Culver City Observer -

At Last: A Movie About Culver City


By Lynne Bronstein

Observer Reporter

A new movie made its debut at the July 27 Culver City Council meeting. While it may not run at multiplexes around Southern California it might be playing soon at theaters in Culver City.

The 2-minute-18 second film is called This is Culver City and was produced by Tomato Studio, a bicoastal company.

Len Dickter of the Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission is the writer/director of This is Culver City and is the creative director/partner of Tomato Studio in Los Angeles.

Dickter and Karim Sahli (who produced the film) spoke about their creation before and after the film’s screening at the council meeting. Sahli called it “a pro bono effort.”

“We asked ourselves a single question,” said Sahli. “How is it that a city that calls itself ‘the heart of screenland’ has no film to call its own?”

To capture the spirit of Culver City the film shows quick shots of various locations, businesses, organizations, and government branches of Culver City. These include the City Council members as a group, the Culver City police, the staff of the Culver Hotel, members of the Actors Gang, the Helms Bakery, and many others.

Credits for the film include, in addition to Dickter and Sahli, original music created by local composer/ DJ Arthur Pochon who performs under the name "Art Bleek,” cinematography by Christopher Pearson, editing by Mandy Brown, and assistance from local post production house Kilt Studios. All creative services were provided for free.

Dickter emphasizes, however, that “this is a pilot film. We hope it will start a conversation about how to use film.”

He later told the Observer: “[T]he reason I joined the project is to help the city see the power of film as an economic growth and communications tool. My hope is that we will receive budget to expand the film with addition locations and diversity, so that it is even more representative of Culver City as a dynamic whole. There are also terrific opportunities to use film to support the Centennial and Historical Society….”

The film will be posted on YouTube and on the front page of the Culver City web site. It is also scheduled to be screened at the Culver Hotel and at the Helms Bakery Film Night. It can be seen currently at the link:

In other City Council news, the council passed a waiver of formal bid procedures for the construction of public parking and Town Plaza expansion improvements located at and adjacent to 9300 Culver Boulevard.

The council approved a concept design for the expansion of Town Plaza in 2006, and approved further enhancements in 2008. In 2012, the City approved a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with Combined Properties (Combined) for the development of Parcel B and the construction of an expanded Town Plaza on adjoining public property (referred to as the City Parcel or Town Plaza Expansion) and the construction of an approximate 100 public parking spaces.

Progress on the project was slowed down due to the dissolution of the city’s Redevelopment Agency in 2012. Due however to the State Department of Finance’s approval of a long range property management plan (LRPMP) for Culver City, the way was paved for the resumption of development of Parcel B. This included permission for the Successor Agency for the sale of Parcel B to Combined.

Now that the public improvements and the Combined improvements on Parcel B are integrated, as city staff observes: “Having one contractor construct the improvements under one contract is essential to the coordinated development of the projects and will result in lower costs and fewer potential liabilities to the City.”

The waiver of formal bid procedures, noted Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld, is “the most efficient way to do this.”

Coming soon, the council will be receiving a project design to review.

The Council also postponed a public hearing on an ordinance granting a franchise to Crimson California Pipeline. That hearing will take place at the August 24 council meeting.


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