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Shutdown shuts down film productions in Inyo

October 9, 2013

Students on the set of their short Western, “The Buffalo Killer,” the last film production to shoot in Inyo County before the government shutdown. With the vast majority of Inyo’s preferred filming locations located on federally-managed lands, filming – a lucrative business for the county – is essentially on hold. Photo by Chris Langley

The federal employees prohibited from going to work and the businesses losing money generated by tourists drawn to Yosemite, Death Valley and Manzanar aren’t the only local victims of the nationwide government shutdown, now in its 10th day.
The mandatory closure of National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service offices, and the suspension of services that have been deemed “non-essential,” have had what Inyo County Film Commissioner Chris Langley called “a rather devastating effect” on local filming.
According to Langley, most of Inyo County’s prime film locations are managed by the NPS, BLM or Forest Service – agencies whose cooperation is vital to keeping the usually lucrative local film industry afloat.
“With less than 2 percent of our land privately owned,” Langley said, “it doesn’t leave too much land for filming. Of course, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power owns more than 240,000 acres, but that would only address a small percentage of location requests.”

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