The Riverside County Board of Supervisors chambers morphed into a sound stage recently, filling in on a family friendly film when a production company lost its original shooting location.
That supporting role was just the idea Supervisors Jeff Stone and John Benoit had in mind last year when they proposed amending a county ordinance to give commercial production companies temporary, free use of county-owned property and facilities during filming.
“This is exactly the kind of assistance we wanted to provide,” said Stone, chairman of the Board. “It stimulates the economy, provides jobs, and helps the movie industry thrive in California.”
The ordinance was amended in October amid reports that many movie production companies were abandoning California for more film-friendly locations.
“It’s a proud moment to have a film made here in the county building,” Benoit said. “We have more than 360 county properties that filmmakers can use for free, and we’re thrilled to help them get access to these excellent and varied locations.”
On Sept. 3, panicked producers wound up without a shooting location for the next day and contacted the Riverside County Film & Television Office. With added help from the Clerk of the Board and Facilities Management, a crew spent two days filming parts of a movie called “Chalk it Up.” County staff also secured other shooting locations for the movie, a family friendly gymnastics film that follows along the success of Disney’s “Stick It.” The Board chambers doubled as a college auditorium classroom and other offices in the County Administrative Center became filming locations.
Maddy Curley, Nikki Soo Hoo and Tarah Paige, the lead actresses in “Stick It,” joined forces again in “Chalk it Up.” Written and produced by Curley and Brooke Buffington, the film tells the tale of a girl who is dumped by her boyfriend and decides to win him back, an effort that includes building a college gymnastics team.
"The film and television office eliminated red tape and, in one stop, kept our production moving forward. Riverside County is filled with wonderful locations and filming opportunities," Buffington said.
Since the county ordinance was amended, production companies have used county facilities and property several times on projects such as Little Loopers starring singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia.