With the Golden Globes just passing and the Oscars in February, award season has officially begun, and it’s time to celebrate everything film and television! The Santa Clarita Film Office has a lot to celebrate. The numbers are in, and 2018 was another fantastic year of location filming in the city. The Film Office recorded 547 film permits and 1,376 location film days, which generated an estimated economic impact of $32.9 million to Santa Clarita’s economy.
This is the fifth consecutive calendar year the Santa Clarita Film Office has recorded more than 500 permits, more than 1,300 film days and $30 million or more in estimated economic impact generated from location filming alone. Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and the economic benefit from filming that takes place on certified sound stages, which do not require a film permit.
There isn’t a day that goes by where filming doesn’t happen here. Productions choose Santa Clarita for its picturesque open space, historic locations and scenic variety. The City offers dozens of soundstages and thousands of locations ranging from a western backdrop to a typical suburban neighborhood.
The city began issuing film permits in 2003, offering low permitting fees, an expedited permitting process and prime locations — which all fall within a 30-mile radius from Los Angeles, also known as the entertainment industry’s “Thirty Mile Zone.” We’ve also offered production incentives to film since 2009. Over the years, we have focused on making the film permitting process as easy as possible, all while balancing production needs with those of the residential and business communities. We were the first city in Los Angeles County to offer a film incentive program and remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure our position as a top choice for filming, and therefore keep valuable film jobs in California.
Films that were shot here in 2018 include “A Quiet Place,” “Bird Box,” “Captain Marvel,” “Ford vs. Ferrari,” “Velvet Buzzsaw,” “Vice,” “Call of the Wild” and more, in addition to countless commercials, music videos, still photo shoots and online content.
More than half of the filming days in 2018 were attributed to television production alone, many of which were productions locally based in Santa Clarita, including “Future Man,” “Goliath,” “Good Trouble,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Shooter,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Untitled Suits Spin-off” and my personal favorite, “Westworld.”
Other TV shows that filmed on location in Santa Clarita this past year include “9-1-1,” “America’s Got Talent,” “American Horror Story,” “The Bachelor,” “Criminal Minds,” “Ghosted,” “Grace & Frankie,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Orville,” “You’re the Worst” and many more.
Stepping back in time
While we celebrate what’s been filmed recently, it’s also great to step back into time and appreciate our rich film history.
We are no stranger to the film and television industry as productions have filmed here since the early 1900s, when William S. Hart, one of the most renowned movie stars of the era, bought land in Newhall that served as a location for his final film “Tumbleweeds” and eventually became the location for his mansion.
The amount of filming in Santa Clarita gave way to the beginning of movie ranches throughout the valley, including Walt Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, home to classic productions such as “Little House on the Prairie” and “Old Yeller.” Other filming locations that are regularly used include Vasquez Rocks, College of the Canyons and Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studios.
The Santa Clarita Film Office ended 2018 with another year of steady filming. I firmly believe that 2019 will be yet another fabulous year of filming in our city.
For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, please visit FilmSantaClarita.com or contact the Film Office at 661-284-1425. For an insider’s view of filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).
Bill Miranda is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].