Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The forest moon of Endor is soon to be a thing of the past.  Unfortunately the economic crisis facing the United States and the budget crisis facing the State of California, has led California to make some difficult budget choices.  Included in these budget choices is to cut funding to about 25% of the parks in the state park system.  This will lead to the closure of a number of state parks including the Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, known to Star Wars fans everywhere as Endor.

The Los Angeles Times business section has a very interesting article about the angst that is filling Hollywood over the potential for all these state park closures, as the film and television industry uses many state parks as filming locations.

From the LA Times Article:
“This is going to be very problematic for location managers," said Veronique Vowell, chairwoman of the government affairs committee for the Location Managers Guild of America. “The parks are hugely important to us. They are relatively low-cost, ready-made back lots that can represent all different places around the country. You’ve got deserts to alpine forests and beaches.”
Vowell said that once parks close, it is not clear whether filmmakers will still have access to the locations, how they would secure permits to shoot, and how well maintained the sites would be.
Parks remain hugely popular for filming. In 2009, nearly 500 permits were issued for nearly 1,000 days of shooting in state parks for such productions as “Iron Man 2” and “I Love You, Man.”

Return of the Jedi showcases one of the most lush and beautiful forests you will ever see, and the speeder bike chase is one of the most memorable scenes in the Star Wars saga.  Time is growing short, but perhaps some last ditch effort by the television and film industry to offer to help bridge the State's funding gap for the Parks system can keep these beautiful park open and preserve this tremendous asset to the television and film industry.  It seems to me that helping provide funding for the state park system would be a worthy investment for the television and film industry and much cheaper in the long run to ensure them with well maintained outdoors sets for their productions.

For more information on Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park visit the State Park Website.


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