Continuing my sleuthing efforts lately, I've been visiting some of our bigger community organizations and community centers.
The Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce, for example, is a large and dynamic membership organization that helps the area's business community grow and prosper. Its website is www.delnorte.org, also firstname.lastname@example.org, (707) 464-3174.
Attending the recent Chamber of Commerce mixer at Edward Jones Investments, hosted by Mike Sullivan, I was greeted by the lovely and personable Linda Ging. She introduced me to several friendly members, and she also emceed the meeting.
The function was attended by business owners, government workers, politicians, and individual members. I felt as if I was tapping into the very heart of the community.
I met Jeff Parmer, the executive director since May 2013, who was fun to talk to. Before moving to the Chamber, he was with the advertising department at the Triplicate. Aside from being very proud of the Chamber,he took the time to point out that it puts on great events that bring in large numbers of people from out of the area.
The Fourth of July festivities bring in roughly 20,000 people every year. Tens of thousands of dollars come into businesses because of the Chamber's leadership in such efforts as the Deck Party, Fourth of July Celebration, Sea Cruise,the Economic Summit, and the Visitor's Center.
The Chamber also provides business seminars, training, marketing, referrals, and advocacy. As advocates, for example, it was one of the first to write a letter to the editor about Last Chance Grade.
I also spoke with Tim Hoone, who heads a large community organization, Rural Human Services Workforce Center. He said he appreciates the Chamber's ongoing efforts to unite the business community and its Visitor Center does a tremendous job welcoming visitors.
The exciting presentation for this particular mixer was given by Cassandra Hesseltine, film commissioner, of the Humboldt Del Norte Film Commission (707-825-7600, email@example.com, and www.filmhumboldtdelnorte.org.) It is the liaison between the county and film productions, assisting with locations, permits, etc., promoting the area for filming, and fostering vendors to help keep them film friendly.Their efforts provide direct dollars to the community for hotel, gas, lunch, car rental, etc., and indirect dollars to the community through spending by the cast and crew, dinner, and retail purchases.
In a year, generated $94,000 in direct dollars. You can multiply that by three to include the indirect dollars spent. Those shoots involved theDiscovery Channel, National Geographic, and the feature film, "Love in the Time of Monsters." More recently, it generated $3,000 direct dollars, before the multiplier, for "Bigfoot Road Trips," "Artbeats" and Direct TV.
It doesn't have a dollar figure yet, but it's had shoots like Casio watch company and Bing search engine, and a huge movie scout visited the area.
Cassandra spoke in Los Angeles to film professionals about AE filming in our region and sat on a panel with 400 location professionals, including a producer of a Nicole Kidman movie, production manager of "The Lone Ranger and "Titanic," and location manager of the movie, "Mr. and Ms. Smith."
She had an article in the Los Angeles Times and the London location guide about the redwoods and places to film
She said she is busy at the film commission promoting the area for filming: "It will take time. We are excited about what the future holds."
Other ways it will market the area include a Map of the Movies (re: "ET," "Star Wars," "Dead Man" with Johnny Depp, etc.), and markers will be placed at each location).
The Film Commission is also planning a Familiarity Tour 2014 for nine Los Angeles professionals to visit all the highlights we have to offer.
And Cassandra was askedto be on the board of the Film Commissioners of California, a huge panel of 400 location professionals. It throws the LA Awards show that happens in October to honor location professionals and it hosts a trade show in the summer. She said the appointment "means they consider me a player."
In closing, Cassandra said she really needs businesses to sign up for the vendor list. A large vendor list will help attract film people. And she's asking people to let her know of additional film locations, such as out-of-the way places that still have proximity to parking, restrooms, restaurants, etc.
Reach Joan Miles at 464-2729 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.