Quick question: Where do all your favorite movies come from?
Hollywood, obviously. Right? For decades, the town had a virtual monopoly on big-budget studio pictures to the point where the name has become synonymous with the entertainment industry.
But these days a striking number of movies and TV shows are produced outside Tinseltown.
“The Walking Dead” and “The Hunger Games” are/were filmed around Atlanta, Georgia. Parts of “Deadpool” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” were shot in Vancouver.
And here in the Santa Clarita Valley – yes right here – producers filmed “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Ultimate Beastmaster” and “Santa Clarita Diet” (naturally).
Why is our little slice of paradise becoming so popular with the entertainment industry?
Here are the top four reasons:
1. Location, Location, Location
SCV is slightly closer to Hollywood than Atlanta (only by a couple thousand miles), and many in the industry already call southern California home. Plus, our community is right off of I-5, and features a variety of diverse and distinctive settings for filmmakers to use as their backdrop.
2. Plenty of Skilled Labor
Santa Clarita is already home to more than 20 sound stages, several film ranches, and a well-educated labor force (54 percent of residents have at least a four-year degree). More than 6,000 SCV residents work in the entertainment industry, and the talent isn’t just limited to TV and film; SCV also has workers skilled in video game production, graphic design, web development, animation and editing.
3. Pro-Business Environment
The cost of doing business keeps a lot of production companies away from otherwise ideal filming locations. That’s not the case in Santa Clarita Valley. Here, local governments offer everything from production credits to employment tax credits, and just as importantly don’t nickel-and-dime businesses with things like parking tax or business license fees.
4. Technical Assistance
We don’t like to brag (that much), but our business team here at the Economic Development Corporation is pretty darn good at helping production companies acquire everything they need to get their projects off the ground quickly. They help identify incentives, connect with local studios, get real estate information – pretty much everything you need to hit the ground running.
No, the SCV is not Hollywood. It’s Hollywood North. It’s Hollywood with a more agile workforce, less red tape, and more scenic vistas. More production companies are starting to realize that, and that means more great jobs for our community.
See you at the movies.