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Santa Clarita sees jump in filming in 2009

Local and state incentive programs attract and retain productions

Posted: February 26, 2010 11:31 a.m.
Updated: February 26, 2010 11:34 a.m.
 
The city of Santa Clarita is maintaining its position as one of Southern California's most filmed communities, recording a 14 percent increase in economic benefit in 2009 as a result of location filming when compared to 2008.

Location filming alone contributed more than $22 million to Santa Clarita's local economy in 2009.

Santa Clarita's city council approved the first city-supported Film Incentive Program in the 30-Mile Zone in April 2009 as part of the 21-Point Business Plan for Progress, and has since worked with seven productions for permit subsidization since the programs inception in July 2009.

Three locally based productions recently benefitted from the program, including the new Fox comedy "Sons of Tucson," HBO's "Big Love," and "Faster," a feature film starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

"Santa Clarita is pleased to benefit from the influx of new productions retained and attracted to California by the state's incentive program," Mayor Laurene Westes said.

"Santa Clarita is the only city in the 30-Mile Zone supporting the state's efforts with our own permit subsidy program, and we continue to evaluate our film practices to support the industry, and our local economy as a result, in any way we can."

The city also reported a total of 867 film days in 2009, up from 827 film days in 2008. Continuing the trend in 2010, the city reported 29 film permits in January, which is the largest number of permits for a January month since the Film Office's inception in 2002/2003.

The city's first Film Incentive Program helped Santa Clarita capitalize on the momentum the film office cultivated since its inception in 2002.

Earlier this year, "Sons of Tucson" received a full refund of paid permit fees through the Film Incentive Program's first incentive option, providing comprehensive permit subsidization to qualifying, locally-based productions.

The show, which debuts March 14 on Fox, based at Santa Clarita Studios and filmed 88 percent of principal photography in the Santa Clarita Valley, including businesses and neighborhoods. Twenty percent of the production's cast and crew was comprised of Santa Clarita residents, supporting local high-paying jobs.

HBO's "Big Love" received a partial refund of paid permit fees through the second incentive option, which focuses on recurring productions. The show has based in Santa Clarita at the Avenue Scott Stages since its inception and regularly films on location around town. The fourth season of "Big Love" is currently airing on HBO and the show has been picked up for a fifth season.

The feature film "Faster" received partial subsidization of permit fees through the city's incentive program and is one of the films that qualified for California's production incentives.

To date, eight productions that qualified for California's incentives have filmed on location in Santa Clarita, including FX's new television show "Justified," which is based at Santa Clarita Studios, and "Priest," a vampire feature that transformed Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studios into a post-apocalyptic Western town.

The city created the Santa Clarita Valley Film Office to attract and retain the entertainment industry in Santa Clarita, including both location filming and film-related businesses.

Santa Clarita is currently home to several other network and cable television shows, including CBS's "NCIS," ABC Family's "Make it or Break It" and "10 Things I Hate About You," and ABC's "Wipeout."

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