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Santa Clarita proving to be new film capital of LA

January 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The new film capital of Los Angeles County is now the city of Santa Clarita, which is reporting 2012 as a record-breaking year for filming.

"We've gone from about eight sound stages to now over 25, there are another dozen by ABC Disney," said Jason Crawford, manager of economic development for the city of Santa Clarita.

Last year's 2 percent increase in production in Santa Clarita over the previous record year in 2011 has pumped millions of dollars into the local economy.

"Over $22 million worth of documented direct impact from filming in Santa Clarita," said Crawford.

Popular shows like the award winning FX drama "Justified" shoot at the Santa Clarita Studios. A few stages over, the new CBS drama "Vegas" also films, and just down from there is ABC Family's "Switched at Birth."

So why are so many productions going there?

"Santa Clarita already has the lowest permit fee for filming in the entire Los Angeles area and we're the only city that offers a rebate, an incentive, so we'll have a production that gets $20,000 or $25,000 of a rebate, which is not a huge number but it's more than any other city is doing," said Crawford.

Santa Clarita has also played host to a number of big screen feature films, including "Django Unchained," "The Guilt Trip" and "Gangster Squad."

While the future looks bright for the film business in Santa Clarita, the big picture in California is less than glitzy, because runaway production still rampant.

"My largest competition today is the state of New York, the state of Louisiana, the state of Georgia, that's our largest competitors," said Mike Delorenzo, president of Santa Clarita Studios.

With those states offering 30 and 40 percent tax credits, a production can save millions of dollars shooting outside of California, but that can make life tough for the crew who are often left behind or forced to leave their families to work.

"The way our industry works, a lot of it is just connections and who you know, such that I can try my best to get a show in town, but I often have to take whatever's offered," said "Justified" associate producer Robert Scott.


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