SCV location filming tops $30M for fourth year in a row

Valencia's Ben Fariss (29) throws a pitch during a baseball game agasint Golden Valley at Valencia on Friday, March 24, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Santa Clarita had a robust year of location filming for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The city’s Film Office recording 545 film permits and 1,265 location film days, which generated an estimated economic impact of $30.1 million to the local community.

Across Greater Los Angeles, on-location film production slipped 4.7 percent between April and June, 2017 to 9,466 shoot days, according to an update from FilmL.A., the film office for the City of Los Angeles and other municipalities. Local on-location feature production decreased 18.5 percent (1,067 shoot days) in the second quarter.

“Declines in any category need to be put in context: the year-to-date comparison for the last seven years shows 2017 is second only to 2016 for total shoot days,” said FilmL.A. president Paul Audley, who noted that 2016 was the best year on record for on-location production.

More than 500 permits
This is the fourth fiscal year in a row the Santa Clarita film office has recorded more than 500 permits and the estimated economic impact generated from location filming topped $30 million.  Not included in the reported numbers are film days and economic benefit from filming on certified sound stages, which does not require a film permit.

Television production accounted for more than half of the filming. This was largely due to show based in Santa Clarita, including “Atypical,” “Ballers,” “The Guest Book,” “Mistresses,” “MythBusters,” “NCIS,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Shooter,” “Shut Eye,” “Stitchers” and “Ultimate Beastmaster.”

TV shows based elsewhere that filmed on location in Santa Clarita last fiscal year included “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “American Crime,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Baskets,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” “Cesar Milan’s Dog Nation,” “Criminal Minds,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “Drunk History,” “Fear Factor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “The Last Ship,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Ray Donovan,” “Scorpion,” “Sharp Objects,” “Storage Wars,” “Teen Wolf,” “Transparent,” and “VEEP.”



Feature production

TV shows aren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita as a film location. Many movies were also shot in the city last fiscal year including “A Star is Born,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “All-Star Weekend,” “The Female Brain,” “Fighting with My Family,” “Gone Are the Days,” “Inner City,” “The Lovers,” “Magic Camp,” “Miles,” “#REALITYHIGH,” and “Villa Capri,” in addition to music videos, online content and commercials.

Many factors contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita, including the City’s Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone along with the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program that is working successfully to keep production in the state.

County wide, TV dramas receiving tax incentives yielded 291 production days or 37 percent of the category. TV pilots yielded 57 shooting days or 52 percent of the category. Incentivized television projects for the second quarter were “Heathers,” “Here, Now,” “Law & Order True Crime,” “Major Crimes,” “The Orville,” “Sharp Objects,” “Shooter,” and “American Horror Story.”

Power of incentives

Feature film projects receiving incentives produced 232 shoot days, 22 percent of production in the category. Incentivized features for the quarter were “Valley Girl,” “A Star Is Born,” “Inner City,” and “Hotel Artemis.”

“Being a film-friendly city is a priority for the City Council as filming is such a great contributor to our local economy and provides many quality jobs for our residents,” said Mayor Cameron Smyth.  “Film and television production has deep roots in the Santa Clarita Valley and to see production return year after year at such a significant rate is a testament to the quality and character of our community.”

Santa Clarita continues to be one of the most filmed places in California because it’s located within the industry’s well-known 30-Mile Zone and offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world.  In addition, Santa Clarita has more than 20 sound stages, more than 10 movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office, and some of the lowest film permitting fees in the Los Angeles area.

Fewer pilots ordered
Among other findings from FilmL.A.: networks are ordering fewer pilot episodes than in the past, which mostly affects Los Angeles and New York, and a decline in TV drama filming reflected the cancellation of shows that were in production in 2016 but not this year.

These include “Gilmore Girls,” “Good Girls Revolt” (filmed at Santa Clarita Studios), “Hand of God,” “Mistresses” (filmed in Santa Clarita), “Roadies,” “Sweet/Vicious” and “The Catch.”

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