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Thousands expected to attend Content, Creation and Distribution Expo

By: Elizabeth Speth, Loomis News Correspondent
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Downtown Loomis is about to become Hollywood north and a mecca for those trying to get “in the industry.” Peter Hamblin Oakes, a fourth generation Loomis resident, is organizing the Content, Creation and Distribution Expo to be held in Loomis on Friday, Sep. 16 and Saturday, Sep. 17. Oakes said he expects thousands to attend. “There is this great divide between Hollywood and independent producers,” said Oakes. “If you aren’t ‘in the industry,’ they are not going to let you in. Well, we are going to bridge that gap, and we are going to do it right here in Loomis.” Oakes, who still lives in the home built by his grandparents, calls himself “a local boy with a strong sense of the past and the future.” He is the founder of Pacific Crest Media, and has produced short feature films and numerous local commercials. “We have a huge talent pool in Placer County,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe how many people right here are making movies and music. But without marketing, they may as well just hang it on the wall and stare at it.” During the Expo, the historic Loomis Train Depot will be the site of a series of marketing workshops and panel discussions, while the Blue Goose Fruit Shed will be transformed into a video village, where participants can learn everything they need to know about film and video production, Oakes said. High Hand fruit shed will feature music and audio production workshops. Oakes plans live concerts on a new outdoor stage near Blue Anchor Park. “The stage is sort of our thank you gift to the town,” Oakes said. “The council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Committee – they have all been wonderful, accepting and encouraging this project.” Oakes said the stage will be constructed of reclaimed lumber in the style of the region’s old fruit sheds, with a tin roof and wood floor. He said his group will remove it, or leave it up, depending on what the town wants. Oakes said the cost of the project, which is expected to accommodate 1,000 spectators, is unknown at this time. Although there will be a food court, Oakes said he wants to promote the local economy by encouraging visitors to drink and eat at local eateries. He also plans to donate 10 percent of the profits to the venues that host them, and another 10 percent to local charities. “You can do anything with technology now, and you might as well do it in your backyard, so you can benefit your own community,” said Beverly Lewis, director of the Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office. Lewis is responsible for promoting economic development in and around Loomis through the film industry, and is one of the original expo planners, along with Oakes and local businessman Dan McBride. “This is a global concept with local benefits,” she said. Loomis resident Steve Price, drummer for Pablo Cruise, agrees that a local approach is best. “There are very talented artists – people of great vision — right here,” said Price, who is in charge of booking concert musicians. “We have professional recording studios and plenty of other local resources, and no one realizes it,” Price said. He said he is recruiting “a lot of local talent” for night-time entertainment, including Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads. Oakes said event safety measures will include standby emergency personnel, and increased sheriff and fire department presence. “We have concerns that the event could strain our resources with too much traffic that day,” said Town Manager Perry Beck. “But we think, on a good day, that eight to 10 thousand people come through for the Eggplant Festival. So we can handle it.” CONTENT, CREATION AND DISTRIBUTION EXPO What: Two-day expo on film and video production, music and audio production and how to distribute it When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Sep. 16 and Saturday, Sep. 17; 7 to 10 p.m. live entertainment Where: Downtown Loomis Information: (916) 256-7758 or ccdexpo.com