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Bob Kellar: Santa Clarita is a bustling Hollywood backlot

Posted: January 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

 

In 2011, the city of Santa Clarita experienced a record-breaking year for filming, with the Santa Clarita Valley Film Office issuing more permits and seeing more film days in the city than any other year since the office’s inception in 2002.

The Santa Clarita Valley Film Office, which facilitates the permitting process for filming within the city limits, recorded 901 film days and 359 film permits for calendar year 2011. The city’s previous record year for permits was in 2007 when the city issued 329 film permits and 2009 when permits represented 867 film days.

Location filming contributed significantly to the local economy in 2011. The economic impact is a whopping $19 million to local businesses as a result of local production spending, which represents a 7 percent increase over 2010.

Since its inception in 2009, the city of Santa Clarita’s own film -incentive program has provided a valuable permit subsidy to scores of locally based productions. The city’s program has provided an incentive for Los Angeles-based productions that film on location and pull four or more film permits in a year.

These companies also benefit from the state of California tax incentive, making filming in Santa Clarita a top choice for companies.

Filming in Santa Clarita

California has its advantages for the entertainment industry, from a workforce of more than 140,000 talented professionals to thousands of diverse locations and film-friendly communities.

And then there’s the benefit of keeping things in the "30- mile zone," which allows productions to forgo daily union per diem and mileage and where studio, location and permit fees also remain competitive.

On any given day, you may see multiple productions filming in Santa Clarita, whether it’s a commercial, television show, independent project or feature film. Some of these productions go unseen, filming on elaborate sets within sound stages. Other productions are more visible, filming on area streets, at neighborhood businesses or parks or at private residences.

At a time when many city governments are looking at program and personnel cuts due to diminished budgets, the city of Santa Clarita is working hard to ensure production keeps rolling in the area, supporting the local economy and residents who work in the industry, which in turn creates sustainable revenue for the city to offer services.

You may be interested to know that there are an estimated 6,000 Santa Clarita residents who are employed by the entertainment industry.

Incentives attract film companies

Some would say Hollywood has once again found a home in Los Angeles. The state’s lucrative film and television tax credit provided $100 million in funding, which has ensured big-name productions remain in the golden state. This has resulted in sustained and increased production in the Los Angeles area and areas such as Santa Clarita.

In June 2011, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation reported a total of 110 projects qualified for California’s Film and Television Tax Credit program since it began in 2009. It also stated that the statewide incentive program has generated more than $3.8 billion in economic output and is supporting more than 20,000 jobs in California. This activity will return to state and local governments an estimated $201 million.

The affects of the state’s tax credit combined with the city of Santa Clarita’s own incentive program, which also launched in 2009, have given the industry just what it needed to stay and grow in California. To date, more than 30 state-approved projects have filmed on location in Santa Clarita, including "Justified," "NCIS," "Franklin and Bash" and "Switched at Birth."

The city of Santa Clarita remains committed to the success of the entertainment industry and collaborating with local businesses to aggressively market the area as an ideal place to film. This past was a strong year for filming in Santa Clarita and we are thankful to the many productions, local business owners, and residents who helped make it possible.

For more information about the SCV Film Office and the Film Incentive Program, visit FilmSantaClarita.com or contact the Film Office at (661) 284-1425.

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita City Councilmember and can be reached at: bkellar @santa-clarita.com.

 

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