Despite Economy, Filming Keeps Steadily Growing In Santa Clarita
January of 2009 was the most successful to date, according
to the Santa Clarita Film Office, who overlooked more film days and reported a
higher economic impact for the month than any other January on record since the
office's inception in 2002.
The City of Santa Clarita
reported a total of 84 film days in the month, a 265 percent increase when
compared to January 2008 when the City hosted 23 film days. Location filming
for the month resulted in more than $2.3 million in economic benefit to Santa
Clarita businesses, compared to January 2008 when $367,500 in economic impact
was reported. The City of Santa Clarita Film Office
issued 25 permits in January 2009, compared to 24 permits in January 2008.
The Film Office attributes the dramatic increase in film
days to the steady base of local television production in Santa Clarita, which
currently includes HBO's "Big Love," CBS's "NCIS" and "The Unit," and Discovery
Channel's "Doing Da Vinci." And while the City of Santa
Clarita is proud to start 2009 on a strong note,
officials remain realistic about the coming months and what they will bring
with the still-looming SAG strike and weakening economy.
"We are thrilled to start 2009 on such a strong note," said
Mayor Frank Ferry. "Los Angeles'
film community, which includes Santa Clarita, is really taking a hit with feature films leaving for other states and countries
offering production incentives. However, Santa Clarita's ability to capture
television production has really offset the losses and declines most cities are
feeling in Southern California."
In addition to shows based in the City, several other
television shows, like "24," "Heroes," "House," "Wipeout," and "My Name is
Earl," regularly film on location in Santa Clarita. And in the month of
January, the City also hosted several small budget feature film days and
Location filming is an important part of the Santa Clarita
Valley economy, contributing an estimated $13.5 million in economic impact
locally in the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2008-2009, which runs from
July through June.
The City continues to market our valley as an ideal place to
film and credits its success as a prime film destination to Santa Clarita's
film-friendly neighborhoods and businesses, variety of locations, affordable
permit and location fees, close proximity to Los Angeles,
and access to talented industry professionals.
Santa Clarita businesses continue to make the area an ideal
place to work in the industry's "30-Mile Zone," an industry designation that
allows productions to save money on per diem and mileage, by keeping location
and rental fees competitive. The residential communities are also a big part of
the Santa Clarita Valley's success, with individual homeowners and
neighborhoods working hand-in-hand with productions to make filming happen,
even when it includes the occasional late hours and complicated scenes.
The City of Santa Clarita's
Film Office was created to help attract and retain the filming industry
including both location filming and film-related businesses. The office
currently issues permits for all location filming within the City ensuring that
there is a
minimal impact on residents and businesses, promotes the
City as an ideal place for the film industry to do businesses, and promotes the
Santa Clarita Valley as a great place for location filming.
The film industry is a major economic engine of the City's
economy, providing increased revenue for local programs through sales tax
revenue, and jobs for residents.