City officials, including Mayor Marsha McLean and Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, tour Santa Clarita Studios with studio President Mike DeLorenzo. Courtesy photo

Santa Clarita officials meet with California Film Commission for film tour

Mayor Marsha McLean joined State of California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell for a Santa Clarita film information tour Wednesday. 

“Filming in Santa Clarita is a great revenue generator that enables the city to provide residents with a high quality of life,” McLean said in a statement Friday. “The City Council wholeheartedly supports this vital industry.” 

McLean and Bell were also joined by Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, and Deputy Director Eve Honthaner for the tour, where they met with city staff for an update on the state of filming in Santa Clarita.

The city has established itself as a premier filming destination with more than 20 sound stages and 10 movie ranches while more than 6,000 residents currently work in the film or entertainment industry, according to McLean.

During the tour, attendees also discussed the role of the city’s film office and the value of incentives offered to productions that film in the city. The group then toured Santa Clarita Studios with studio President Mike DeLorenzo.

The California Film Commission administers the Film & Television Tax Credit program, which allows qualified expenditures for eligible productions produced in California to receive tax credits. This program allows filmmakers to redeem up to 25% of spending, up to the first $100 million, on qualified costs, such as crew salaries. 

This program in combination with the city’s film incentive program, which provides subsidized permit fees and reduced costs for on-set safety personnel, motivates filmmakers choose to shoot in Santa Clarita. 

Since the film incentive program was approved by city council in 2009, more than $525,000 has been refunded to projects also approved by the tax credit program while the community has received an estimated $114.8 million in positive economic impact from these productions.

Evan Thomason, economic development associate with the city of Santa Clarita said these figures have resulted in an average of $30 million per year in the local economy over the last five years, and the city’s incentive program has played a large part in that. 

“We usually have about a quarter of the productions that are in California and have filmed those at some capacity in Santa Clarita, which has really brought life back into the film industry,” Thomason said. 

To celebrate the city’s film history, the annual State of the City event scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24, is expected to be titled “Lights! Camera! Santa Clarita.” For more information or to purchase tickets, visit santa-clarita.com.

For more information on the history of filming in Santa Clarita, visit filmsantaclarita.com.

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