The superintendent of Putnam County schools is saying "no" to Hollywood.

Fearing negative portrayals of West Virginia, Putnam County Schools Superintendent Sam Sentelle has told principals at Hurricane, Poca and Winfield high schools to decline a request by DreamWorks to film at their schools.

"The first thing that came to mind was 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High,' " Sentelle said, referring to the 1982 film about teen angst starring Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh. "I didn't want our schools to become the 'Ridgemont High' of 2003."

"Win a Date With Tad Hamilton," starring Kate Bosworth and Josh Duhamel, is a romantic comedy about a grocery-store clerk who wins a date with a Hollywood star.

When she returns to West Virginia, she must choose between the celebrity and an old friend.

The movie, to be released in 2004, will be shot mostly in Los Angeles. DreamWorks said some scenes could be filmed in West Virginia.

"We're not barefoot, poor Appalachian mountain folk; not that there's anything wrong with that," Sentelle said recently. "It could be positive, but I just don't see any positive benefit right now."

CALIFORNIA STILLS SAYS YES: Rural stretches of Santa Barbara County played a prominent role in the production of the movies "Seabiscuit," "Hidalgo" and "Spartan," providing a boost to the economy.

"Los Angeles is losing its wide-open spaces. Even in Ventura County we see that happening as well. But we've still got a lot of it," said Martine White, film commissioner for the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission.

"That's our big advantage," White said recently. "We've got the best selection of ranches and barns that don't have telephone wires running behind them in the background."

At the visitors bureau's annual meeting last week, it was disclosed that there were 166 productions — movies, still photography and commercials — that used the county as a backdrop last year, adding $10.2 million to the county's general fund. That doesn't include the estimated $500,000 brought in from the three films. The overall economic benefit to the county is estimated at $26 million.

"Seabiscuit," starring Tobey Maguire, Chris Cooper and Jeff Bridges, opens July 25 in theaters nationwide.