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Bob Kellar: SCV movie news in 2009

Live from City Hall

Posted: January 21, 2010 9:44 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita has been one of the entertainment industry’s most-favored back lots for decades.

Our city has fostered one of the most successful film communities in the Los Angeles region through hard work and partnerships with local businesses, cooperation with residents and by raising awareness about the many benefits filming brings to our community, region and state.  

The film industry brings millions of dollars in economic benefit to our community each year. In fact, in 2009 filming was responsible for more than $22 million in economic benefit to Santa Clarita businesses and our community as a result of production spending.

These production dollars are spent at local restaurants, hotels, hardware stores and equipment rental companies and are vital dollars that fuel our local economy.

Just to give you an idea of recent accomplishments, the following is a retrospective of the more unique and significant ways Santa Clarita made Hollywood headlines in 2009.  

Network productions
In 2009, CBS’ locally based “NCIS” stole industry headline after headline with its position as the most-watched television show in prime time. This reinforced Santa Clarita’s position as one of the best Southern California communities in which to film, with production-friendly policies and businesses, a variety of locations and close proximity to Los Angeles.

In addition to “NCIS,” Santa Clarita served as home to some other great shows last year, including “Sons of Tucson,” “Big Love,” “Make it or Break it,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Justified,” “Doing DaVinci,” “The Unit” and more.  

In addition to shows basing in Santa Clarita, 2009 included our city’s first-ever appearance on “The Oprah Show.”

You may have also recognized the former Borax building on Tourney Road in one of the 2009 Super Bowl’s most-lauded commercials for Bud Light. Santa Clarita hosted regular television favorites like “House” and “CSI,” and served as the main location for four made-for-TV movies and the feature films “Iron Man II,” “Marmaduke” and “Monster Mutt.”  

Tax incentive for film
Runaway production is an issue the state has worked to combat for years. In 2009 California implemented its first-ever film and television production-tax credit, and Santa Clarita became the first city in the “30-Mile Zone” to develop and implement a Film Incentive Program.

This program was created as a result of the City Council-approved 21-Point Business Plan for Progress and subsidizes permit fees for locally based productions and productions that regularly film in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The city’s incentive program coincided with the launch of the state’s film and tax credit program, working to stem the tide of productions leaving California in search of tax breaks.  

Disney/ABC Studios

Last October, Santa Clarita garnered international news coverage when Disney and ABC Studios announced their expansion in Los Angeles County.  The Disney/ABC Studios at the Ranch project is expected to result in more than $500 million annually in economic benefit to Los Angeles County and create thousands of jobs.

There are great things in store for Santa Clarita in the years to come, as the Disney/ABC Studios at the Ranch project takes shape at the site of Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.

The city is prepared to support and facilitate these endeavors in any way possible, keeping production work and jobs right here in our community.

Last year was bittersweet in many ways, but it was a strong year for our film industry. The recession presented many challenges and yet it also brought many opportunities for innovative thinking and programming.

While we cannot rest on the accomplishments of our past and expect them to carry us into the future, we can draw inspiration from our achievements as we work to face and overcome the challenges ahead.

The next year will be a difficult one for filming in California, even with local and state incentives, but Santa Clarita is committed to doing everything it can to maintain its position as the best place to film in Los Angeles County.

Thank you to the productions, businesses and residents who make our city film-friendly.

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita City Councilman. He can be reached via e-mail bkellar@santa-clarita.com. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is provided by the city and appears Fridays.

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