Film shoots bring in badly needed money for Glendale schools

Glendale schools may be strapped for cash, but there’s one way they can earn extra income without staging bake sales or car washes.

At Glendale High School last year, when television crews filmed scenes for the show “Criminal Minds,” the school pocketed $5,200 after seven days of filming.

Filming for that show took place twice around the campus, including in the cafeteria and auditorium.

Filming at Glendale schools has gone on for years, said Alan Reising, the district’s director of facility and support operations.

Three other campuses provided backdrops for various projects last year.

At Balboa Elementary, crews filmed on the playground. At Clark Magnet High School, film crews parked in the front parking lot but filmed off-campus.

“Criminal Minds” crews also filmed at R.D. White Elementary, where administrators used the money to buy computers and books for the school library.

In total, the district generated $40,028 from film projects last year.

The four schools that offered their space split approximately $10,000 between them.

At Glendale High School, administrators were left to decide how to spend about $6,000.

Principal Monica Makiewicz said the money goes into an account that supports students.

The funds are typically tagged to cushion the price of sports uniforms or pay museum tickets for field trips, a speaker on campus or the bus ride to the field trip.

“It seems more frequently used now than seven years ago,” Makiewicz said of the Glendale High campus.

Using part of a campus for a half day, or six hours, costs $1,500.

A full day of filming costs $3,000 for 15 hours, and parking costs $1,500 per day.

Any still photography session can bring in as much as $300 for a four-hour run.

Crews must agree to film on weekends, nights or during summer months, and only as long as they’re not disrupting instruction.

The district recently agreed to extend its contract with FilmL.A. Inc., which has coordinated filming projects for the district for the last two years.

“It lets much-needed dollars come in,” Riesling said.

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