.
IE Film Services will make all of those arrangements and more, making it the invaluable link between the film crews and the local area, said Davis. The idea, she said, is to meld the traditional operation of a film commission with other services utilized by the industry and by local governments.
“The idea is to create a one-stop shop for the film industry and for the local communities,” Davis said. “It’s something that has not been done before.”
In addition to working with film crews, IE Film Services also plans to assist cities on issues such as traffic control during local events such as parades. Their services would include duties like community notification, lane and street closures, posting the relevant street and road signs, barricades, safety gear and developing relationships with local law enforcement.
Over the years, the Inland Empire, from city streets to the more remote areas in the desert and mountain areas, have frequently been targeted by film crews, including many big-budget motion pictures. These titles, filmed at least in part in the Inland Empire, include major Hollywood blockbusters such as Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Changeling and Valkyrie, along with top television shows such as 24, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Veep, Top Gear and The Grand Tour.
And the economic impact of these film projects is considerable. Film crews regularly buy goods running from stage props and tools to food and fuel, from local stores, contractors and vendors. Since 1995, filming provided $1.4 billion in revenues for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In the most recent fiscal year, the film industry spent more than $50 million in the Inland Empire.
Inland Empire Film Services is currently renewing its relationships with both counties and numerous cities. Davis and Taylor they are also working on Memorandums of Understanding with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Wild land in the mountains and deserts are both very popular locations for the film industry, mostly because of the relative proximity to Los Angeles and the terrains that can be portrayed as mountains or deserts of other countries.
The work Davis and Taylor have done over the years have been cited as deserving “special thanks” in the closing credits of countess movies. Their efforts with Inland Empire Film Services will be doing will ensure that this list of closing credits is just starting.