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    MTV's 2004 "Beach House" -- Major Nat'l Summer TV Series -- Planning To Originate From Belmont Shore Beachfront Within Weeks; Initial Info Snafu Leaves Some Shore Residents Fuming

    (May 14, 2004) -- has learned that MTV's "Beach House" -- an annual summer television series seen nationwide on the NY-based music television network -- is planning to tape its 2004 programs from the Belmont Shore beachfront in Long Beach within weeks.

    The information came to light locally via a mass-mailed letter sent to Belmont Shore and Peninsula area residents by LB City Hall's chief of Special Events and Filming...who has separately told that after resolving a few remaining items, he hopes the permit can be finalized and issued on Monday May 17.

    The major publicity coup of having a nationally telecast MTV series originate from LB's beachfront -- showcasing the city as a hip, cool summer location for millions of demographically desirable viewers -- came to light after a snafu in which a number of area residents say they were kept in the dark by City Hall, then got misinformation from someone.

    The latter point is acknowledged by City Hall...which says it wasn't to blame but is moving to give Belmont Shore and Peninsula residents accurate information via a letter dated May 11. The letters began arriving in residents' mailboxes on May 14...and a copy was obtained by

    In the public interest, posts below the salient text of the letter from LB's Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Marine's Office of Special Events and Filming. [We have independently redacted (omitted as indicated) some specific production times but maintained the basic newsworthy context.]

    [begin text]

    City of Long Beach
    Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Marine
    Office of Special Events and Filming


    May 11, 2004

    Dear Resident:

    Recently you received information regarding the filming of MTV's "Summer on the Run" Beach House Series. Unfortunately, the notifications were inaccurate. In an effort to keep the public informed the correct information is being provided to Belmont Shore and Peninsula residents.

    Filming will take place on the beach between 55th Place and Balboa. The Film Company will build a stage and compound area on the beach. The stage will be placed as to leave a 50ft buffer between the seawall and the start of the compound. The Film Company may not interfere with the bike path or normal activity on the beach. The Film Company will have two video feed trucks. These trucks will be parked on the South Side of Ocean Ave. just west of 55th Place in the parking lane. The Film Company will have one comfort station parked on the west side of 55th Place adjacent to the video trucks. The comfort station is for MTV crew only. The MTV extras must use the comfort stations within the MTV compound at 54th place parking lot. The stage and compound will be constructed within a 100 yard fenced area on the beach. MTV will provide 24-hour security.

    During the week of 5/24/04 through 5/28/04 and the week of 6/7/04-6/11/04 the film company will have a total of 100 people on the beach with no live performances and/or amplified sound. The MTV extras will be escorted from the Granada parking lot to beach compound via small groups of 50 by MTV. UPON COMPLETION OF EACH TAPING THE EXTRAS WILL BE ESCORTED TO THE GRANDA PARKING LOT FOR BUS PICK UP. MTV will begin actual construction of the stage and lighting on Thursday 5/27/04 with construction and rehearsal continuing until 5/30/04. The set and compound will be disassembled by Friday 6/11/04. All rehearsals and sound checks on 5/29/04 and 5/30/04 will be done between the hours of 10am and 5pm. There will be no actual filming, cast members or extras during this time however there will be minimal amplified sound for equipment testing.

    During the week of 5/31/04-6/4/04 the Film Company will have approximately 700 people on the beach. The Film Company will start sound tests at approximately 9am and will have their 1st rehearsal at [time redacted by us]. The MTV extras will be arriving via bus to the Granada parking lot at [time redacted by us]. The MTV extras will be escorted from the Granada parking lot to the beach compound via small groups of 50. Live tapping [sic] will begin at [time redacted by us] and end [an hour later]. The Film Company will have additional rehearsals between [time redacted by us] and [90 minutes later] with additional tapping [sic] beginning at [time redacted by us] with filming activity completely ending by 6pm. UPON COMPLETION OF EACH TAPING EXTRAS WILL BE ESCORTED BACK TO THE GRANADA PARKING LOT FOR BUS PICK UP.

    The objective of The City of Long Beach Office of Special Events and Filming is to promote filming in a safe and friendly environment. To ensure this the City will have Lifeguards, Police Officer, Fire Marshal and a representative of the Special Events and Filming Bureau at the location and/or available during all filming hours. If you have any further questions regarding the logistics of this filming, please contact my office...


    s/ David W. Ashman
    Manager, Special Events & Filming Bureau

    Meanwhile, a number of Belmont Shore and Peninsula residents have been riled by a previously distributed "Film Permit Signature Survey," a City Hall-printed form containing fill-in blanks for completion and dissemination by permit applicants. The document notes that "[i]f filming occurs in a residential area and streets must be closed from time to time to accommodate film production crews or on-street parking is needed, we require companies to survey nearby residents. This survey is used by the Special Events office in evaluating neighborhood support for the proposed film activities."

    Some area residents say they were shown a filled-in survey form indicating activities on May 24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. described as "no parking signs" related to "exterior performance and playback at beach." The pre-printed form text continued:

    The production company has applied for the necessary film permit and will maintain all legally required liability insurance. If a permit is granted, all City personnel required to ensure public safety will be on location during the filming.

    The production company will make every effort not to disturb you and will abide by the hours of operation set forth above. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and hospitality while location filming occurs in your neighborhood."

    The survey form offered three choices: "I do not object," "I object," and "I do not object but prefer not to sign my name."

    One area resident was so incensed at not getting accurate information at the outset that the person began distributing homemade fliers (some of which had information differing from parts of City Hall's May 11 letter). One recipient of the flier, who asked not to be identified, was likewise fuming on Friday May 14 with several unanswered questions.

    Responding to a May 14 telephone inquiry from, Mr. Ashman indicated that the permit has not yet been issued, a few items remain to be resolved and the permit is in the process of being finalized. "We hope it can be done by Monday [May 17]," Mr. Ashman said.

    A May 14 inquiry by to MTV's NY HQ was referred to MTV's WLA office where MTV staffer Lindsey Schiff-Abrams said the network's 2004 Beach House programs are planned to originate from LB and a release has been issued and is being emailed to us. (We'll post the release info as received; revisit this page and click reload or refresh on your browser to ensure text updates.)

    In previous years, MTV's "Beach House" has originated from San Diego's Mission Beach and elegant areas of Malibu, CA and Long Island, NY among other venues.

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