Grand Park

Students of Frederick Douglass Academy High School of Los Angeles join dozens taking dance lessons from the modern acrobatic dance company, Diavolo, in the splash pad of Grand Park's historic fountain during National Dance Day. (Allen J. Schaben / July 27, 2013)

Despite an action by Los Angeles County officials to temporarily lower filming permit fees for use of Grand Park, film producers have not flocked to the new downtown park.

According to a report presented to the board Tuesday by county Chief Executive Officer William T Fujioka, park staff received 24 formal inquiries from May to October, but only eight shoots took place.

Most of those were low-budget projects, including a student short film, a pair of commercials for local chain Norms Restaurants and a commercial for the Los Angeles Times website. The largest event was an episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles" filmed in October.

The County Board of Supervisors voted in April to temporarily lower filming fees for the park after receiving complaints from the film industry that the prices were too high.

The park opened in 2012, and fees were set as high as $20,000 a day per block of park space used. The rates were higher than some better-known Los Angeles landmarks, such as the Griffith Observatory.

The current rates range from $1,920 to $5,720 for film shoots, depending on where in the park shooting takes place, with a maximum rate of $12,000 for use of the entire park. Still photography shoot permits range from $800 to $4,000.

Some of the supervisors expressed concerns at the time that too much filming at the park would cut into the public's use of it. The board asked for a report back on filming activity at the park in six months.

Fujioka recommended keeping the lowered rates in place.

"As the park moves into its second year of operation and becomes a popular destination in Los Angeles County, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in filming activity," he wrote.

The board did not discuss changing the rates Tuesday, but some film industry representatives complained they are still too high.

David Phelps of the Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers said his group "does remain concerned with the level of permit fees that are in effect" and voiced fears the fees could discourage filming downtown.

"We really want to ask the board to encourage ways that we can increase the filming at the park," he said.

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Twitter: @sewella

abby.sewell@latimes.com